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The Jayhawkers! (1959)

Approved  |   |  Western  |  15 October 1959 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 305 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 7 critic

Before the U.S. Civil War rebel leader Luke Darcy sees himself as leader of a new independent Republic of Kansas but the military governor sends an ex-raider to capture Darcy.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cam Bleeker
Nicole Maurey ...
Jeanne Dubois
...
Lordan
Herbert Rudley ...
Gov. William Clayton
...
Evans
Don Megowan ...
China
Leo Gordon ...
Jake Barton
Shari Lee Bernath ...
Marthe DuBois
Jimmy Carter ...
Paul DuBois
Renata Vanni ...
Indian Woman
Berel Firestone ...
Jayhawker
Al Wyatt Sr. ...
Jayhawker (as Allan Wyatt)
Charles Bail ...
Jayhawker
...
Storekeeper
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Storyline

Shortly before the start of the American Civil War rebel Kansas leader Luke Darcy dreams of a new independent Republic of Kansas. His vigilante group is called The Jayhawkers and their mission is to end slavery by force. However, Darcy uses The Jayhawkers for his own bid for absolute control of Kansas. Darcy's actions do not sit well with the military governor of Kansas, William Clayton, who wants Darcy captured and brought to justice. For this purpose the governor hires an ex-renegade rebel, Cam Bleeker, to join Darcy's group and capture their leader. Bleeker has a personal reason for wanting to see Darcy hanged. Darcy was responsible for Bleeker wife's death while Bleeker was in prison. Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Against the background of a turbulent era when Civil War was a flaming cloud on history's horizon . . A TREMENDOUS MOTION PICTURE! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Herrscher von Kansas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Luke Darcy: I've got what I want. I've got Kansas.
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User Reviews

 
Sluggish
21 August 2014 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Plot-- An ex-renegade (Parker) agrees to infiltrate a renegade band in return for a pardon from the feds. Then too, he's got a personal grudge against the band's leader (Chandler) for victimizing his wife and their farm. Trouble is the leader is kind of a likable guy. So which way will the ex-renegade go.

Somewhere inside all the turgid talk is a good story of conflict between Parker's emotions and his principles. Trouble is the studio (Paramount) appears more interested in playing up the three leads than in the story itself. Thus we get a ton of talky scenes with some combination of Parker, Chandler, and Aubert instead of action or suspense. So western fans may feel cheated in the action department. I suspect four scriptwriters working on the same screenplay have something to do with that. Then too, the direction (Frank) is pretty flat. In fact, the director's resume (IMDB) appears more at home with fluff than outdoor drama. It's noteworthy too that the locations never leave greater LA, so we're also short in the scenic department. That's especially unfortunate since the film needs some sweep to match the story's scale. After all, the script is playing with the disposition of an entire state, Kansas. On the other hand, Paramount did pop for an army of extras to fill out the mustering scenes.

I winced at one point where Chandler says life is short, or words to that effect. Tragically, Chandler himself would die two years later as a result of medical malpractice. So his words here seem more than just a little prophetic. Too bad the menacing Henry Silva is largely wasted in a routine role. Some close-ups of his sinister sneer would have added needed dramatic impact. All in all, the movie's a turgid disappointment despite a capable cast, a good core conflict, and big screen VistaVision.


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