The Bushwhackers (1951)

70 or 72 mins | Western | October 1951

Director:

Rod Amateau

Producer:

Larry Finley

Cinematographer:

Joseph Biroc

Production Designer:

F. Paul Sylos

Production Company:

Jack Broder Productions, Inc.
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HISTORY

As pointed out in a Mar 1952 LAEx article, this film has little to do with the actual Confederate guerrilla troops, commonly referred to as "bushwhackers," who were led by Champ Ferguson during the Civil War. Some scenes were shot on location at the Jack Ingram Ranch in Woodland Hills, CA. Although a Sep 1959 HR news item places Don Makin in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. John A. Ireland was the son of the film's star, John Ireland. The Bushwhackers was the first film to be directed by Rod Amateau (1924-2003). Amateau, who was also a writer and producer, worked in film and television through the 1980s. He was well known for his work on popular television series such as The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis ... More Less

As pointed out in a Mar 1952 LAEx article, this film has little to do with the actual Confederate guerrilla troops, commonly referred to as "bushwhackers," who were led by Champ Ferguson during the Civil War. Some scenes were shot on location at the Jack Ingram Ranch in Woodland Hills, CA. Although a Sep 1959 HR news item places Don Makin in the cast, his appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. John A. Ireland was the son of the film's star, John Ireland. The Bushwhackers was the first film to be directed by Rod Amateau (1924-2003). Amateau, who was also a writer and producer, worked in film and television through the 1980s. He was well known for his work on popular television series such as The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show and The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis . More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
13 Dec 51
p. 3.
Film Daily
8 Jan 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Aug 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Sep 51
p. 11, 16.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 1951
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Sep 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 51
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Dec 51
p. 3.
Los Angeles Examiner
20 Mar 1952.
---
Los Angeles Times
20 Mar 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
5 Jan 52
p. 1177.
Variety
19 Dec 51
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed supv
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Women's ward
MUSIC
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1951
Production Date:
5 September--19 September 1951 at General Service Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Jack Broder Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
12 December 1951
Copyright Number:
LP1834
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70 or 72
Length(in feet):
6,500
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15603
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

As the Civil War comes to an end, battle-weary Confederate soldier Jefferson Waring vows never to kill another man. Dismayed by the worsening struggle for power in the South, he decides to travel West to find a more peaceful life. Just outside Independence, Missouri, however, Jeff witnesses Artemis Taylor's men killing settlers Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd and burning down their home for "squatting" on Taylor's land. When the men notice Jeff, they chase him, and he is forced to divert them by leaving his horse and walking miles into town. There, he meets local publisher Peter Sharpe, who invites Jeff to sleep at his home. Jeff falls asleep in the bed of Peter's daughter Cathy, and when she finds him there, she has him arrested for vagrancy. At the jail, Cathy's apology to Jeff is interrupted by the news that the Lloyds have been killed. Cathy explains to Jeff that the Taylors own most of the surrounding land and are now loathe to give any of it to the settlers who bear legal rights to certain tracts. She urges her father to print the truth of the attack in his paper, and asks Jeff to join the fight, but Jeff reveals that he has no gun and wants nothing to do with local squabbles. Peter, who is dependent on Taylor for his business, persuades Jeff to work for him. Days later, Jeff enters the local bar and becomes embroiled in a fight with Taylor's henchman, Sam Tobin. Tobin places a gun in Jeff's waistband, but Marshal John Harding, a crony of Taylor's, stops the fight. Disgusted, Jeff prepares to leave town. Meanwhile, Justin Stone, banker and friend of Taylor's, ... +


As the Civil War comes to an end, battle-weary Confederate soldier Jefferson Waring vows never to kill another man. Dismayed by the worsening struggle for power in the South, he decides to travel West to find a more peaceful life. Just outside Independence, Missouri, however, Jeff witnesses Artemis Taylor's men killing settlers Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd and burning down their home for "squatting" on Taylor's land. When the men notice Jeff, they chase him, and he is forced to divert them by leaving his horse and walking miles into town. There, he meets local publisher Peter Sharpe, who invites Jeff to sleep at his home. Jeff falls asleep in the bed of Peter's daughter Cathy, and when she finds him there, she has him arrested for vagrancy. At the jail, Cathy's apology to Jeff is interrupted by the news that the Lloyds have been killed. Cathy explains to Jeff that the Taylors own most of the surrounding land and are now loathe to give any of it to the settlers who bear legal rights to certain tracts. She urges her father to print the truth of the attack in his paper, and asks Jeff to join the fight, but Jeff reveals that he has no gun and wants nothing to do with local squabbles. Peter, who is dependent on Taylor for his business, persuades Jeff to work for him. Days later, Jeff enters the local bar and becomes embroiled in a fight with Taylor's henchman, Sam Tobin. Tobin places a gun in Jeff's waistband, but Marshal John Harding, a crony of Taylor's, stops the fight. Disgusted, Jeff prepares to leave town. Meanwhile, Justin Stone, banker and friend of Taylor's, informs Peter that unless the publisher writes editorials against the settlers, he will foreclose on the press. Jeff heads west, but just outside Independence is shot at by Taylor's daughter Norah and her foreman, Ding Bell. They bring him at gunpoint to Taylor, who is blind and disabled but wields power from his chair. When Taylor hears that Jeff saw railroad surveyors on his land, he orders him killed. Taylor fears that if the settlers learn that the railroad is interested in buying the land, they will hold onto their plots even more tightly and he will lose money. Ding brings Jeff outside to shoot him, but just as Jeff convinces the foreman to let him go, Tobin appears and shoots them both, and Ding lives just long enough to kill Tobin. Nearby, the settlers are meeting to discuss forming a vigilante group, and when Jeff staggers to the door, they call the doctor. Once revived, he informs them of Taylor's plan and vows to lead their fight. Harding, however, arrives and arrests Jeff for the murders of Tobin and Ding. Later, at Taylor's, Harding refuses to head the fight against the settlers, so Taylor names Norah as the leader. A few hours later, Norah attacks the press office and kills Peter. Enraged, Jeff breaks out of jail and straps on a gun holster, and although Harding sees him, he allows him to go. Jeff leads the settlers that night, and his clever ambush strategy wins the battle. After Norah's men surrender, she disappears, and Taylor, upon hearing that his daughter may have died, suffers a fatal heart attack. Norah has escaped to Stone's bank, where she forces him at gunpoint to open the safe. When she then shoots him, he grabs his gun and kills her. Jeff, meanwhile, returns to the jail in hopes of finding Harding, but Cathy, who knows Harding has repented, keeps Jeff from killing the marshal. Weeks later, Jeff and Cathy are running the paper together, and as they clean the office, they break to share a kiss. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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