6.9/10
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56 user 19 critic

Chisum (1970)

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 LEGEND - 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

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

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

Richard Jaeckel also appeared in Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973), which concerns characters who appear in this film. 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

James Pepper: What are you going to do?
John Simpson Chisum: What I had done twenty-five years ago. Pat, get the men out of South Camp. Trace, you round up everybody that can ride a horse or pull a trigger. Let's break out some Winchesters!
See more »

Connections

Featured in John Wayne Made Me Cry: Our Western Heros (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Turn Me Around
Sung by Merle Haggard
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Music by Dominic Frontiere
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Amazingly close to history
21 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The first few times I saw this movie, I hadn't read the history of the Lincoln County Land Wars.

However, in recent years, with the convenience of the internet at hand, I read the histories along with watching the movie. Compared to the amount of factual change that most movies based on a history put on film, this movie is not far from being spot on.

In fact, the amount of direct action that John Wayne's character, Chisum, took in the film, is probably the element that is the most out of place.

Billy the Kid really did work for an English rancher involved in the dispute. His boss really did fund a rival general store with a lawyer. Both the English rancher and the lawyer were murdered by the faction controlled by the rival general store.

Billy the Kid really did get his outlaw career kicked off in seeking vengeance for his boss and mentor's murder. Pat Garret really was supported for sheriff by John Chisum, who somehow managed to stay out of the thick of the feuding even though his use of huge tracts of public grazing land was part of the heart of the dispute.

So history buffs can safely enjoy this movie knowing that history is just bent a little, and not ripped completely asunder as the case would be with most movies. LOL That said, this is a very entertaining western. John Wayne is on top of his game as a cattle baron, and the supporting cast does a fine job. It includes a bit of everything: rustling, gunfights, stampedes, crooked sheriffs, greedy bad guys, heroic good guys. It has more plot surprises than the normal western (and that is precisely because it kills off certain characters approximately when and how they died in the real events).

All in all, an enjoyable and surprisingly informative film about a real "old west" feud.


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