Audie Murphy plays a young Jesse James falling under the Svengali-like spell of the outlaw William Quantrill, played by Brian Donlevy. Jesse and his youthful gang join the rebels to avenge the death of his parents only to become disillusioned with the senseless violence and looting of innocent civilians. Goaded by Quantrill's girl to leave, Jesse vacillates until the Yankess close in. Quantrill forces Jesse to leave and faces the Yankess gunfire alone. Jesse rides off with his gang and the rest is history.Written by
Rita Richardson <RRichar790@aol.com>
Although Brian Donlevy was almost 49 when he made this film, the real William Quantrill was only 27 when he died. Marguerite Chapman was 32 when the film was made and plays Quantrill's woman, Kate Clarke, a fictional character. In real life, Quantrill met a local Missouri girl, Sarah Katherine King, when she was only 13. She lived in camp with Quantrill and his soldiers. They married and she was 17 when he died. See more »
Although brother Frank did join Quantrill, there is no evidence that Jesse, less than 16 at the time, ever joined the guerrilla raiders in Kansas. See more »
Honestly, I didn't get past the opening scene of the movie. Jessie and Frank James, the Younger Brothers and one of the Daltons are on a mountain side surrounded by tall pine trees looking down in the valley at the town of Lawrence, Kansas. Evidently whoever made this movie has never been to Kansas. Can you spell F-L-A-T? Oh, there are some nice little hills covered with deciduous trees, but not mountains and tall pines. After that scene, the movie lost all its credibility so far as I was concerned. I can't stomach movies based on the lives of real people that stray so far from the facts. The "heroes" of this film were in reality murdering outlaw bank robbers that would today be called "sociopaths." They were not "heroes" in any sense of the word.
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