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Chisum (1970)

 -  Biography | Western  -  29 July 1970 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 5,264 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 17 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:
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Henry Tunstall
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Jess Evans
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Sue McSween (as Lynda Day)
Geoffrey Deuel ...
Pamela McMyler ...
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 <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

Both Ralph Volkie and Trinidad Villa are credited as the blacksmith in various reference works. See more »

Goofs

Lawrence Murphy was diagnosed with bowel cancer in March, 1877. He sold his interest in the company to his partners, Dolan and Riley. The company was renamed Jas. J. Dolan & Co. Murphy was in Santa Fe during most of the Lincoln County War. He died of the cancer on Oct. 20, 1878. See more »

Quotes

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'.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Turn Me Around
Performed by Merle Haggard
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
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.


38 of 46 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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