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You know how I missed Words on Wednesday?

I also missed a heaping helping of Media Mondays!

Let’s fix that. I hit briefly upon Dan Woodrell’s “Outlaw Album” for the Words on Wed. So I’ll keep going with that. Ride With The Devil.

It ain’t no “Outlaw Josey Wales”, but that’s okay. It’s different. Josey Wales attempted to give a glimpse into the beginnings of the west. Ride With The Devil goes a different route. It mourns the passing of the east.

The story centers around Dutchy, played by Tobey Maguire. The son of German immigrants raised in the border country of Kansas and Missouri. The parents are supporters of the Union cause, and abolitionists. The community is divided down the middle, and Dutchy, like most boys, chooses the opposite of Ma and Pa. He’s a confederate.

The movie wastes no time getting to the meat of the matter. There is a wedding at the front end and then BAM! Guns and fire at night. Soon Dutchy finds himself aligned with a group of what people in my part of the south called “Bushwhackers”.

BTW: Bushwhacker is also a rum based drink. You can make one at home using Arby’s Jamocha shake and a decent dose of dark spiced rum. Float some 151 on top. Otherwise hit up the internet for a recipe or visit The Steamer in Gulf Shores.

Dutchy is embroiled in several close in fights, and protracted battles. This is a Civil War movie, and it does get close to being accurate, even for me who minored in history. It has some lulls in action, especially where Jewel is concerned. By Jewel, I mean “Who Will Save Your Soul” Jewel. The singer/songwriter. There is a romantic plot there. Also there is a slave, who is fighting with his master, and that is a subplot.

A raid, similar to what happened in Lawrence, is depicted. Lots of gunplay, and old southern vernacular (“When do you propose to do this thing? Because right now suits me.”). Yes, the dialogue sounds contrived, however the people spoke in that manner, so it is authentic. No “Thee and Thou” but a definite absence of contractions and “high order” English. Something else to note: this is a pre-9/11 film. After 9/11 things get goofy in film, maybe they became trite and superficial. Maybe the story line attempted to provide solace. This film? None of the hang ups about American Exceptionalism.



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