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Погоня с Дьяволом (1999) online
Original Title :
Ride with the Devil
Genre :
Movie / Drama / Romance / War / Western
Year :
Directror :
Ang Lee
Cast :
Tobey Maguire,Skeet Ulrich,Jewel Kilcher
Writer :
Daniel Woodrell,James Schamus
Budget :
Type :
Time :
2h 18min
Rating :

During the American Civil War, two friends join the Bushwhackers, a militant group loyal to the Confederacy.

Погоня с Дьяволом (1999) online

Вестерны, военные, драмы. Director: Энг Ли. Starring: Тоби Магуайр, Скит Ульрих, Джуэл Кильчер and others. Действия фильма разворачиваются в 1861 году в США, в самый разгар Гражданской войны.

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Ride with the Devil is a 1999 American Civil War Western film directed by Ang Lee, and starring Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, and Jewel in her feature film debut. The storyline was conceived from a screenplay written by James Schamus, based on the book Woe to Live On, by Daniel Woodrell. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jonathan Brandis, Jim Caviezel, and Mark Ruffalo are featured in supporting performances.

Погоня с Дьяволом Movie Posters. Ride with the Devil (1999). 95 173. Follow Us On Twitter.

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Jake Roedel and Jack Bull Chiles are friends in Missouri when the Civil War starts. Women and Blacks have few rights. Jack Bull's dad is killed by Union soldiers, so the young men join the Bushwhackers, irregulars loyal to the South. One is a Black man, Daniel Holt, beholden to the man who bought his freedom. They skirmish then spend long hours hiding. Sue Lee, a young widow, brings them food. She and Jack Bull become lovers, and when he's grievously wounded, Jake escorts her south to a safe farm. The Bushwhackers, led by men set on revenge, make a raid into Kansas. At nineteen, Jake is ill at ease with war. As his friends die one after another, he must decide where honor lies.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Tobey Maguire Tobey Maguire - Jake Roedel
Jeremy W. Auman Jeremy W. Auman - Guard
Scott Sener Scott Sener - Guard (as Scott C. Sener)
Skeet Ulrich Skeet Ulrich - Jack Bull Chiles
Glenn Q. Pierce Glenn Q. Pierce - Minister
Kathleen Warfel Kathleen Warfel - Mrs. Chiles
David Darlow David Darlow - Asa Chiles
Zan McLeod Zan McLeod - Wedding Musician - Guitar
John Whelan John Whelan - Wedding Musician - Accordion
Roger Landes Roger Landes - Wedding Musician - Mandolin
Jeffrey Dover Jeffrey Dover - Wedding Musician - Drummer
Tyler Johnson Tyler Johnson - Wedding Musician - Drummer
Kelly Werts Kelly Werts - Wedding Musician - Fiddle
Michael W. Nash Michael W. Nash - Horton Lee, Sr.
John Judd John Judd - Otto Roedel

According to Jewel Kilcher, Director Ang Lee cast her as Sue, mainly because of her crooked teeth, which he thought looked like the teeth a poor woman living in the 1860s would have.

The scenes of the Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas were filmed in Pattonsburg, Missouri. Pattonsburg was flooded out during the great flood of 1993, and the town was relocated leaving many empty buildings and homes available.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon passed on the lead role. Ultimately DiCaprio's best friend, Tobey Maguire, landed the part.

The looting and burning of Lawrence, Kansas occurred on August 21, 1863.

The novel upon which the movie is based opens with Jake participating in a lynching of a man in front of the man's family. The man's son tries to interfere, and Jake shoots the boy in the back. There is the sense that he does this in large part to gain the trust of the men in his group, many of whom see him as a foreigner, but he is criticized by some for shooting the boy in the back instead of facing him eye-to-eye.

The scene in Lawrence during which Jake points a revolver at Pitt Mackeson when Pitt tries to take a father and son out of a home appears in the movie almost exactly as it is seen in the novel. However, the final scene with Pitt Mackeson, during which Jake points rifle at Pitt after chatting with him, is quite different. In the novel, Jake chats not with Pitt but with one of Pitt's associates, and after their talk, when Jake realizes Pitt is coming up the road on horseback, Jake goes to the road and shoots at Pitt, who hides in the trees. As in the film, however, the novel ends without either Jake or Pitt killing each other. In the end, they both go their separate ways.

The final film role of Nora Denney.

In the novel, Sue Lee (played by Jewel Kilcher in the film) is described as having a chipped tooth, which Jake, as narrator, mentions more than a couple times as one of her defining physical features.

When the group buries Jack Bull Chiles in the dugout, Sue Lee kisses him on the lips before he is covered with dirt. This is in the novel and the film. But in the novel, Jake also kisses him on the lips right after Sue Lee does, which Holt scoffs or chuckles at, earning him a rebuke from Jake.

User reviews



This movie is one of the sleepers of all time. I gave it a 10 rating. The story is of the famed 'Bushwhackers' out of Missouri that fought on the side of the South during the War Between the States. The clothing they wore were authentic, the history and why they fought is very accurate and well researched. There was actually one of the battles that did not take place as they depicted... but not bad for Hollywood. The actors were well cast and were either the most brilliant of actors or the director really know how to get the best from them. I suspect it was a combination of great directing, super casting to find the right people and excellent performing by the actors. Not just one or two... this movie really jelled! It has action, romance, suspense, good guys and bad guys (sometimes depending on your individual perspective) and history all rolled into one movie. Even has the future Spiderman and Jewel. And she's good!


