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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.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Cam Bleeker
...
Jeanne Dubois
...
Lordan
...
Gov. William Clayton
...
Evans
...
China
...
Jake Barton
Shari Lee Bernath ...
Marthe DuBois
Jimmy Carter ...
Paul DuBois
Renata Vanni ...
Indian Woman
Berel Firestone ...
Jayhawker
...
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:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 October 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Herrscher von Kansas  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The theme for TV's Wagon Train (1957) was taken directly from the Jerome Moross score of this film when Moross worked on the western series. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

 
"Charismatic, Fascistic, and Wholly Fictional"
30 August 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – 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.


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