The Bushwhackers (January 8, 1951)
Released on January 8, 1952: (running time 67 minutes) After the Civil War, a soldier from Virginia moves west to get away from violence and lands in the middle of a town run by a wealthy rancher who kills anyone trying to settle there.
Produced by Larry Finley and Jack Broder
Directed by Rod Amateau
Written by Tom Gries and Rod Amateau
The Actors: John Ireland (Jefferson Waring), Myrna Dell (Norah Taylor), Dorothy Malone (Cathy Sharpe), Wayne Morris (Marshal John Harding), Lon Chaney Jr. (Artemus Taylor), Lawrence Tierney (Sam Tobin), Frank Marlowe (Peter Sharpe), William Holmes ('Ding' Bell), Jack Elam (Cree), Ward Wood (second henchman), Charles Trowbridge (Justin Stone, banker), Norman Leavitt (Deputy Yale), Stuart Randall (settler Slocum), George Lynn (settler Guthrie), Gordon Wynn (settler John Quigley), Gabriel Conrad (settler Kramer), Eddie Parks (Funeral Franklin, undertaker), Bob Broder (Tommy Lloyd, young boy), John Ireland (Billy Lloyd, John Ireland's real-life son), Evelyn Bispham (Mary Lloyd), Ralph Bucko (gunman), Cecil Combs (settler), Venise Grove (woman), Kit Guard (old timer), Jack Harden (John Lloyd), Michael Jeffers (townsman), Ted Jordan (soldier), Jack Tornek (settler)
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Two Ladies with Guns and the Man Without a Gun
Cowboy Western movies from the 1930's and 1940's usually always included some comedy relief with a whacky side-kick, and often a western song or two, along with the good guys and bad guys and fist fights and gun shoot outs.
Sometime in the 1970’s or thereabouts, it was decided that too much death in movies was not good for us and the television producers even came up with a small number that would be the maximum number of deaths per hour of programming on television. But in the 1950’s, between these two eras, there were some outstanding cowboy westerns that fit neither pattern, like this thrilling adventure.
The bad guys brutally kill more people than we are currently accustomed to seeing on television, and there is absolutely no comedy in this one . . . not even a smile or two anywhere. This story is dead serious, with the emphasis on ‘dead,’ as we go back to the time after the Civil War when the West was just beginning to grow.
Amid all of the killing in the movie, ironically the story’s leading man doesn’t wear a gun. Yup, you got it right . . . Virginia soldier Jefferson Waring is sick and tired of killing, so as the Civil War ends he sticks his Army rifle in the ground and walks away, vowing to find a place out west where he can build a life without the need of guns or killing. Unfortunately, he passes through Independence Missouri, where many good farm folk are settling on lands provided by the government, and being systematically killed and run out of town by the gun-slinging daughter of a local rancher.
Wealthy but disabled rancher Artemus Taylor, played by the legendary Lon Chaney Jr., has his henchmen kill settlers and drive them out of town with the help of the banker and the Sheriff, and his gun toting daughter. Just for riding over his ranch land Taylor’s sharp-shooting daughter Nora tries to kill our leading man, but fails.
This guy just cannot stay out of trouble, and most of it comes with gunplay. He is trying to find a place where he can live without guns and killing, and on his first day in Independence, Missouri, he has faced two women with guns aimed at him. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
Bob Broder and John Ireland Jr.
Dorothy Malone and Frank Marlowe
Frank Marlowe and Dorothy Malone
George Lynn, Stuart Randall and Gabriel Conrad
Jack Elam and Lawrence Tierney
John Ireland and Dorothy Malone
John Ireland and Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr.
Lon Chaney Jr. and Myrna Dell
Lon Chaney Jr.