Action / Biography / Western


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June 11, 2016 at 02:55 AM


John Wayne as John Chisum
Ben Johnson as James Pepper
Christopher George as Dan Nodeen
Richard Jaeckel as Jess Evans
720p 1080p
789.27 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 3 / 6
1.67 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 6 / 12

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Righty-Sock ([email protected]) 7 / 10

"No matter where people go, sooner or later, there's the law."

McLaglen's western showcases Wayne as John Simpson Chisum, an historical figure who was the largest owner of land, of horses and cattle in New Mexico territory around 1878… The Pecos River runs through the middle of his land… He lets the water flow to all the ranches, big and small… If another man, with more appetite—like Lawrence Murphy (Forrest Tucker) owned that land— he'd control a territory bigger than most states and some countries… The story is based on the bloody Lincoln County cattle war…

Things come to 'one hell of a fight' when Murphy's men kill Chisum's friend Henry Tunstall, mentor to Billy the Kid, and have Alex McSween, manager of their general store, with Billy and some men, trapped in…

Forrest Tucker plays Chisum's enemy who really thinks himself skillful enough to 'own' the law…

Christopher George (Dan Nodeen) plays the half-crazy bounty hunter who gimps because of Billy the Kid…

Ben Johnson has one of the most impressive records of any supporting Westerner… He came here to support Chisum all the way…

Andrew V. McLaglen has built up a reputation as one of the most promising of post-war directors of Westerns, but has yet to fulfill that promise with a really major work…

Reviewed by Crimpo2 10 / 10

A Fine Western Ahead Of Its Time

One of the last of the old-style Westerns (it always amazes me that it was made as late as it was). John Wayne doing his stuff as only he can - huge shoot-outs, classic fist fights, goodies and baddies amazingly clearly defined, thumping score, oh and that amazing landscape.

If you like Wayne you'll love this, if you don't then you'll hate it. Simple as that. Ben Johnson is superb - as ever, a much underrated character actor.

Someone mentioned the 'silly' title song. I have to disagree. I love those amazingly long opening titles and the grandiose pomposity of the theme tune and its voice-over. All moving into that classic opening shot of Wayne like an immovable great rock on horseback and the horizon. Probably (no definitely) my favourite opening to a movie.

True to history - if it ever is then its by accident. But what do you expect - its a classic old-style western! Finally, was this the last US movie to feature characters with (allegedly) British accents as heroes. ;-)

Reviewed by Bill Slocum ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Wayne Rides Again

For those of us who love him, there's something about a John Wayne movie that kind of makes it immune to criticism. You can fault his no-frills acting style, the pious patriotism, the oft-uneven supporting cast, the predictable fight scenes, But even a lesser Wayne film still has John Wayne, and for his fans, that's nine-tenths of the battle in determining whether it's a good film.

"Chisum" is not going to convert non-Duke fans. On its own merits it's a serviceable western with good action sequences, some incredible vistas of the Mexican countryside (supposed to be Lincoln County, New Mexico) by cinematographer William H. Clothier, and an interesting if not always coherent storyline that places Wayne's title character, John Chisum, as more of a remote icon than active player in the proceedings, especially in its second half. Much of the film focuses on young William Bonney (Geoffrey Deuel), a former gunman better known as Billy the Kid now trying to live "clean and forward, all the way" with the help of a fatherly rancher named Tunstall (Patric Knowles, Will Scarlet to Errol Flynn's Robin Hood some 32 years before).

Geoffrey Deuel didn't go on to much of a career after this, and it's not hard seeing why. In "Chisum" his shallow characterization exudes no visible menace even after Bonney, well-provoked though not well-reasoned, turns against the law. I'm not sure how much of it was Deuel's fault. The script works against him, setting Bonney up as a decent, humble guy to the point of boringness, and director Andrew V. McLaglen only adds to the emasculation by showcasing Deuel's shy smile and his character's rote romancing of Chisum's niece. One scene freezes on Bonney holding a gun in one hand and a Bible in the other. I don't think Marlon Brando could have acted his way out of Deuel's bind.

Other actors come off better, especially Forrest Tucker as the chief heavy, Lawrence Murphy, who showcases an affable menace that makes him a good foil to Wayne's straightforward Chisum; Glenn Corbett, who plays drifting gambler Pat Garrett, hard but decent, who joins Chisum and befriends young Bonney until he turns into The Kid again; and Christopher George, whose Dan Nodeen is a nasty bounty hunter obsessed with killing the Kid. One nice thing about this film is seeing these actors, all best known for TV series work, stretching out beyond their popular identities of the period. George makes the strongest impression as the cold-eyed Nodeen.

"You just had to kill him," asks a sheriff when Nodeen brings in the body of a wanted man.

"No, less trouble that way," Nodeen replies.

Ben Johnson and Richard Jaeckel also have their moments as companions to Chisum and Murphy respectively, as does Andrew Prine as a lawyer who switches sides halfway through. There are many other performances, too, most good and all detracting somewhat from Wayne at the center, though Chisum does assert himself from time to time.

"Chisum" may be too busy a film that way, with too rambling a focus even when its on Wayne. There's one scene where Chisum looks after an old Commanche chief which should have been cut, while others need trims. But director McLaglen keeps a firm rein on things most of the time, and the story does move. His mentor was John Ford, but while McLaglen lacked Ford's nuance and depth, he was better at delivering action sequences, both in terms of frequency and originality. "Chisum" gives you plenty of action, none better than the final battle at the Lincoln general store between Billy and the baddies with Chisum riding to the rescue.

The first time I saw "Chisum," I was stuck at a sleepaway camp and hating life in general. Something about seeing John Wayne on a horse made the world seem right again, even if the film was kind of hokey with that silly title music and all. Years later, I still relish this film, in some ways more than I did then, despite its flaws. "Chisum" is not a showcase for Wayne's greatness, like "The Searchers" or "Rio Bravo," but it's a nice film to have around for those of us who don't need him justifying our love every time out.

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