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Kansas Raiders

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kansas Raiders
1956 newspaper advertisement
Directed byRay Enright
Screenplay byRobert L. Richards
Story byRobert L. Richards
Produced byTed Richmond
StarringAudie Murphy
Brian Donlevy
Marguerite Chapman
Scott Brady
CinematographyIrving Glassberg
Edited byMilton Carruth
Color processTechnicolor
Universal International Pictures
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 15, 1950 (1950-11-15) (United States)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.2 million (US rentals)[1]

Kansas Raiders is a 1950 American Western film directed by Ray Enright, and stars Audie Murphy, Brian Donlevy, Marguerite Chapman, and Scott Brady. It is set during the American Civil War and involves Jesse James coming under the influence of William Quantrill.

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Jesse James and his friends—brother Frank, brothers Cole and Jim Younger, plus Kit Dalton—arrive in Lawrence, Kansas, and are falsely accused of being members of Quantrill's Raiders. They are about to be lynched but are saved by the intervention of a Union officer.

The men are released and they go on and join Quantrill. Jesse at first admires Quantrill but comes to question his devotion after seeing atrocities committed by the man and his troops. He also falls for Kate Clarke. Events in their home state of Missouri mean the James Brothers cannot return home without being prosecuted for serious crimes; so they figure they might as well stay with Quantrill and the protection he offers.

The raiders take part in the Lawrence Massacre in which Jesse and his men rob their first bank. Jesse prevents the senseless murder of a helpless Union officer and kills Quantrill's second in command, Bill Anderson, to back up his opinion. When the Confederacy disowns Quantrill for his war crimes, most of the raiders abandon Quantrill except for Jesse. Quantrill is blinded during an escape, and neither Jesse or Kate can bring themselves to abandon him. When Union troops surround their hideout, they are led by the same Union officer whose life Jesse saved. He gives them a grace period of until sun-up to surrender. Quantrill literally shoots it out blindly with Union troops to give Jesse and his group a chance to escape out the rear. Jesse leaves Kate and heads off with his friends to a life of crime. The narrator gives Quantrill "credit" for teaching the five young men the arts of robbery, murder, and notoriety.


Home media

Universal Pictures released the film on DVD in 2007 as part of its Classic Western Round-Up, Volume 1 set, a 2-disc set featuring three other films (The Texas Rangers, Canyon Passage, and The Lawless Breed). The exact same set was re-released in 2011, as part of Universal's 4 Movie Marathon DVD series, being repackaged as the "Classic Western Collection". In 2014, the film was bundled in a different Universal set, Classic Westerns, 10 Movie Collection; the only difference in this release is that no subtitles were provided on-screen.


  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1951', Variety, January 2, 1952

External links

This page was last edited on 3 February 2024, at 04:55
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