Kansas Raiders

Kansas Raiders is a 1950 Technicolor Western film distributed by Universal-International, 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.

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


Jesse James (Murphy) and his friends -- brother Frank (Richard Long), brothers Cole (James Best) and Jim Younger (Dewey Martin), plus Kit Dalton (Tony Curtis) -- 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 (Donlevy). 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 (Marguerite Chapman).

The raiders take part in the Lawrence Massacre in which Jesse and his men rob their first bank. Most of the raiders abandon Quantrill except for Jesse. Quantrill is blinded then killed in a shoot out with Union troops. Jesse leaves Kate and heads off with his friends to a bank robbing.


Home media availability

Universal first 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
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