Chisum (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Chisum (1970)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This classic western features (John Wayne) as John Chisum, the tough cattle baron who defends his Lincoln Country ranch from the gang of Lawrence Murphy (Forrest Tucker). When Murphy goes on a land-grabbing rampage, Chisum valiantly defends his territory. A bloody battle for land ensues and Chisum recruits ranch foreman James Pepper (Ben Johnson) to fend off the evil land baron. When Murphy's men kill a trusted friend, Billy The Kid (Geoffrey Duel) and friends go on a shooting spree and kill Murphy's friend, the local sheriff. Soon Pat Garrett (Glenn Corbett) is after the Kid, and Lincoln County is inundated by hails of hot lead. Wayne gives his typical performance as a rugged gunman forced to retaliate when his individual freedom and livelihood are threatened.more
Rating: G
Genre: Western, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Andrew J. Fenady
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 3, 2003
Warner Home Video


John Wayne
as John Chisum
Forrest Tucker
as Lawrence Murphy
Ben Johnson
as James Pepper
Glenn Corbett
as Pat Garrett
Bruce Cabot
as Sheriff Brady
Andrew Prine
as Alex McSween
Lynda Day George
as Sue McSween
John Agar
as Patton
Ray Teal
as Justice Wilson
Ron Soble
as Bowdre
Alan Baxter
as Gov. Axtell
Abraham Sofaer
as White Buffalo
Geoffrey Deuel
as Billy the Kid
Pamela McMyler
as Sally Chisum
Chuck Roberson
as A Trail Herder
Hank Worden
as Stage Depot Clerk
Ralph Volkie
as Blacksmith
Pedro Gonzalez Gonza...
as Mexican Rancher
John Pickard
as Aggressive Sergeant
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Chisum

Critic Reviews for Chisum

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | October 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Like other Wayne movies, there's complete identification between reel and real life: Chisum is described as "fat wealthy, tough, trusting, stubborn, generous, and sentimental."

Full Review… | August 2, 2006

A stylish big-budget rousing range war Western that is a gimmicky mix of myth and hokum.

Full Review… | May 28, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Solid if unspectacular Wayne outing.

April 30, 2005
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Chisum


The best of the John Wayne westerns directed by Andrew V. McLagden, this sprawling epic centers around the revenge sought by Billy the Kid after his mentor is murder by the corrupt, land-grabbing bad guys. These scenes looked familiar since I last watched 1988's Young Guns.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer


A pretty bog standard outing for the duke. It ticks all the relevant horse opera boxes, but lacks the inspiration of his collaborations with John Ford.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The candle of the wicked shall be put out.

Rich cattle and land owner John Chisum has formed a brotherhood with an Indian chief, White Buffalo. A general arrives and pushes the envelope that causes a land war to ensue. Chisum will have shootouts versus legal and illegal stakeholders. He will seek the aid of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid to put those ruining his land and town down.

"Thank you for asking me to come and stay with you."
"I didn't ask you..."

Andrew McLaglen, director of Return from the River Kwai, Have Gun - Will Travel, McLintock, The Wild Geese, The Sea Wolves, and Shenandoah, delivers Chisum. The storyline for this picture is very interesting and weaves nicely with historical characters. The acting and action also isn't half bad and the cast includes John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Bruce Cabot, Glenn Corbett, and Robert Donner.

"Don't ever get arrested."
"I don't intend to."

I came across this picture on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and decided to DVR it. This was a Wayne masterpiece with charismatic characters, witty one-liners, and great shootouts. This is a classic western that is worth a viewing and worth adding to your collection if you are a fan of the genre.

"I've heard of you."

Grade: B

Kevin Robbins

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