The Great Missouri Raid (1951)

Approved   |    |  Western

The Great Missouri Raid (1951) Poster

In this Western, the James and Younger boys ride the outlaw trail again all because of a mean Union Army Major.


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14 September 2005 | louis-godena
| A lively little shoot-em-up with a great cast!
This is one of my all-time favorite westerns! I love MacDonald Carey Ellen Drew and Wendell Corey (even though he was a Republican!). Their characterizations of Jesse James, his wife Zee, and Frank James are absolutely first-rate. Gordon Douglas directed some great westerns (Fort Dobbs, The Big Land, Doolins of Oklahoma) and also some real turkeys (1966's Stagecoach should have been barred by statute from being made!). In The Great Missouri Raid, he did a fantastic job! Of course, the story as told here is not too accurate (the "great raid" is actually a railroad hold-up gone awry - an obvious reference to the real-live raid on Northfield, Minnesota), but is quite entertaining (why is it that westerns that adhere strictly to facts also end up so dad-blamed DULL?). Ward Bond is very good as Jesse's nemesis, Major Trowbridge (although his sudden exit near the end of the movie is a bit strange). But watch, too, for great supporting work from the other cast, especially James Griffith (as an undercover detective) and Edgar Buchanan (as Jesse stepfather). James Millican has an early role as a union sergeant who comes to an untimely demise. And don't forget Tom Tyler, a fixture in westerns large and small from the 1920s to the 50s.!

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