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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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Henry Tunstall
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Jess Evans
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Sue McSween (as Lynda Day)
Geoffrey Deuel ...
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Sallie Chisum
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Amos Patton
Lloyd Battista ...
Neemo
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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 {J-26}

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:

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

U.S. President Richard Nixon commented on the film during a press conference in Denver, Colorado, on 3 August 1970. In doing so, he used the film as a context to explain his views on law and order:

"Over the last weekend I saw a movie-I don't see too many movies but I try to see them on weekends when I am at the Western White House or in Florida--and the movie that I selected, or, as a matter of fact, my daughter Tricia selected it, was Chisum (1970) with John Wayne. It was a western. And as I looked at that movie, I said, "Well, it was a very good western, John Wayne is a very fine actor and it was: a fine supporting cast. But it was just basically another western, far better than average movies, better than average westerns."

I wondered why it is that the western survives year after year after year. A good western will outdraw some of the other subjects. Perhaps one of the reasons, in addition to the excitement, the gun play, and the rest, which perhaps is part of it but they can get that in other kinds of movies but one of the reasons is, perhaps, and this may be a square observation-is that the good guys come out ahead in the westerns; the bad guys lose.

In the end, as this movie particularly pointed out, even in the old West, the time before New Mexico was a State, there was a time when there was no law. But the law eventually came, and the law was important from the standpoint of not only prosecuting the guilty, but also seeing that those who were guilty had a proper trial". See more »

Goofs

John Wayne's stunt double is very obvious in fight scene between Chisum and Murphy. See more »

Quotes

Pat Garrett: Well, I'm upwind and I smell it on you.
Billy the Kid: Buffalo?
Pat Garrett: Death.
Billy the Kid: I see what you mean. Can it ever go away? That smell I mean.
Pat Garrett: Sure it can, with time, good company and patience.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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…


27 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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