Easily 9 out of 10 for a film by director we will continue to grow to admire. But don't watch this movie expecting to be "entertained." Ang Lee takes an objective look at a relatively unexplored aspect of the Civil War. What is beautiful about the movie, like all of Lee's films, is that he doesn't "side" with his characters. He creates characters, embodies them with life, problems, and ambiguity ... and endows them with a reality that often hits far closer to home than with which many are comfortable. This film has action, but it is not for the action lover since the violence is deeply disturbing and far from gratuitous ... i.e. like the characters, it is real. And as you would expect about one of mankind's most horrific wars, the violence is horrific.

But as an exploration of the greater human ambiguity that surely dwelt within the Civil War, it is a masterpiece. Was the war about slavery and an abolitionism? Lee seems quite willing to blur that line made so popular in depictions like the Blue and the Grey. Neither is about idealism, though, as seen in Gone with the Wind. It is about freedom, about the desire to have something which is yours and to fight for it. As you watch the characters, you will ask yourself "how can they be fighting to preserve slavery?" The fact is, I don't think they really are, and in that the film shows the problem of why so many were caught up in the maelstrom of the Civil War.

The fact seems clear that many of the characters we learn about are fighting out of senses of loyalty to "home" though they may never have examined what home represents or whether they truly espouse its values. The letter scenes are very moving and yet subtle. Jake and Daniel are other examples of loyalty stretched to the limits. And when the tension finally snaps, and these characters find themselves suddenly "free" ... we see the birth of new men.

All this mixed in with Lee's beautiful incorporation of humankind's environment with breathtaking vistas and frames. Lee has a style which is his, somehow European in its "art" (a slow camera, unrushed), Asian in its epic-ness and development of story, and yet somehow familiar and easily accessible to so many in North Americans.

Relax, let go of your preconceptions about what the Civil War is, what the "western" as a genre is, what a war movie should be ... and let Ang Lee take you into a world so fragile, so hard, so real that few of us can comfortably see it.

In this, Lee continues what he wrought in Ice Storm. Again, the movie is slow paced and without apparent "direction" ... a sure sign of Lee's ability to direct without "imposing" himself on the story or screen. His direction is amplified by what he brings out of Jewel (yes, the singer), a hitherto unproven actress who puts in an amazing performance.

A movie for those who love film and are not lovers of the standard Hollywood epic.


Taiwanese director Ang Lee, whose previous films include 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'The Ice Storm', turned to the American Civil War for his latest feature. Based on a novel by Daniel Woodrell, it follows the exploits of a group of Southern guerrillas, known as bushwhackers, as they fight their Northern equivalents, the jayhawkers in the backwater of Missouri.

As one might expect, there is plenty of visceral action, but the focus is on the tension that the war put on the young men who fought it - many of whom were fighting against their former neighbours and even family. Jake Roedel (Tobey Maguire) is such a man, or rather, boy, as he is only seventeen when the war reaches Missouri. He is the son of a German immigrant, but instead of following his countrymen and becoming a Unionist, he joins his lifelong friend Jack Bull Chiles (Skeet Ulrich) and rides with the bushwhackers. Despite a lack of acceptance because of his ancestry and an unwillingness to participate in the murder of unarmed Union men, he remains loyal to the cause. So does his friend Daniel Holt (Jeffrey Wright), a black slave freed by another bushwhacker and so fighting for the South.

Lee handles the subject with aplomb, never rushing the deep introspection that the plot demands in favour of action and this lends the film a sense of the reality of war - long periods of boredom and waiting interposed with occasional flashes of intensely terrifying fighting. The action is unglamorised and admirably candid, recognising that both sides committed a great number of atrocities.

The performances are superb, with Maguire and Wright both courageous and dignified. Up-and-coming Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers is particularly chilling as a cold-blooded killer, while Skeet Ulrich is enjoyably suave and arrogant. Lee never flinches from the reality of war, but his actors do an admirable job of showing the good that comes from it - the growth of friendship, the demonstration of courage and, on a wider scale, the emancipation of oppressed peoples. Ride With the Devil is a beautiful and deeply compassionate film that regularly shocks but always moves the audience.


The American Civil War was marked with horrible battles that exacted a toll on humanity that numbered into the thousands; however, there were other aspects of this war that took an equally horrendous toll. The border states in this war were completely divided and often the inhabitants of these states were caught up in desperate struggles for their lives and homes.

Certainly "Ride with the Devil" does not feature the epic battle scenes that "Gettysburg" brought to the screen, but it does give an excellent insight as to how everyday people dealt with the total destruction of their lives.

"Ride with the Devil" certainly gives a fresh and unique perspective of the Civil War. It is to the movies credit that it fully explores the tedium of life experienced by the common combatant who faced moments of tremendous anxiety while in combat and the long dull periods of no action.

Furthermore, I am really tired of movie critics harping on the dialects and language used in the movie. Well folks I hate to tell you, but in the 19th Century people generally spoke in the manner that this film depicts. I believe that the language in the film is one of its finest points.

Ang Lee went to great pains in making this one of the finest period pieces that I have encountered. Mr. Lee used hundreds of Civil War re-enactors and took great care in making sure that his principle actors, sets, and scenery looked the part. The movie was filmed in Missouri and Kansas and captures the scenic beauty of this area.

The actors are of a fine calibre and should be recognized for their outstanding performances. Considerable kudos should go to Tobey Maguire and Geoffrey Wright. They both were believable in their mannerisms and dialect. Tobey Maguire is outstanding in his use of period language.

All in all the movie is great. Since it wasn't on the big screen long we can only hope that the video will arrive soon. Sometimes it is refreshing to go and see a movie that is about real people and events that really happened.


As someone interested in 19th century American history I had to get this movie on DVD. It took forever to arrive but was well worth the wait..... I think. The qualification is added because I found it ... odd. Appparently accurate, literate, well acted but most of all unpredictable. I shall resist the temptation to write "spoilers" but suffice it to say there were more obvious "Hollywood" ways of dealing with many of the plot twists. Put another way, this movie is very well written. As "Gods and Generals" dealt with this horrible war at the level of general officers, this movie deals with it at the level of privates and irregulars. Is it too much of a soap opera? Not really. Is it unsatisfying in its dealing with evil? No, but it is unexpected. Is this a great movie? I don't know, but it is a good one.


