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Original theatrical poster
Original theatrical poster

The Jayhawkers! is a 1959 American Technicolor VistaVision film directed by Melvin Frank, starring Jeff Chandler as Luke Darcy and Fess Parker as Cam Bleeker. The film is set in pre-Civil War Kansas. Darcy leads a gang which seeks to take advantage of Bleeding Kansas (loosely based on abolitionist John Brown; Bleeker joins the gang. The supporting cast features Henry Silva and Leo Gordon.

Plot summary


Cast


Production


The film was made by the team of Norman Panama and Melvin Frank who had a deal with Paramount.[3] They bought the story in January 1957.[4] Panama and Frank were best known for their comedies and had made a comic Western, Callaway Went Thataway but The Jayhawkers was serious. Frank said at the time:

Panama and Frank subjected the script to analysis by a psychological consulting firm.[6]

Melvin Frank tried to interest Vivien Leigh in the female lead.[7] Chandler made the film on loan out from Universal International. Filming started 1 December 1958.[8]

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