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Chisum (1970)

G  |   |  Biography, Western  |  29 July 1970 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 5,757 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 15 critic

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

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

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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Biography | Western

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 July 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chisum and the Lincoln County Cattle War  »

Box Office

Gross:

$6,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Chisum and Sally are talking on the porch, Chisum opens up a pocket watch to see what time it is and Sally remarks that the picture of a man and a woman inside the watch's cover are her parents (Chisum's brother and sister-in-law). The man in the photograph is actually producer Andrew J. Fenady. See more »

Goofs

Henry Tunstall was only 25 when he was murdered in 1878. See more »

Quotes

Sallie Chisum: I think in some ways, the two of them are a lot alike.
Pat Garrett: Who?
Sallie Chisum: Uncle John, Billy Bonney. Don't you think they are? Don't you?
Pat Garrett: Not in the important things.
Sallie Chisum: Like what?
Pat Garrett: Well, Mr. Chisum's changed with the times. He doesn't like to let on, but he cares... about the people here and in town, about the Indians and the territory. Well, he's independent, and he likes to do things his own way, but he cares.
Sallie Chisum: And Billy doesn't?
Pat Garrett: I guess he can't help it. But you heard him, all he cares about is gettin' those ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Rundown (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad of John Chisum
Performed by William Conrad
Lyrics by Andrew J. Fenady
Music by Dominic Frontiere
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Way It Should Have Been
9 February 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Over the course of his career John Wayne played a few real life characters. Coming immediately to mind are Davy Crockett, William T. Sherman, Frank "Spig" Wead, Genghis Khan and some others with pseudonyms for William F. Halsey and John Grierson. Playing these people would normally impose certain restrictions on an actor who's as larger than life as John Wayne.

But it certainly didn't with playing John Simpson Chisum, New Mexico cattle baron and key player in what has become known in history as the Lincoln County War. Of course the politics involved were a bit more complex than what you would see here. And a whole lot of liberties have been taken with the facts. One of the biggest is the fact that both Chisum and his rival L.G. Murphy died in bed and quite soon after the action of this film.

But if Maxwell Anderson could take liberties and have Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I of England meet, then why can't we have Chisum and Murphy meeting in a final confrontation? After all it's a John Wayne movie and John Wayne movies can only go in a certain way.

The Duke plays Chisum as the Duke, no more, no less. He and other ranchers are being squeezed by a greedy rapacious businessman in L.G. Murphy as played by Forrest Tucker. Others in the cast worthy of note are Patric Knowles as Henry Tunstall, Glenn Corbett as Pat Garrett, Geoffrey Deuel as Billy the Kid, and Christopher George as Dirty Dan Nodeen.

Chisum has in its cast a whole host of familiar Hollywood faces from the past like Bruce Cabot, Ben Johnson, Hank Worden, Edward Faulkner, all Wayne film regulars. It also has the presence of both Glenn Langan and John Agar.

One of the really great things about John Wayne was the way he took care of people, not as charity cases, but giving them parts in his films when they were down. John Agar and Glenn Langan have small roles in Chisum and both were not doing too good at the time. Agar was Shirley Temple's first husband and made a screen debut in Fort Apache. Langan was a promising contract player with 20th Century Fox in the late forties and is best known for being the Amazing Colossal Man. Both were I'm sure grateful for the work and the paycheck. I remember in McLintock Wayne says to his son Patrick who's looking for a job that he doesn't give jobs, he hires men. That was something in real life he lived up to.

The Lincoln County War has been told in any number of westerns right up to the two Young Guns movies of the Eighties. Chisum is not the best or the worst retelling of the tale. But it is a good John Wayne western and that takes in a lot of territory pilgrim.


40 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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