Chisum (1970)

G | 111 mins | Western | 24 June 1970

Director:

Andrew V. McLaglen

Producer:

Andrew J. Fenady

Cinematographer:

William H. Clothier

Editor:

Robert Simpson

Production Designer:

Carl Anderson

Production Company:

Batjac Productions, Inc.
Full page view
HISTORY

The original screenplay was titled Chisum and the Lincoln County Cattle War, as stated in a 12 Aug 1969 DV brief. The film marked John Wayne’s 200th starring role in a feature motion picture, according to an article in the 25 Jan 1970 LAT, which also noted that Wayne had just made the list of “Top Ten Money-Making Stars” for his twentieth consecutive year. At the time, he was said to be ranked number two behind actor Paul Newman.
       Chisum was announced as Wayne’s next project in the 19 May 1969 DV. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. was initially set to finance and distribute, but the 6 Aug 1969 Var indicated that the film had moved to Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, Inc. The shift reportedly occurred because Wayne was eager to begin filming in 1969, while Fox’s production slate for the year was already full.
       A news brief in the 10 Jul 1969 DV stated that Wayne wanted actor Bruce Cabot, who had recently lost forty-five pounds to star in WUSA (1970, see entry), to gain back twenty-five pounds for the role of “Sheriff Brady.”
       Months prior to the 6 Oct 1969 start of principal photography in Durango, Mexico, director Andrew V. McLaglen and Wayne had collaborated on The Undefeated (1969, see entry), also shot in Durango. Although local vendors had allegedly gouged prices during that shoot, the 26 Aug 1969 DV noted that McLaglen and Wayne had agreed to return with Chisum after Durango’s governor had made a personal promise of better treatment. An ... More Less

The original screenplay was titled Chisum and the Lincoln County Cattle War, as stated in a 12 Aug 1969 DV brief. The film marked John Wayne’s 200th starring role in a feature motion picture, according to an article in the 25 Jan 1970 LAT, which also noted that Wayne had just made the list of “Top Ten Money-Making Stars” for his twentieth consecutive year. At the time, he was said to be ranked number two behind actor Paul Newman.
       Chisum was announced as Wayne’s next project in the 19 May 1969 DV. Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. was initially set to finance and distribute, but the 6 Aug 1969 Var indicated that the film had moved to Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, Inc. The shift reportedly occurred because Wayne was eager to begin filming in 1969, while Fox’s production slate for the year was already full.
       A news brief in the 10 Jul 1969 DV stated that Wayne wanted actor Bruce Cabot, who had recently lost forty-five pounds to star in WUSA (1970, see entry), to gain back twenty-five pounds for the role of “Sheriff Brady.”
       Months prior to the 6 Oct 1969 start of principal photography in Durango, Mexico, director Andrew V. McLaglen and Wayne had collaborated on The Undefeated (1969, see entry), also shot in Durango. Although local vendors had allegedly gouged prices during that shoot, the 26 Aug 1969 DV noted that McLaglen and Wayne had agreed to return with Chisum after Durango’s governor had made a personal promise of better treatment. An item in the 17 Sep 1969 Var noted that Wayne’s son, executive producer Michael Wayne, laid the cornerstone of a new $1.6 million filming complex, financed by the state of Durango, where shooting was set to take place. The budget for Chisum, which was scheduled for an eleven-week shoot, was cited in the 1 Oct 1969 Var as $4.8 million.
       A 24 Jun 1970 world premiere was planned in Dallas, TX, the 17 Jun 1970 Var reported. Wayne and several co-stars were set to attend the event, in addition to “two days of pre-opening festivities.” The 24 Jun 1970 Var noted that Wayne would receive the American Academy of Achievement’s “Golden Plate Award” on the night of the premiere, and Texas governor Preston Smith was also scheduled to present the actor with a Winchester rifle after a parade through downtown Dallas.
       Chisum grossed $6 million in domestic film rentals, making it the nineteenth-highest-grossing American release in 1970, according to a box-office chart in the 6 Jan 1971 Var.
       Items published in DV, Var and LAT between 19 Aug 1969 and 24 Nov 1969 listed the following actors as cast members: Rudy Diaz; Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez ; Enrique Lucero; Jose Angel Espinosa; Enrique Villa (son of famed revolutionary Pancho Villa); Hank Worden; Eddie Donno; and Jim Burke. A 23 Oct 1969 DV brief also noted that Andrew V. McLaglen’s children, Josh and Mary, would make their motion picture acting debuts in Chisum, and the 2 Dec 1969 DV stated that Mexican singer Alida Andrade would record two songs for the picture.
       Mexican set designer Ramon Rodriguez Granada died while being flown back to Mexico City, Mexico, from the set in Durango, where he had been working on the picture, according to a notice in the 22 Oct 1969 Var. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
19 May 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
10 Jul 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
12 Aug 1969
p. 1, 9.
Daily Variety
19 Aug 1969
p. 2.
Daily Variety
26 Aug 1969
p. 8.
Daily Variety
10 Oct 1969
p. 18.
Daily Variety
15 Oct 1969
p. 14.
Daily Variety
17 Oct 1969
p. 16.
Daily Variety
23 Oct 1969
p. 3.
Daily Variety
2 Dec 1969
p. 10.
Daily Variety
22 Jun 1970
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
2 Sep 1969
Section E, p. 16.
Los Angeles Times
27 Oct 1969
Section E, p. 24.
Los Angeles Times
29 Oct 1969
Section G, p. 13.
Los Angeles Times
25 Jan 1970
Section N, p. 6.
Los Angeles Times
16 Aug 1970
Section P, p. 55.
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 1970
Section E, p. 16.
New York Times
30 Jul 1970
p. 32.
Variety
6 Aug 1969
p. 24.
Variety
17 Sep 1969
p. 26.
Variety
1 Oct 1969
p. 33.
Variety
1 Oct 1969
p. 76.
Variety
22 Oct 1969
p. 2.
Variety
22 Oct 1969
p. 38.
Variety
17 Jun 1970
p. 5.
Variety
24 Jun 1970
p. 4.
Variety
6 Jan 1971
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Asst cam
Asst cam
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus supv
SOUND
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Paintings
Prop master
Key grip
Gaffer
Stunt coordinator
Main titles
Main titles
SOURCES
SONGS
"Turn Me Around," words and music by Dominic Frontiere and Norman Gimbel
"Ballad of John Chisum," words and music by Dominic Frontiere and Andrew J. Fenady, sung by Merle Haggard.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Chisum and the Lincoln County Cattle War
Release Date:
24 June 1970
Premiere Information:
Dallas opening and world premiere: 24 June 1970
New York opening: 29 July 1970
Los Angeles opening: 19 August 1970
Production Date:
began 6 October 1969
Copyright Claimant:
Batjac Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
25 June 1970
Copyright Number:
LP40896
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
Panavision
Duration(in mins):
111
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22221
SYNOPSIS