My great-grandfather J.W. Daugherty was a very young teenager during the civil war in Missouri. While still twelve he was put to work as a mule-skinner by one of the "black-flag" bands of bushwackers around Cedar County, in southern Missouri. He later mastered the use of the six-shooter, and rode with Quantrill. He claimed to have ridden with Jesse and Frank James during and after the war, but every man of his generation made the same claim. Were all the claims true, it would probably be about fifty thousand in all who rode with the James boys.

J.W. claimed not to have been present during the burning of Lawrence, but so did everybody else. With so many thousand occupied in riding with the brothers James, it is passing strange that so few managed to be present during the actual burning of Lawrence, the single most important action of the Quantrill band.

I am, incidentally, named after Lawrence, that appellation being my first name.

J.W. claimed it was the James brothers who invented the idea of gripping the reins in their teeth while firing both revolvers, thereby availing oneself of a full twelve rounds in flight. J.W. ended up being the champion fiddler of Missouri, losing that title only when jealous rivals shut him out of the fiddling contests because he could read music.

Another great-grandfather of mine was James Quinn, a young captain of the Union calvery. This was a Missouri militia unit, but militias on the border often saw more action that regular units back east. His job was to guard the railroads from the "highway agents" who even then were perfecting the feat of robbing the trains of yankee gold sent south for payroll.

James and J.W. were supposed to have been on opposite sides during the Battle of Wilson's Creek, but it is impossible to know for sure. I have copies of Union orders for Captain James Quinn, having to do with the bandits operating in southern Missouri.

This film, RIDE WITH THE DEVIL, is one of the truly great American films, and the only one that even begins to get close to the feeling of the border wars, the bushwacking, the betrayals, and the split families. In Missouri, the Civil War was hell on earth, breaking every family apart at least once.

Toby McGuire is overwhelming in his grasp of the teenage border warrior who has known nothing else but killing, and who finally decides to make a new life in California. Jewel is astonishing as the young survivor widowed twice, but full of life and a desire to live it to the fullest.

The historical details are almost always spot on, and the faces of the men and women are disturbingly like what they must have been in those terrible days.

But finally, it is the script that is almost unbelievable in its power. Even when one or two words are wrong, the scriptwriter manages to somehow capture the mood and the rhythms of 19th-century speech in that part of the country, in all its humor and deep fatalism and courtesy--and yes, its cruelty too.

This is the first work of art that made me feel something close to what my great-grandfathers must have gone through. They left many stories and written records behind, but such autobiographies conceal as much as they reveal, especially about the violence and its traumatizing effects of the young males who experienced it.

I am grateful to the makers of this film, the script-writer, the author of the original book WOE TO LIVE ON, the actors and others who created RIDE WITH THE DEVIL and somehow managed to make it such a stunning work of art. To them I am thankful for bringing me closer to ancestors who made me what I am; and who--for better or worse--made this country what it is.

Lawrence Swaim


I've watched this movie twice now on DVD, and both times it didn't fail to impress me with its unique impartial attitude. It seems more like a depiction of reality than most other Hollywood fare, especially on a topic that is still hotly discussed. Even though it sticks closely with the southern viewpoint, it doesn't fail to question it, and in the end the only sentence passed is that the war is lost, not matter what, and cruelty is a common denominator.

What really makes this movie outstanding is the refusal to over-dramatize. Nowadays truly good movies (in a nutshell) are few and far apart, with mainstream fare being enjoyable (if you don't have high expectations), but terribly commercially spirited. I think this movie comes off as a truly good movie (without being a masterpiece), because it sticks to itself, and gives the viewer a chance to watch and analyze it, instead of wanting to bombard him with effect and emotion to blot out his intelligence. This movie is cool, observant, and generally light-handed in its judgement, which is GOOD.

The story has its flaws, especially Jewel's Character comes off doubtfully, but then again the situation at the time was so chaotic, that for a young widow it might have been only logical to somehow get back into a normal life, even by liberally taking each next guy. Still she doesn't come off as weak, in fact I think she's one of the stronger characters, she's always in control of the relationships, with the men just tagging. And I take it very gratefully that she's not a weeping widow. I believe in the 19th century death of a loved one was something a lot more normal than now. You could die so easily of even minor illnesses and injuries, so the prospect of of someone dying, while surely causing grief, didn't traumatise people like it does now. People didn't seem to build shrines about their lost ones like they do now, and I like that attitude.

My recommendation is for intelligent people to watch this movie, if they are in the mood for something different than the usual hollywood fare. Don't watch if if you want non-stop action or heart-renting emotion.


Ride with the Devil is directed by Ang Lee and adapted to screenplay by James Schamus (also producer) from the novel "Woe to Live On" written by Daniel Woodrell. It stars Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jeffrey Wright, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Simon Baker, James Caviezel and Jewel. Music is by Mychael Danna and cinematography by Frederick Elmes.

"On the Western Frontier of Missouri, the American Civil War was fought not by armies, but by neighbours. Informal gangs of local Southern Bushwhackers fought a bloody and desperate Guerrilla war against the occupying Union Army and pro-Union Jayhawkers. Allegiance to either side was dangerous. But it was more dangerous still to find oneself caught in the middle"

Made for $38 million and intended to be a sweeping epic for the summer blockbuster crowd, Ride with the Devil was a considerable financial flop. With a limited release both in America and abroad, the financial figures are hardly surprising. More so considering it was given next to no promotion by the distributors. Factor in a little controversy about the events featured in the story, some cuts made by the studio (Lee didn't have final cut) and a delay in home release formats because the distributor incredibly wanted Jeffrey Wright's presence removed from the cover art! Well you would be forgiven for thinking that the film has to be something of a stinker. Not so say I.

