Chisum (1970)

G  |   |  Biography, Western  |  29 July 1970 (USA)
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Cattle baron John Chisum joins forces with Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett to fight the Lincoln County land war.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Tunstall
Jess Evans
Sue McSween (as Lynda Day)
Geoffrey Deuel ...
Sallie Chisum
Amos Patton
Lloyd Battista ...
Bradley Morton


As one of the founders of the town of Lincoln, John Chisum is increasingly worried as Lawrence Murphy moves in on the local stores, bank and land by questionable means. Chisum and fellow honest ranch owner Henry Tunstall try and use the law, but Murphy owns that too. Confrontation threatens and Tunstall's man Billy Bonney is not slow to get involved. Written by Jeremy Perkins <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE LEGEND - John Wayne is "Chisum" See more »


Biography | Western


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

29 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chisum and the Lincoln County Cattle War  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Final film of Ray Teal. See more »


When the supply train is ambushed, one of the wagons overturns in the middle of a river. The boxes within tumble into the water, but they float, indicating that the boxes are empty., See more »


John Simpson Chisum: [lighting the sergeant's cigar] Se rgeant, there's one thing I oughtta tell you; if you lay a hand on White Buffalo again, I'll kill ya'.
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Referenced in The Rundown (2003) See more »


Ballad of John Chisum
Performed by William Conrad (uncredited)
Lyrics by Andrew J. Fenady Music by Dominic Frontiere
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User Reviews

"No matter where people go, sooner or later, there's the law."

McLaglen's western showcases Wayne as John Simpson Chisum, an historical figure who was the largest owner of land, of horses and cattle in New Mexico territory around 1878… The Pecos River runs through the middle of his land… He lets the water flow to all the ranches, big and small… If another man, with more appetite—like Lawrence Murphy (Forrest Tucker) owned that land— he'd control a territory bigger than most states and some countries… The story is based on the bloody Lincoln County cattle war…

Things come to 'one hell of a fight' when Murphy's men kill Chisum's friend Henry Tunstall, mentor to Billy the Kid, and have Alex McSween, manager of their general store, with Billy and some men, trapped in…

Forrest Tucker plays Chisum's enemy who really thinks himself skillful enough to 'own' the law…

Christopher George (Dan Nodeen) plays the half-crazy bounty hunter who gimps because of Billy the Kid…

Ben Johnson has one of the most impressive records of any supporting Westerner… He came here to support Chisum all the way…

Andrew V. McLaglen has built up a reputation as one of the most promising of post-war directors of Westerns, but has yet to fulfill that promise with a really major work…

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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