In 1878 John Chisum, the owner of a huge New Mexico cattle ranch, discovers that Lawrence Murphy, a corrupt businessman, is trying to gain control of the surrounding land by illegally foreclosing mortgages. When Chisum comes upon some of Murphy's men rustling cattle, he enlists the aid of J. H. Tunstall, his English neighbor, and the notorious Billy "The Kid" Bonney to gun the cowboys down. Stranger Pat Garrett arrives and informs Chisum of Murphy's growing power and particularly his influence on Sheriff Brady, who was appointed by Murphy. When the ranchers attempt to set up a general store of their own and Murphy's men interfere, Tunstall decides to report his actions to the governor; on his way, however, Tunstall is killed by Sheriff Brady. Billy, enraged by the murder of his friend, shoots Brady and his deputies in revenge. Chisum's niece, Sally, who had been attracted to Billy, realizes the extent of his violent character and turns her affection to Pat Garrett. Murphy then uses the killings to persuade the governor to send bounty hunter Dan Nodeen to apprehend Billy and his gang. Murphy joins Nodeen in the fierce gunfight against Billy. Chisum stampedes his cattle through town and in the resulting confusion, Billy chases Nodeen out of town and Chisum kills Murphy. The town is left in ruins, but Garrett is appointed sheriff, and Chisum is once again in control of his cattle ... +


In 1878 John Chisum, the owner of a huge New Mexico cattle ranch, discovers that Lawrence Murphy, a corrupt businessman, is trying to gain control of the surrounding land by illegally foreclosing mortgages. When Chisum comes upon some of Murphy's men rustling cattle, he enlists the aid of J. H. Tunstall, his English neighbor, and the notorious Billy "The Kid" Bonney to gun the cowboys down. Stranger Pat Garrett arrives and informs Chisum of Murphy's growing power and particularly his influence on Sheriff Brady, who was appointed by Murphy. When the ranchers attempt to set up a general store of their own and Murphy's men interfere, Tunstall decides to report his actions to the governor; on his way, however, Tunstall is killed by Sheriff Brady. Billy, enraged by the murder of his friend, shoots Brady and his deputies in revenge. Chisum's niece, Sally, who had been attracted to Billy, realizes the extent of his violent character and turns her affection to Pat Garrett. Murphy then uses the killings to persuade the governor to send bounty hunter Dan Nodeen to apprehend Billy and his gang. Murphy joins Nodeen in the fierce gunfight against Billy. Chisum stampedes his cattle through town and in the resulting confusion, Billy chases Nodeen out of town and Chisum kills Murphy. The town is left in ruins, but Garrett is appointed sheriff, and Chisum is once again in control of his cattle empire. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.