Part rites of passage drama, part reflective war movie, Ang Lee's film is a grand film viewing experience. Dealing as it does with the often forgotten part of the war down on the Missouri/Kansas border, where Lee also shoots on location, film manages to be both savage and lyrical in equal measure. The savagery comes with the fights, bloody, frenetic and high on potency, while the lyricism comes with the human relationships, internal conflicts and the political awareness of the men (boys) fighting for their cause. All given deft treatment by Schamus, whose screenplay contains crisp period dialogue and a narrative correctly showing that this part of the war was not just driven by racist Dixie's hell bent on revenge, violent lust and political allegiance, but often for family, land and rights. Picture is at pains to let us know the youth of the main characters, ramming home the point of boys forced to become men, killing machines, very quickly. Case in point, the culmination of the violence in the film that comes by way of the Lawrence Massacre, a tragic and upsetting slaughter that saw 180 people murdered under the leadership of a vengeful William Quantrill (John Ales). Lee and Schamus aren't interested in showing heroism in this particular war, they show it as futile, nasty and it leaves the taste of bile in the throat.

From here the film slows considerably, as the lead characters withdraw from the action of war, to awakenings and friendships forming. It's here where Lee is at his best. No great director of action, as evidenced by the previously mentioned Lawrence Massacre; which lacks the cutting edge to really grab us by the throat and never let go, but for human interest aspects and bucolic scenes with characters framed within, Lee owes film fans absolutely nothing. The latter of which he is aided considerably by Elmes' widescreen photography. Ulrich and pop star Jewel nicely handle their parts, he puts a confident swagger into Jack Bull Chiles, she is tender and unassuming in the pivotal female role of Sue Lee Shelley. Caviezel gives Black John Ambrose a brooding menace, while Jonathan Rhys-Meyers is on overdrive as sadistic loony Pitt Mackeson. But it's with Maguire and Wright that the acting plaudits go. Maguire has arguably never been better, he gives Jake Roedel an effective sensitivity as a virginal boy receives a violent initiation into manhood. Wright is sublime, said to be one of his favourite performances, Wright as freed slave Daniel Holt is the heart beat of the film. Conveying most of the good traits available to man, Holt fights not just out of loyalty to his friend George Clyde (Baker), but to gain ultimate catharsis in is life. It's a beautiful measured turn from Wright, and it deserves more appreciative attention.

The last third of it may be too talky for some, and a couple of dangling narrative threads left unanswered stop it from being a masterpiece. But it's close to being just that, a savage, beautiful and lyrical movie. The stupid studio execs had no idea: Putz's. 9/10


In anticipation of Ang Lee's new movie "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," I saw this at blockbuster and figured I'd give it a try. A civil war movie is not the typical movie I watch. Luckily though, I had a good feeling about this director. This movie was wonderfully written. The dialogue is in the old southern style, yet doesn't sound cornily out of place and outdated. The spectacular acting helped that aspect of the movie. Toby Maguire was awesome. I thought he was good (but nothing special) in Pleasantville, but here he shines. I have always thought of Skeet Ulrich as a good actor (but nothing special), but here he is excellent as well. The big shocker for me was Jewel. She was amazingly good. Jeffrey Wright, who I had never heard of before, is also excellent in this movie. It seems to me that great acting and great writing and directing go hand in hand. A movie with bad writing makes the actors look bad and visa versa. This movie had the perfect combination. The actors look brilliant and the character development is spectacular. This movie keeps you wishing and hoping good things for some and bad things for others. It lets you really get to know the characters, which are all very dynamic and interesting. The plot is complex, and keeps you on the edge of your seat, guessing, and ready for anything at any time. Literally dozens of times I was sure someone was going to get killed on silent parts in the movie that were "too quiet" (brilliant directing). This was also a beautifully shot movie. The scenery was not breath taking (It's in Missouri and Kansas for goodness sakez) but there was clearly much attention put into picking great nature settings. Has that rough and rugged feel, but keeps an elegance, which is very pleasant on the eyes. The movie was deep. It told a story and in doing so made you think. It had layers underneath that exterior civil war story. Specifically, it focused on two characters that were not quite sure what they were fighting for. There were many more deep issues dealt with in this movie, too many to pick out. It was like a beautifully written short story, filled with symbolism and artistic extras that leaves you thinking during and after the story is done. If you like great acting, writing, lots of action, and some of the best directing ever, see this movie! Take a chance on it.


Ride with the Devil, like Ang Lee's later Brokeback Mountain, is a film of aesthetic and historical importance. Film lovers ought to see it at minimum twice as its artistic nuance is worthy to be over comprehended.

A perfect piece of art, surprising depth of humanity. I really don't recall another war film, will so capture you, will change your existing conception of history and politics, will restore your belief in humanity. After seeing so many killings, so many sufferings , you don't feel yourself numb, instead you treasure the bond between human beings more. The actors' performances haunt your heart, the music drives your mind. Some shoots, are not just some pictures, they transcend themselves, becoming the seeing of soul. Such is the true sense of film being a genre of art.

A film like this doesn't need long comments or reviews, everything it says by itself. Ovation to the cast which includes Tobey Maguire, Jeffrey Wright and Jewel Kilcher, the cinematographer and the composer of the beautiful and lyrical music, what an achievement!


Ride With the Devil has something rich and special, if you can stand the slow development. While tackling a dark, gritty subject, the brutal guerrilla war in the American West during its Civil War (which in turned spawned the outlaws of the old west of the 1870s), the movie maintains a strangely satisfying, unmanipulated atmosphere. What I'm refering to is the tendency of films' music and lighting to make you feel the mood you'd expect to feel. But RWTD instead has a relatively upbeat soundtrack, and lets the words and action do the talking set the mood rather than manipulation of the viewer's senses.

