Chisum Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 12, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 8, 2007
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.
½ November 20, 2010
One of John Waynes all time best movies, John Wayne acted with perfection like usaul and I enjoyed a great performance by Forrest Tucker.
August 16, 2010
Not anywhere near the most awe-inspiring of John Wayne Westerns, this being quite late in his career. But, still, we ARE talking The Duke here.

The film outlines true facts regarding the violent conflict between cattlemen John Chisum and L.G. Murphy known as the Lincoln County Wars. By 1878, Lincoln County and The Pecos is a fairly well-settled, well-claimed part of the New Mexico Territory; the daily stagecoach arrives with affluent Easterners (including lovely ladies in their finest) most every afternoon, looking to stake some claim on their future.

Blackhatter Murphy (Forest Tucker) holds a monopoly in banking and dry goods - and sells cattle to the government that he rustles from others. Plus Murphy's got the sheriff and The Governor in his back pocket. And by expanding his control over the water supply, Murphy's planning to get even richer off the increasing population.

Local cattleman John Chisum (Wayne, of course) is going to fight to change all that. With some help from Pat Garrett (Corbett), and despite some two-timing by Billy the Kid (pretty-boy Deuel), that is.

The film's clearly influenced by the success of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" just the year prior; breezier subplots/scenes are injected and Glen Campbell's gentle voice provides some of the score.

Another artifact from the time: introductory voiceover by William Conrad, the portly star of the "Cannon" gumshoe TV series.

RECOMMENDATION: Despite the shortcomings, Wayne ridin' for righteousness - plus the true telling of one of the Old West's most legendary conflicts - equals worthy one-spin viewing.
August 11, 2008
Good late-period Western from Wayne. Features a great group of grizzled veterans as well as at the time "new" faces. Purports to be based on the Lincoln county war in N. Mex
½ September 10, 2007
my dad watches this every time it comes on so ive probably seen it 20 times and its still pretty good
½ July 4, 2007
This was a pretty good western. John Wayne is cocky, funny, and sarcastic. He tells people how he feels about them the second he meets them. This is worth a look.
½ May 25, 2007
One of the Duke's weaker films, but not because of him, but because he's really nothing more than a footnote in the story.
½ October 16, 2014
a very good western from 1970 i seen this movie a few times but in wide screen and blue ray for the first time and yes beautiful horses in the movie i like my westerns with horses.
October 8, 2013
Another Duke classic
½ August 31, 2013
Chisum, western film directed by Andrew V. McLaglen - film was adapted from the screenplay byAndrew J. Fenday from his short story named "Chisum and the Licoln County Cattle War. Starring ensemble cast JOHN WAYNE, Christopher George, Ben Johnson, Andrew Prine, Forrest Tucker, Richard Jaeckel and Bruce Cabot.

Film is based some historical figures, like Chisum the rich rancher who had almost everyone in the town respecting him, lives with a niece and some faithful - Billy the Kid who wanders into the town hoping to start a new life - and there is this Pat Garrett a bounty-hunter-turned-Sheriff of the town upon the request of new cunning businessman hated by Chisum.

