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Johnson County War (2002)

The three Hammett brothers are caught in a conflict that escalates rapidly and the old farmers facing against new farmers who have settled in the green grasslands.

Director:

David S. Cass Sr.

Writers:

Frederick Manfred (novel), Larry McMurtry (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Berenger ... Cain Hammett
Luke Perry ... Harry Hammett
Burt Reynolds ... Hunt Lawton
Rachel Ward ... Queenie
Michelle Forbes ... Rory Hammett
Adam Storke ... Dale Hammett
Christopher Cazenove ... Lord Peter
Jack Conley ... Jesse Jacklin
Silas Weir Mitchell ... Mitch Slaughter
Fay Masterson ... Clara Jager
Ken Pogue ... Wally Tascot
Blu Mankuma ... Hambone
William Samples William Samples ... Arthur
Stephen Bridgewater ... Dencil Jager
Adrien Dorval ... Timberline (as P. Adrien Dorval)
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Storyline

The three Hammett brothers are caught in a conflict that escalates rapidly and the old farmers facing against new farmers who have settled in the green grasslands.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three brothers against an army. Justice knows no boundaries.

Genres:

Western

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Johnson County War See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (3 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Lord Peter: Now tell me Mr Lawton, how do you enjoy being our head Bobby? That's what we call our policemen, you know. Or perhaps you don't know. You are evidently not a, travelled man
Hunt Lawton: I haven't had any desire to travel half way around the world... see a country that's half the size of a good ranch in Texas.
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User Reviews

 
Entertaining but not accurate.
30 December 2004 | by Bobster36See all my reviews

I enjoyed the movie for its entertainment value. But a movie titled The Johnson County War should endeavor to tell the story of its namesake. Especially since it is not a well known event and viewers are likely to accept the movie as historically accurate.

The basics are intact. The cattle barons declared war on the small ranchers over the issue of open range. The small ranchers were liberally declared rustlers in order to justify prosecuting them with extreme prejudice. A small army of mercenaries was hired to do the dirty work. Those familiar with the history of the Johnson County War know that a rancher named Nate Champion stood off the mercenary army in his cabin for a considerable length of time.

The movie takes that event and fictionalizes it with Tom Berenger's Cain Hammett making that stand instead of Nate Champion. The details of that fight are fairly accurate. But Berenger's character is fictitious, with subplots about brothers and spouses. It is not Nate Champion by another name. So it makes little sense to me to make a movie about a historical event and pretend that it happened to someone different. Kind of like Custer's Last Stand with some fictitious guy named Clyde Smith as the leader of the Cavalry instead of Custer.

The movie makes for a good western. But Nate Champion's story is entertaining in itself. Christopher Walken portrayed him in Heaven's Gate, which is also about the Johnson County War. But in that movie, director Michael Cimino took the names of Jim Averill and Ella Watson, two small ranchers hanged early in the dispute, and assigned them to the Marshall portrayed by Kris Kristofferson and the prostitute portrayed by Isabelle Huppert.

The Johnson County War is a little known and interesting part of American history. Too bad that movie makers play so fast and loose with the facts.


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