As an enthusast of this particular area of CW history, I'm greatly impressed with the accuracy of the film. The diologue is expertly written, (even with subtle humor occasionally) with references to bushwhackers and previous boarder battles (Independence for example...A far cry from the Oregon Trail!). The minor events that occur to Jake's band are similar to actual events that took place...Especially the attack when they're holed up in the house, and the destruction of the store/booth. The battle scenes, though rare, are pretty well executed. It even has the first CW cavalry battle put on film recently.

The directing shows the talent everyone expects of Ang Lee in subtle ways. Example: The character of Black John is shown taunting a Lawrence resident during the massacre: "Where's your army? Who are we to fight!? Who are we to fight?! (The shot then switches to a trio of Confederate Regulars standing, doing nothing to stop the carnage while the voice continues) You are cowards all!" Who are the cowards, really? Little touches like that really enhance the movie's quality.

There are no major glaring areas in the history, something that can not be said of the masterpiece of film Glory, which was basically fiction within the context of the major events it follows. Some minor problems include the fact that the years as shown by the events represented don't add up. But you will never notice that. A larger curiosity is the fact that the only African-American man-at-arms character in the film is the quasi-slave fighting for Jake and his Confederate bushwhackers. It is true that some blacks did fight for the Confederacy out there, including one who scouted Lawrence for Quantrill before the attack (Who would suspect him?). Though this black rebel is a fasinating character (whatever PC African-Americans might think of him), not a single black Union infantryman is seen in the film, which would have been more represenative of the black experience in the Western CW. One of the first black regiments of the CW was raised in Kansas (by the murderer Senator Jim Lane, and before the 54th Mass. Reg. of fame was organized), and black troops in such battles as Baxter Springs, KS, played a critical role.

No glaring historical errors. Good, realistic action, which is infrequent and not gratitous. Good Directing. This film may not be the blockbusters other recent Civil War were, but it's the cleanest job of any.


I found this film valuable mainly because it has that rare quality that films made in America or about America usually do not: The mannerisms and language spoken by the characters is finely attuned and accurate to the period. It is dismaying how many films just do not get this right, and it ruins everything. If you want to see a film about the Civil War and feel like you've had a glimpse into history, watch Ride With The Devil. THIS is how people acted, and talked. There is a plethora of films about 19th century America in which the script and the dialogue is of the usual ridiculously anachronistic variety (that is, people did not say things like "Okay, that sounds like a plan!" in 1950-- let alone 1850!). Verisimilitude is the 10 dollar word for it, and it does wonders for the enjoyment of a movie. I might add that another movie that comes to mind that has a similar "you are there" accuracy to the script and dialogue is that masterpiece by Martin Scorsese "Gangs of New York." "Ride With the Devil" is worthwhile also because it DOES NOT follow the usual and hackneyed rules of movie story-telling. If you just want to enjoy the usual predictable anecdote, don't see this film. If you like a little truthfulness and true-to-life unpredictability, "Ride With the Devil" will convince you. It figures it takes an intelligent foreigner to make a really decent movie about the Civil War. Having said that, there yet remains to be made THE classic Civil War film. Mr Scorsese, are you listening?



Skeet Ulrich is great in this Civil War drama, and got top billing. But this is really Tobey Maguire's movie. He is magnificent in this film. This is my favorite TM movie, and my favorite TM performance.

Ang Lee is also one of my favorite directors, thanx to this film. I loved THE ICE STORM and CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, but this film is the best of the three. Many people say this is historically inacurate, but I've done some research and I don't see more than one or two minor little flawed details. Anyway, I don't know what historical period piece HASN'T been criticized and called inaccurate.

Ulrich and Maguire lead a great cast that includes Jewel Kilcher, James Caviezel, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Tom Wilkinson, and the outstanding Jeffrey Wright as the "semi" slave who befriends Maguire's character.

The story centers on the moral tug of war going on inside a young Missouri man named Jake Roedell (Maguire) who, being of German decent, is looked on with scorn and suspicion by Confederate people he lives with, even though he is Confederate thinking. His father is Unionist, and after Roedell joins an army of "bushwackers", going on vengeful killing sprees far from home, his father stops talking to him. His friend Jack Bull Childs (Ulrich) protects him whenever their peers start harrassing Jake about being German. The one who does the worst harrassing is Pitt Mackeson (a very campy but fierce performance by Rhys-Meyers).

There is a lot of violence and some shocking moments, including but not limited to: the loss of a finger, being shot thru the face (oh!!!), the death of a father, and the long, painful death of one of the main cast members. But amid all the violence there remains a poetic, graceful humanity. Someone describes the scenes of the Missouri and Kansas woods as "pastoral". I agree completely. It's weird to see bloody battles occuring in lovely green meadows rather than in concrete settings.

Whatever critics don't like this film, it remains to me one of the best new westerns ever made, in the ranks of Tombstone and Dances With Wolves. I recommend it highly.


The War Between the States was perhaps the darkest hour in the history of America; a war that pitted brother against brother and family against family and left scars that even today have not yet healed, and in all probability never will. And, as in any story about any war, beyond any historical significance it is the personal discord behind the greater conflict that creates the emotional impetus that makes it involving. It is the human element that renders the context necessary to give it perspective, which is what director Ang Lee provides in `Ride With the Devil,' a Civil War drama in which he focuses on the personal travails within the broader depiction of the War itself, and along the way manages to include an examination of one of the bloodiest chapters of the War, the infamous raid on Lawrence, Kansas, by Quantrill and his raiders, which he succeeds in presenting quite objectively from the Confederate point-of-view.

