12 user 12 critic

The Jayhawkers! (1959)

Approved | | Romance, Western | 15 October 1959 (USA)
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.



Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1868 Oregon, when the Army violates the treaty by building a road across the reservation, several tribal chiefs decide to unite their forces against the trespassing whites.

Director: George Marshall
Stars: Jeff Chandler, Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond
Sierra (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Hiding in the mountains from the law, father and son break wild horses until a lost female lawyer joins them to help clear their name, but some would rather see them dead.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Wanda Hendrix, Audie Murphy, Burl Ives
Night People (1954)
Adventure | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

During the Cold War, an American soldier is abducted by Soviet agents in West Berlin, sparking a recovery effort led by Colonel Steve Van Dyke.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Broderick Crawford, Anita Björk
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When hired killer John Gant rides into Lordsburg, the town's folk become paranoid as each leading citizen has enemies capable of using the services of a professional killer for personal revenge.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Audie Murphy, Charles Drake, Joan Evans
Warpath (1951)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

John Vickers joins Custer's cavalry regiment seeking private revenge.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Edmond O'Brien, Dean Jagger, Forrest Tucker
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An American colonel who has never been in combat is assigned to create a special forces unit from Canadian Army troops and a ragtag group of U.S. Army misfits.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Vince Edwards
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

During WWII several murders occur at a convalescent home where Dr. Watson has volunteered his services. He summons Holmes for help and the master detective proceeds to solve the crime from ... See full summary »

Director: Roy William Neill
Stars: Basil Rathbone, Nigel Bruce, Dennis Hoey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Unjustly accused of robbing the train he was riding home, Bill Doolin re-joins his old gang, participates in other robberies and becomes a wanted outlaw.

Director: Budd Boetticher
Stars: Audie Murphy, Beverly Tyler, James Best
The Virginian (1946)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Medicine Bow, a newly arrived eastern schoolteacher is courted by two cowpokes but their courtship is interrupted by violent incidents involving local cattle rustlers.

Director: Stuart Gilmore
Stars: Joel McCrea, Brian Donlevy, Sonny Tufts
Apache Rifles (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A young cavalry officer is assigned the job of bringing in a band of Apaches who have been terrorizing the countryside.

Director: William Witney
Stars: Audie Murphy, Michael Dante, Linda Lawson
The Tin Star (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A cynical former sheriff turned bounty hunter helps a young, recently appointed acting sheriff with his advice, his experience and his gun.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Henry Fonda, Anthony Perkins, Betsy Palmer
In Harm's Way (1965)
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A Naval officer, reprimanded after Pearl Harbor, is later promoted to Rear Admiral, and gets a second chance to prove himself against the Japanese.

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Patricia Neal


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeanne Dubois
Gov. William Clayton
Jake Barton
Shari Lee Bernath ...
Marthe DuBois
Jimmy Carter ...
Paul DuBois
Renata Vanni ...
Indian Woman
Berel Firestone ...
Jayhawker (as Allan Wyatt)
Charles Bail ...


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


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


Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Herrscher von Kansas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


William Holden turned down the Fess Parker role. See more »


Topeka is referred to as the Capitol of Kansas, during the time period depicted in the film, prior to the Civil War, the capitol of the Kansas Territory was actually Lecompton. See more »


Luke Darcy: I've got what I want. I've got Kansas.
See more »


Referenced in Mission: Impossible: The Mind of Stefan Miklos (1969) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Charismatic, Fascistic, and Wholly Fictional"
30 August 2006 | by See all my reviews

The Jayhawkers maybe unique in the annals of screen history in that as a film with a Civil War era plot it makes absolutely no mention of slavery. Nor are there any black people in this cast.

What we have here in ante-bellum Kansas is the story of Luke Darcy who envisions himself as starting some kind of fascistic territorial republic in the struggle for Kansas's loyalty. Jeff Chandler plays Darcy and he is a fascinatingly evil man with a great deal of charisma.

To bring him down military governor Herbert Rudley uses ex-renegade raider Fess Parker. Parker and Chandler have a history and it involves Parker's late wife who Chandler ran off with and abandoned.

Parker's got ample reason to just shoot him down like a dog, but Rudley wants him alive to stand trial. Complicating things further is Nicole Maurey and her two kids who Parker's fallen for and then Chandler takes an interest when he sees her.

The story does get a bit silly at times, but the players are all doing their best. Henry Silva plays one of Chandler's raiders who has an incredible jealousy of Parker and a barely disguised gay crush on Chandler.

Jerome Moross wrote the music score and it's lively and quickens the pace of this film. Fans of the Wagon Train series will recognize parts of the score as Wagon Train's theme.

The story of Kansas before the Civil War, usually with John Brown as the protagonist has supplied the cinema with a whole range of films. The Jayhawkers with the charismatic, fascistic, but wholly fictitious Luke Darcy is far from the best one ever done.

6 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Zach Braff tackles acting and directing on his new show "Alex, Inc.," and we take a look at the 15 most bingeable TV shows of all time.

Watch the show