Ang Lee’s Ride with the Devil is an astonishingly accurate recreation of the chaos of the Kansas-Missouri border war, a fiercely partisan conflict of ambushes, lynchings, robberies and ruthless extermination.
More than a half-century ago, Fred MacMurray was stopped in the street by a woman who berated him for appearing in a “dirty movie.” The movie was The Apartment, which would go on to win Academy Awards for picture, director, screenplay, editing, and art design.
Quantrill’s Raiders is filled with howling historical inaccuracies. It's basically an outlaw movie, a standard-issue studio Western. We’re talking a B movie with B movie writing, B movie acting, and B movie action.
Though it’s inspired by the Kansas-Missouri Border War and is filled with characters drawn from history, Kansas Raiders says a lot more about assemblyline Hollywood moviemaking than it does about the era which it purports to depict.