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Ride with the Devil


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Product Details

  • Actors: Tobey Maguire, Skeet Ulrich, Jewel, Jeffrey Wright, Tom Wilkinson
  • Directors: Ang Lee
  • Writers: James Schamus
  • Producers: Ted Hope, Robert F. Colesberry, James Schamus
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: July 18, 2000
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (205 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783241909
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,203 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Ride with the Devil" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Jewel "What's Simple is True" Music Video
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Recommendations

  • Editorial Reviews

    Product Description

    Ride With The Devil follows four people who are fighting for truth and justice amidst the turmoil of the American Civil War. Director Ang Lee takes us to a no man's land on the Missouri/Kansas border where a staunch loyalist (Skeet Ulrich), an immigrant's son (Tobey Maguire), a freed slave (Jeffrey Wright) and a young widow (Jewel) form an unlikely friendship as they learn how to survive in an uncertain time, in a place without rules and redefine the meaning of bravery and honor.

    Amazon.com

    Great period pictures make you feel as if you've stepped into another era, heard its language, breathed its spirit, and come away with a fresh perspective on that time as well as your own. Ride with the Devil is one of those special films--why wasn't it more widely embraced by reviewers and filmgoers? Did it rely too much on our patience for slow accumulation of unforced rhythms and meanings (as opposed to The Patriot, which "moved" audiences with cattle-prod simplicity and manipulation)? Ride with the Devil--smart, handsome, tenderly awed by how individual lives get ambushed by history--is ripe for rediscovery.

    The Civil War of battlefields and plantation houses is nowhere to be seen here. Instead we see the war as an improvised and largely blundering but very bloody feud among neighbors in the border state of Missouri. In this bucolic war zone--more than a little reminiscent of the Balkans in the late 1990s--the Taiwanese-born director Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility) traces the destinies of several young Southern bushwhackers (guerrilla fighters) as they experience violence, the seasons, and different kinds of love. Skeet Ulrich draws the aristocratic glamour role (and top billing), but he's overshadowed by Tobey Maguire as a first-generation American, the magnificent Jeffrey Wright (a shameful oversight at Oscar time) as a freed slave fighting beside his former master, and singer Jewel in a very natural acting debut as the young widow who graces all their lives. The title The Birth of a Nation was already taken, but by the end of this movie you feel it would have applied here. -- Richard T. Jameson

    Customer Reviews

    A great story of the Civil War, intelligently cast, well written, and acted.
    David W. Moore
    The divided state of Missouri becomes a land for Confederate and Union Guerillas during the Civil War which allows for destruction, murder, mayhem and disorder.
    Todd E. Newman
    It is beautifully filmed, skillfully acted, intelligently written, and tells its story with fairness and perspective.
    Theo Logos

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    156 of 160 people found the following review helpful By Theo Logos on May 1, 2005
    Format: DVD
    Thus reasoned young bushwhacker Jake Roedel, (Tobey Maguire) summing up the condition of his native Missouri, torn apart by savage guerilla warfare, as neighbor fought and killed neighbor during the Civil War. This outstanding movie manages to take much the same attitude as it tells the tale of this troubling period that has usually been handled in a much more partisan manner.

    The Civil War in Missouri was particularly terrible, as the loyalties and interests of the population split between the Union and the Confederacy. Few regular troops were committed to Missouri, and most of the fighting was done by roving gangs of Irregulars; Secessionist Bushwhackers and Unionist Jayhawkers. These men more often made war on those who once had been their neighbors and friends than on uniformed troops, and terrible atrocities that were more murder than war were committed by each side.

    `Ride with the Devil' is an incredibly thoughtful and nuanced telling of this sad story. All of the protagonists are bushwhackers, but the movie does not attempt to paint them as pure heroes fighting against evil for all that is good and right. Instead, it manages to show them as young men who had the misfortune to be caught up in the sweep of history and forced into a violent life by unavoidable circumstances. We see the struggle some of them had between the violent actions that had become their life and their own sense of decency, and we see others enthusiastically revel in the murderous mayhem - glad for the excuse the war had given them to be free of the constraints of civilized society. One scene in particular drives home the fact that these warriors were more boys than men. Jake (Maguire) faces his new bride, a young women already widowed by the war (Jewel) in the bedroom on their wedding night.
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    73 of 75 people found the following review helpful By John D. Morvant on August 13, 2000
    Format: VHS Tape
    This is one of those rare movies where everybody got it right ---from the cinematography to the casting; from the musical score to film editing; from costume design to second unit directing this movie is nearly flawless. The directing by Ang Lee (Sense and Sensibility) and the performance by a wonderful ensemble cast put this movie in a league with the great modern frontier movies like The Outlaw Josey Wales and The Long Riders.
    Set on the Missouri/Kansas border during the American Civil War, the movie faithfully recreates the story told by Daniel Woodrell in his wonderful novel, Woe To Live On. The book is worth reading for the dialogue alone and the movie is worth watching simply for James Schamus' magnificent screenplay: But there is much move to love about this movie.
    The tapestry upon which the story of Ride With The Devil is painted is a violent one but, apart from some very graphic scenes, is more about human nature than anything else. Indeed, the depth of the violence only adds to the poignancy of the surprisingly frequent gentle scenes that occur in the movie. Tobey Macguire is perfect in the lead role, Jewel gives a surprisingly intuitive performance, and Jefrey Wright almost steals the show with his low-key, but passionate performance as a freed slave riding with a gang of white bushwhackers. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Macguire's nemesis, has a small part but is death himself. (His final confrontation with Macguire is brief and chilling --- and encapsulates the entire sense and sensibility of the movie.)
    Sadly, this movie will probably go unnoticed by the general public since it seems to have had a limited release in the US and gone almost immediately from the theater to the rental market. Hopefully word-of-mouth will build interest in this truly remarkable American classic. Watch it --- but read the book too.
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    48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 14, 2001
    Format: DVD
    Civil War epic involving the confused guerilla warfare that happened along the Missouri-Kansas border. We learn that this region wasn't exactly teeming with regular armies, but rather was the scene of isolated groups waging local war: Confederate sympathizers were "Bushwackers"; Unionists were "Jayhawkers". *Ride with the Devil* is another brilliant example of the seemingly endless fund of storytelling material about the Civil War that has yet to be fully tapped. With such an advantage, the movie is bound to excite attention. What keeps that attention is the brilliant pacing of the narrative and Ang Lee's deft direction. These young men on the run, hardened beyond their years, enjoined with a very bad cause to start with, experience loss after loss and yet grow immeasurably within, particularly Tobey Maguire's Rodell and Jeffrey Wright's magnificent renegade slave, Holt. (Both Maguire and Wright perform superbly.) I don't know how Ang Lee pulls it off, but we watch Maguire's character harden, toughen, and mature most subtly, without fanfare-of-trumpets setpieces that beat us over the head (e.g., Gibson's *Patriot*.) It's a shock when, late in the film, Rodell gets a haircut that reveals how young he actually is. Quite simply, I cannot praise this movie enough. How on earth *Ride with the Devil* got so thoroughly snubbed by the industry, audiences, and critics is beyond me. The critics, in particular, took a total bath on this one. Perhaps the world wasn't quite ready for Ang Lee's brand of intelligent action pictures. Hopefully, with the groundbreaking success of *Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon*, folks will see Mr. Lee's name on this movie's DVD box and give it a rent. Hopefully, so will you -- you won't regret it. This movie's great.
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