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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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE HERO - 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


$4,000,000 (estimated)


$6,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Andrew V. McLaglen called the film one of his favourites. "I wanted Billy the Kid to just be Billy the Kid, a human being, not a bad little boy. Fenady was sort of a scholar about the Lincoln County Cattle War, which was a conflict over water and cattle-trading cattle-and John Chisum actually became a very powerful landowner. It was an American story." See more »


During the ambush of the supply train, the shadow of a camera and crew is visible in the dust at the bottom of the frame. 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 Big Jake (1971) See more »


Turn Me Around
Sung by Merle Haggard
Lyrics by Norman Gimbel
Music by Dominic Frontiere
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User Reviews

A Favorite western.
21 July 2003 | by (Lake Isabella, CA) – See all my reviews

One of my favorite John Wayne westerns, Andrew V. McLaglen's Chisum, centers around the fact based Lincoln County land war around the late 1800's. This film features John Wayne in the twilight of his remarkable 200+ film career. Playing Chisum, Wayne's no-nonsense attitute fits the title character well. This time, Wayne is up aganist Forrest Tucker who plays Lawrence Murphy, a whealthy land owner who plans to take the town and then take Chisum's land as well. Chisum's neighbor, Henry Tunstall (Patric Knowels) also doesn't like Murphy's plans, and hires a young man to work on his ranch, his name is Billy the Kid (played by Geoffrey Deuel). Chisum, who has heard of him, doesn't exactly approve of him in town at first especially since Billy the Kid has an eye for his niece Sally (Pamela McMyler). Chisum eventually begins to like Billy right when he starts killing several of the town's deputies and Murphy's handymen, this is right when the war starts. Chisum has a handful of action and adventure sequences and wonderful cinematography by William H. Clothier and a fine western/adventure music score by Dominic Frontiere. The all star cast also includes John Wayne regulars- Ben Johnson as Chisum's sidekick, Bruce Cabot playing the sheriff who handles Murphy's dirty work, Andrew Prine playing Chisum's lawyer, Glenn Corbett turns in a fine job as playing Pat Garrett and Christopher George and Richard Jaeckel turn in their usual cowboy villians as the bounty hunters. George's wife, then Lynda Day also makes a small appearance as Andrew Prine's wife. Also look for small roles by John Agar and Christopher Mitchum.

13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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