Kansas Raiders (1950)

Approved   |    |  Western

Kansas Raiders (1950) Poster

Outraged by Redleg atrocities, the James and Younger Brothers along with Kit Dalton join Quantrill's Raiders and find themselves participating in even worse war crimes.


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20 January 2011 | FightingWesterner
| At War With The James Gang
Frank and Jesse James, along with the Younger brothers and their pal Kit Dalton join Colonel Quantrill's guerrillas in order to fight the Union, but soon realize they've joined an army of bloodthirsty murderers.

This colorful studio B-picture is a decent enough showcase for war-hero Audie Murphy playing a teen-aged Jesse, as well as up-and-comers Tony Curtis and James Best, who aren't given enough to do.

As William Quantrill, Brian Donlevey gives the film's most interesting performance, portraying the rebel leader as cold, calculated, and quite mundane, all at the same time! Murphy's strange attraction to and utter revulsion for him make up most of the film's conflict.

One thing that disappoints though, is the throwaway nature of Scott Brady's character. Brady was always a pretty good character actor and a pretty mean heavy. Here, he leaves the picture way too early, long before the dramatic possibilities of his character are exhausted.

Finally, during the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas, the manager of the bank being robbed by the James gang rushes at Murphy exclaiming, "You little sh...!" before being interrupted. Was he going to say what I thought he was going to say? Did the actor's ad-libbing almost go too far?

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