Watch The Bushwhackers
- 1 hr 10 min
The Bushwhackers is a western film from 1951 directed by Rod Amateau and starring John Ireland, Wayne Morris, and Lawrence Tierney. Set in Missouri during the Civil War, the film tells the story of a group of Confederate soldiers who after being betrayed by their commanding officer, decide to become bushwhackers and fight against the Union troops.
The film opens with a group of Confederate soldiers led by Lt. Hewitt (John Ireland) being ordered by their commanding officer, Captain Andrews (Lawrence Tierney), to retreat from a battle against the Union army. Despite the urging of Hewitt and the rest of his men, Andrews refuses to engage the Union troops and instead orders a retreat. However, as they leave the battlefield, they are ambushed by Union soldiers and forced to flee into the woods.
As they try to regroup and make their way back to Confederate lines, they encounter a family of farmers who are under attack from Union soldiers. Hewitt and his men rescue the family and decide to stay with them for a while. During their stay, they hear stories of other Confederate soldiers who have become bushwhackers and are raiding Union supply wagons and attacking Union soldiers.
Hewitt is inspired by these stories and decides to join the bushwhackers. However, Andrews is still determined to follow orders and return to Confederate lines. He leaves the group and eventually makes his way back to Confederate headquarters. However, when he arrives, he discovers that his commanding officer, General Wagner, has been arrested for ordering a retreat during a battle. Andrews is also arrested and put on trial for his own cowardice.
Meanwhile, Hewitt and his men continue to fight as bushwhackers. They attack Union soldiers and steal supplies, but eventually, they begin to feel the effects of their guerrilla tactics. They begin to tire of constantly being on the run and being unable to fight a traditional battle. They also start to question the morality of attacking innocent civilians who may have no interest in the war.
As the film progresses, Hewitt must decide whether to continue fighting as a bushwhacker or to try and find a way to rejoin the Confederate army. He also grapples with his own inner demons and the question of whether he can continue to fight for a cause he no longer believes in.
Overall, The Bushwhackers is a compelling western drama with excellent performances by its cast. John Ireland is particularly noteworthy as Lt. Hewitt, delivering a nuanced and complex performance as a soldier torn between his duty to his country and his own moral compass. The film also features strong cinematography and an evocative score that adds to its overall sense of tension and drama.
While the film may not be as well-known as some other westerns from this era, it is definitely worth watching for fans of the genre. It manages to be both a thrilling action movie and a poignant commentary on the complexities of war and the men who fight in them.
The Bushwhackers is a 1952 thriller with a runtime of 1 hour and 10 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.6.