It is believed though the film is historically inaccurate but I reckon the movies needed to give out entertainment citing the inspiration from particular figures from heap of the history. John Wayne though not in major aggressive role as usually he would take on - and yet there are some likeable scenes when he punches some fellas direct in the face - some sweet characters around Chisum, whom you just wish not to go against their role anytime in the film far they standout so modestly.
Excellent, picturesque locations; ever cooling vast open rancher mid the mountain valley gives the film a boost to be doing sincerity with the genre of western.
October 11, 2012
a good oldie. i've watched this one dozens of times since i was a kid.
½ June 3, 2012
This is a decent movie. The plot is lame and very predictable but it is very entertaining.
June 18, 2012
Good John Wayne Western! Not one of his best, but still a must see for any John Wayne fan.
February 8, 2012
A great movie with some history with one of my all-time favorite actors. The scenes, characters, and story all working together to put together an enjoyable film.
February 2, 2012
65/100. One of the few films the Duke made that was based on true events. Its nowhere near his top films, but the film itself is solid and has enough memorable moments to separate itself from Wayne's later westerns. Although having his character's name in the title, the movie actually plays out as an ensemble giving equal time to Pat Garrett and William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. However, Corbett and Deuel were mediocre and unable to pull their own weight in scenes with Wayne. On the flip side, Christopher George played a good, villainous gun-for-hire while Ben Johnson gave one of his best supporting performances that I've seen out of him. Has a pleasant amount of humor with a good final shoot out and a catchy, yet borderline annoying theme song. The film is carried down with a strikingly large cast for a sub two hour movie, but has a number of memorable moments.
½ August 2, 2011
I very likeable aging John Wayne romping classic. About the only thing I don't like is the cheesy and lengthy opening credits with the "Chisum! John Chisum!" theme song.
½ June 29, 2011
western fans say it's great but others not so much, more like another John Wayne film
January 15, 2010
Worth watching one time or more, depending on how much you like the Duke, this Wayne produced film is one of many made by Wayne when he was riding high in Westerns. Loosely based on events and characters from the Lincoln County War of 1878 in New Mexico Territory, which involved Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid among others.

While not the most memorable of films, the editing got a little rough at times for me. Wayne is the MAN, a wealthy cattle rancher and that's about most of the film. Forrest Tucker is the problem for Wayne in this one as they fight, literally one on one as Tucker buys up the town.

A good trip down 60-70's western nostalgia filming technique, it was no Stagecoach or rival to great cinema.
Maybe it wasn't trying to be. Michael A. Wayne, executive producer felt the story summed up his father's political views. The sizeable cast has familiar faces from earlier John Wayne films, as well as friends such as Forrest Tucker.

* Two sons of Robert Mitchum are in the cast.

** In 1986, Chisum's composer Frontiere was in jail for nine months in a federal penitentiary for scalping tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl, which he obtained through his then-wife, Los Angeles Rams owner Georgia Frontiere. They divorced after his release from prison.

*** Chisum's cinematographer Clothier was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Cinematography for The Alamo (1960) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964).

**** John Wayne was making Chisum when he heard of his nomination for an Academy Award in 1970 for True Grit.

Directed by Andrew V. McLaglen (veteran TV, movie and frequent Wayne favorite as a director)

Produced by Andrew J. Fenady
Written by Andrew J. Fenady
Narrated by William Conrad (1971-6 star in tv's "Cannon")

John Wayne - John Chisum ***
Forrest Tucker - Lawrence Murphy
Ben Johnson - James Pepper, Chisum's sidekick
Patric Knowles - Henry Tunstall (based on John Tunstall)
Geoffrey Deuel - Billy The Kid
Pamela McMyler - Sallie Chisum
Glenn Corbett - Pat Garrett
Andrew Prine - Alexander McSween
Christopher George - Dan Nodeen
Bruce Cabot - Sheriff Brady
Richard Jaeckel - Jess Evans, Murphy's lead henchman
Lynda Day - Sue McSween
Robert Donner - Morton (deputy sheriff)
John Mitchum - Baker (deputy sheriff) *
John Agar - Amos Patton, a shopkeeper ousted by Murphy
Gregg Palmer - Karl Riker
John M. Pickard - Sergeant Braddock
Christopher Mitchum - Tom O'Folliard *

Music by Dominic Frontiere **
Cinematography William H. Clothier ***
Editing by Robert L. Simpson

Studio Batjac Productions (Wayne started this company)
Distributed by Warner Bros.

Release date(s) June 24, 1970
Running time 111 min.
September 28, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

(1970) Chisum

John Wayne acting usually as himeslf again coinciding with Billy The Kid and Pat Garret as well as many others! With the existing problem with this film is the total predictability of knowing when the audience know when some undeserving good guy was going to get killed because of corruption amongst the sheriffs etc.. I ended up fast- forwarding most of the third and fourth acts than I did on the first 40 minutes while watching this film! Predictability at it's worst!

2 out of 4
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