In 1863, the Union influence predominates in the State of Kansas, and even across the border in neighboring Missouri, those with Confederate loyalties are finding it increasingly difficult to hold out against the encroaching Northerners, especially without the aid of what could be considered any `regular' Confederate troops. And when things begin to really heat up around their own town, Jack Bull Chiles (Skeet Ulrich) and Jake Roedel (Tobey Maguire) form a band of their own and join in the fray, doing damage to the Union cause wherever it is practicable. Jack Bull and Jake do not like the War and do not like killing; but they are standing up for what they believe to be right.

There are others, however, even among their own, men like the young Pitt Mackeson (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), who will use the conflict as a vehicle for personal gain and as nothing more than an excuse to express their own violent nature through unnecessary brutality, perpetrated in many instances against innocent victims. And so, for Jack Bull and Jake, as well as many just like them, it becomes a time in which loyalty and moral judgments will be sorely tested; a time during which their souls will be tempered in blood. And they will have to ride with the very Devil himself, against seemingly insurmountable odds.

As with all of his films, director Ang Lee approaches his story through an incisive, yet subtle examination of the traditions, cultural aspects and moral attitudes of the people and times he is depicting. And in so doing, Lee provides his audience with at least some understanding of his subject that goes beyond the actual story and ultimately offers, perhaps, a deeper grasp of the motivations that propel his characters and the drama in which they are engaged. Whether it's the traditions and customs that account for the relationship between a father and his daughters (`Eat Drink Man Woman'), the effects of class distinction (`Sense and Sensibility'), the honor and code by which a warrior lives and dies (`Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon') or the moral ambiguities fostered by a lack of all of the above (`The Ice Storm'), Lee infuses his films with insights into the human condition that take them to a higher level. This film is no exception; and (as he does with all his films), Lee presents his story with the aid of breathtaking cinematography (in this film, by Frederick Elmes, who also did `The Ice Storm' brilliantly), which under his guidance is nothing less than visual poetry. It's that special Lee touch, and it adds a wistful, reflective sense to whatever story he is telling, which is one of the elements that make his films so memorable.

As Jake, Tobey Maguire initially brings a sense of youthful innocence to the film that contrasts so effectively with the maturity he conveys later on as the story develops, and his character along with it. Most importantly, Maguire convincingly and believably responds to the events that unfold around him, which adds to the credibility of the overall film and underscores the realism of the presentation: His stoic acceptance of death and the news of those `murdered' in the various skirmishes and battles; the moral propriety to which those he encounters adhere, even in such troubled times; the betrayal, which because of the nature of the conflict is almost commonplace; and the loyalty and beliefs to which he and his companions cling adamantly. It is all of this that Maguire achieves through his performance, and it is no small accomplishment. It is, however, the kind of studied, understated performance that is often taken for granted, which is unfortunate; work like this is worthy of acclaim, and should be recognized.

Skeet Ulrich is effective, as well, as Jack Bull, and Jewel (in her motion picture debut) turns in an engaging performance as Sue Lee Shelley. It is Jeffrey Wright, however, who stands out in a notable supporting role as Daniel Holt, as well as Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who brings a chilling Christopher Walken-like menace to his role of Pitt. Also, in what amounts to a cameo role (one scene), Mark Ruffalo leaves an indelible impression with very little screen time.

The supporting cast includes James Caviezel (Black John), Simon Baker (George Clyde), Tom Guiry (Riley), Tom Wilkinson (Orton Brown), John Ales (Quantrill), John Judd (Otto Roedel) and Kathleen Warfel (Mrs. Chiles). The Civil War will forever be an open wound upon the nation; but hopefully, as time goes on, it will be through the objective contemplations of filmmakers like Ang Lee and films like `Ride With the Devil' that will ultimately help to close the schism and promote healing. In light of more recent events, it is something that is sorely needed, worldwide. Film is a powerful medium; it can be educational as well as entertaining, and perhaps in the future more filmmakers, like Ang Lee, will embrace and promote a sense of unity through the sensitive depiction of the events and attitudes that make us what we are. 8/10.


The most succinct way to describe Ride With The Devil is with but one word: authenticity. I will not rehash what has already been said about this wonderous film, but I would like to say how much the historical research and painstaking attention to detail the crew no doubt went through was appreciated by this filmgoer.

As a student of history familiar with the period and setting of this film, I must say that this production is one of the most accurate fictional films regarding "bleeding Kansas". Yes there were liberties taken on the actual events, as all fiction is apt to do. But the overall feel of the film is genuine. Authentic costumes, authentic attitudes (no PC hindsight here) even the actors look authentic.Even Jewel Kilcher (who has a small part in the film) looked like she stepped form a mid 19th century photograph.

A few viewers I talked with have expressed their incredulity at the stylized dialog. They cannot believe that 19th century farmers would "talk like poets".

What they don't realize is that in this age of verbal slobbishness, the American public public of the 19th century was a surprisingly literate and eloquent bunch. These people were raised on Shakespeare and the King James version of the Bible. The screenwriters reconstructed the most likely verbal styles of these people, judging from documentation of the time. The stylized dialog just adds to the magical atmosphere of the film.

But in addition to a historical document, this film works on a visceral level as well. Beautifully photographed and performed, it harkens back to the days of the great western epics. The raid on Lawrence, Kansas, done so many times before in so many other, lesser films is portrayed with a sense of urgency that puts the viewer right in the midst of the action.

Romance, adventure, moral and ethical conflict.This film has everything a discerning moviegoer could want.

In a year that was dominated by overhyped garbage like American Beauty, this great artwork was buried by an indifferent studio system. But I am certain that Ride With The Devil will be given it's due in the coming years. Please rent this film. You will not be disappointed.


