|THE BUSHWACKERS (THE REBEL) (director/writer: Rod Amateau; screenwriter: Tom Gries; cinematographer: John MacBurnie; editor: Francis D. Lyon; music: Albert Glasser; cast: John Ireland (Jefferson Waring), Wayne Morris (Marshal John Harding), Lon Chaney Jr. (Artemus Taylor), Dorothy Malone (Cathy Sharpe), Jack Elam (Cree), Lawrence Tierney (Sam Tobin), Frank Marlowe (Peter Sharpe, newspaper editor), Myrna Dell (Norah Taylor), Charles Trowbridge (Justin Stone, banker), Bill Holmes (Ding Bell), Bob Wood (Henchman), Norman Leavitt (Deputy Yale), Stuart Randall (Slocum), George Lynn (Guthrie), Gordon Wynne (John Quigley); Runtime: 70; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Larry Finley; Realart; 1951)|
by Dennis Schwartz
A noirish Western finely directed
and co-written by Rod Amateau ("Drive-In"/"The
Statue"/"Where Does it Hurt?"), in his directorial
debut. Tom Gries is the other writer. This was the
only Western the former radio writer Amateau directed.
It's set just after the Civil War.
Confederate veteran Jeff Waring (John
Ireland, in his first starring role) arrives in
Independence, Missouri, weary of war. He vows to never
again use a gun. But things get unsettled over
disputes with the arthritic Artemus Taylor
(Lon Chaney), the despotic cattle baron, and his
menacing henchmen led by Sam Tobin (Lawrence
Tierney) and Cree (Jack Elam). The
greedy villains are forcing out the settlers in
anticipation of the railroad coming through and
thereby the price of land skyrocketing. Taylor
has bribed the local marshal, John Harding (Morris),
and the local banker, Justin Stone (Trowbridge),
who follow his orders. Crusading newspaper editor
Peter Sharpe (Frank Marlowe) speaks out against the
injustice from Taylor's mob and is murdered by
Taylor's thugs. His pretty school marm daughter Cathy
Sharpe (Dorothy Malone) is protected by Jeff, who
breaks his vows and is again armed to fight Taylor's
gang by leading the settler's against the bad guys.
Meanwhile Taylor's mean-spirited daughter (Myrna
Dell) sides with her dad.
REVIEWED ON 2/17/2016 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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