Interesting movie based on a novel by Daniel Woodrell and professionally directed by Ang Lee . It deals with Jake Roedel (Tobey Maguire) and Jack Bull (Skeet Ulrich) , two friends living in Missouri when the Civil War bursts out . Jack Bull's dad is murdered by Jayhawkers , so the young men join the Bushwhackers to fight Union soldiers . Bushwhackers are irregulars loyal to the South led by Black John (Jim Caviezel) and the violent Pitt Mackeson (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) , besides George Clyde (Simon Baker). One of them is an African-American , Daniel Holt (Jeffrey Wright), beholden to the man who bought his freedom . They are a little-known band of Civil War fighters known as Bushwhackers . They skirmish then spend long hours hiding. Sue Lee (Jewel), a young widow , brings them supplies . She and Jack Bull become lovers and when he's grievously wounded , Jake escorts her south to a safe farm . Later on , there takes place the looting and burning of Lawrence , Kansas , actually occurred on 21 August 1863 also known as Quantrill's Raid . As his friends die one after another, Jake must decide where honor lies .

Exciting film based on historical events set during American Civil War (1861-1865) in which the Bushwhackers use guerrilla warfare to destroy Yankee targets and led by men set on revenge, make a raid into Kansas. The picture efficiently describes the atmosphere of violence in which Women and Blacks have few rights, confrontation among bands and bloody battles . Emotive and evocative musical score by Mychael Danna . Colorful and adequate cinematography by Frederick Elmes. Very good production design , including breathtaking attacks and battles ; the scenes of the Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas were filmed in Pattonsburg, Missouri , Pattonsburg was flooded out during the great flood of 1993 and the town was relocated leaving many empty buildings and homes available . The motion picture was well directed by Ang Lee (Brokeback mountain , Sense and Sensibility , Hulk , Crouching tiger , hidden dragon).

The flick based on real deeds , these are the followings : The Lawrence Massacre, was a rebel guerrilla attack during the U.S. Civil War by Quantrill's Raiders, led by William Clarke Quantrill, on the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas. The attack on August 21, 1863, targeted Lawrence due to the town's long support of abolition and its reputation as a center for Jayhawkers and Redlegs, which were free-state militia and vigilante groups known for attacking and destroying farms and plantations in Missouri's pro-slavery western counties .By 1863, Kansas had long been the center of strife and warfare over the admission of slave versus free states. In the summer of 1856, the first sacking of Lawrence sparked a guerrilla war in Kansas that lasted for months. John Brown might be the best known participant, but numerous groups fought for each side in Bleeding Kansas.By the beginning of the American Civil War, Lawrence, Kansas, was already a target for pro-slavery ire, having been seen as the anti-slavery stronghold in the state and more importantly, a staging area for Union and Jayhawker incursions into Missouri. Initially the town and surrounding area were extremely vigilant and reacted strongly to any rumors that enemy forces might be advancing on the town. However by the summer of 1863, as none of the threats had materialized, citizen fears had declined and defense preparations were relaxed.Quantrill himself said his motivation for the attack was, "To plunder, and destroy the town in retaliation for Osceola. That was a reference to the Union's attack on Osceola, Missouri in September 1861, led by Senator James H. Lane.The attack was the product of careful planning. Quantrill had been able to gain the confidence of many of the leaders of independent Bushwhacker groups, and chose the day and time of the attack well in advance. The different groups of Missouri riders approached Lawrence from the east in several independent columns, and converged with well-timed precision in the final miles before Lawrence during the pre-dawn hours of the chosen day. Many of the men had been riding for over 24 hours to make the rendezvous and had lashed themselves to their saddles to keep riding if they fell asleep. Almost all were armed with multiple six-shot revolvers.Lawrence in ruins as illustrated in Harper's WeeklyBetween three and four hundred riders arrived at the summit of Mount Oread, then descended on Lawrence in a fury. Over four hours, the raiders pillaged and set fire to the town and killed most of its male population. Quantrill's men burned to the ground a quarter of the buildings in Lawrence, including all but two businesses. They looted most of the banks and stores and killed between 185 and 200 men and boys .


For those who commented on The Patriot as being accurate, (Which basically satanised the English), it was interesting to see this film. By all accounts this was the bloodiest war that Americans have ever been involved in, and they were the only nationality present. It was therefore very refreshing to see something resembling historical accuracy coming from that side of the Atlantic that did not paint America as either martyrs or saviours. All in all though what this film did bring home was the true horrors of any conflict, and how how whatever acts are committed in war only breed worse acts, often culminating in the suffering of the innocent. This was not a film where you cheered anybody on but both pitied and loathed all.
Hidden Winter

Hidden Winter

Ang Lee's historical homework is something to behold. You can always tell how well a director does his homework by how accurate the dialogue is. This dialogue is spot on. The complexity of the characters of both the North and the South are refreshingly accurate. The only people (IMO) who don't like this movie would be the ones whose preconceived notions about the Civil War do not fit with facts, which this movie accurately portrays. Don't take my word for it; this movie won the award for the best historical movie of the year (1999). If you don't like period pieces don't watch this movie, but if you do, this is beyond compare. Great Movie!!


Although the title to this film is pretty awful, the rest of it truly impressed me. I was pleasantly surprised by the deftly written dialogue, powerful acting, beautiful camera work, and interesting perspective. I usually pass on war films, but was drawn to see Ang Lee's take on the Civil War. It's well done and worth seeing.


The star of this film is the screenplay. Attention to detail for the period in dress, language ,social mores ( we don't hurt women) and the politics are remarkable. It is a reminder of Kosovo to-day. The subtle pieces in the action scenes are there for an attentive viewer and the choreography of these action sequences is superb. Perhaps this film is to close to the bone of reality to earn the support it should have received. It is like a staircase of increasing violence with well paced pauses of peace and serenity between each step. A great film....


This film is more accurately about the Civil War as experienced in Kansas and Missouri. Some of the fiercest sectional fighting took place in that part of the country and has never been well known. The war as seen from the southern perspective could only have been accomplished by a non-American, and Ang Lee certainly does that. Divided loyalties, father against son, neighbor against neighbor, a black man (Jeremy Wright) who is fighting for the South, and terrible atrocities on both sides make up the heart of this authentic and beautiful film. Be prepared for great battle skirmishes with realistic blood wounds and death, including an arm amputation.

I liked the dialect of the actors; it was true to the period.

RIDE WITH THE DEVIL did not strike a false note. I liked it very much and would highly recommend it.


I really loved this film, Ride With The Devil. Let me add that I was totally unprepared for the impact this film had upon me as I had virtually no prior knowledge of it. The moody cinematography was splendid and rich...like dark chocolate. And I especially loved the dialogue which was exceptional in that it was so relaxed and yet crackled with intelligence. It was authentic in that it was accurate in phrasing and slang usage from the American English of the time and place. (I have read and heard many soldiers' Civil War diaries.) Also, you can't help but notice that the mini-balls from the battle scenes' guns actually whizzed and zipped, cutting into tree branches and thudding into dirt. This was a truly beautiful film, in spite of its admittedly sad theme. The performances were all outstanding with Jewel surprising me. All told, if you are a Civil War buff and a film lover, see this movie...see it on DVD if possible as the surround sound is awesome for the action scenes.


RWTD was meant to be as historically accurate as possible. The research that went into this production was precise, down to the creation of Lawrence, KS, using the little abandoned town of Pattonsberg, MO as the basic pattern, and dressing it from there. Signage and storefronts were reproduced from photographs of the period, and the town was spot on, including the dirt streets - dirt was hauled in to cover the original macadam to a depth of a foot, in order to prevent serious injury to horses and riders, as well as to maintain accuracy.

Language - anyone who has studied language of this period knows how accurate this production was. People spoke in what would be considered stilted today, only because we have become slaves to slang. Read text of the period to verify this.

Events - read the history of the timetable of events. RWTD went blow-for-blow with history to repeat the story, from the gathering of bushwhackers to their demise. It's not pretty, but war seldom is.

Characters - again, there were thousands of each type of character throughout the area. History research is your friend. The little drama of Jewell - well, those things still happen.

The Stuff - all wardrobe, hair, weapons, tack, tactics,etc., were reviewed daily by Any Lee and his assistants. Ang Lee is a bear for accuracy. Believe it.

As far as the political ramifications, and why the film did not fare well initially, a few thoughts. It has been said that the NAACP was unhappy with the portrayal of a black man seen as a fighter for the confederacy, and was ready to protest that issue in the press. This may or may not be hearsay, but I heard it from people in production before and after the film was released, so take that as you will.

I worked on the production from almost start to finish in Misouri and Kansas. It was the most historically accurate production I've ever worked on, and I am pleased to have been a part of it. I also enjoyed the final result, and wish it would get more play, although I do believe history will be kind to it.


Strangely enough this movie never made it to the big screen in Denmark, so I had to wait for the video release. My expectations where high but they where in no way disappointed. As always with Ang Lee there is fantastic acting, an intelligent and thrilling plot that has you guessing right till the end and superb filming. Along with Unforgiven this is easily one of the two best westerns of the 90`s.

People who expect something along the line of Mel Gibson in The Patriot(corny) or Braveheart(acceptable) will be sourly disappointed, all others who appreciate the above mentioned qualities will have a fantastic time watching it. 9 out of 10.


This film is replete with many accurate, if even subtle factors. I agree with one who said, "A fresh and unique perspective."

Hat etiquette; the approach of a woman, the mention of death, many topics cause the hats to come off. Certainly a woman entering a room was the basis of a remarkable display of respect with the removal of all male headgear. A notable subtle aspect such as the touching of one's hat brim in front of the brow with the right hand as a display of respect and compliment. This was a commonly performed function.

The language is prominently gracious, elegant and superior. It demonstrated a period of times with exceeding consideration. Such language, its dialects and delivery still exist today in a few areas, even here in Kansas but more so in Southern areas still reverent to the real issues of the Civil War. Some of this is mentioned in other reviews.

The funniest moment in the film is the discussion where Holt is offered Turner's bacon. His reply was, "I could eat more." When Jake Roedel received the same offer from George Clyde, he was told, "Well, I'll ---- it out by the oak tree tomorrow and you can help yourself."

There is historical accuracy about the founding, and the reason for Lawrence is sound. Topographically it is less than 15 miles from the slave Capitol of Kansas which existed in Lecompton. Proximity to the issues was an everyday point suffered by both sides as it was dangerous to be known as showing allegiance to either side.

This dangerous discord in Kansas spilled over into the issue of its coming into the Union on one side or the other. Skirmishes such as portrayed in the film are totally accurate in what was called "Bloody Kansas." Its motto even speaks of these times and its joining the Union: "Ad Astra per Astra," or "To the Stars, Through Difficulty."

Jewel's speaking voice has a "bell-like" quality which leaves a resounding impression, even after the end of her speaking. She is an example of exceptional acting which must certainly derive, aside from acting training, to her many years performing on stage. Every scene she appears in leaves this writer spellbound. I regard her best work in the extended scenes at the end of the film, after she and Jake Roedel are married. The exchanges with Pitt Mackeson between Jake and her switch rapidly from confrontation and memory of past events and pronouncements to a more civil conversation, almost forgiving in which Jewel's acting skill carries much of the heightened anticipation of the next series of exchanges, what they may be and what their content will promote.

Others have spoken remarkably accurate about the portrayals by other actors.

I don't know of another film which addresses this period and location. While not truly a Civil War film, it is a must-see for those aficionados.