John Chisum is a rancher and one of the founders of the town of Lincoln County. Lawrence Murphy moves to Lincoln and he starts taking over the local stores, the bank and land by questionable methods. He raises the prices at the general store. Chisum and his fellow rancher Henry Tunstall try to stay within the law and confront Murphy. They learn quickly that Murphy also owns the law and makes the laws. Pat Garret and Billy the Kid are living in Lincoln too.
There was an actual Lincoln County War of 1878 in New Mexico Territory and it did involve Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. This film is loosely based on the actual events and characters but it has many historically inaccurate details. I don’t know what the body count is but there are a lot of gun battles!! In one standoff the Chisum side runs out of ammo and has to get more. There is a battle over rustled horses and another over rustled cattle. The brands are changed on the cattle to make it look like Murphy’s gang didn’t take the cattle. They don’t mind a little murder too. It takes a BIG horse to hold up John Wayne!! 3* (This movie is OK)
111 min, Western directed by Andrew V. McLaglen with John Wayne, Forrest Rucker, Christopher George, Ben Johnson, Glenn Corbett, Andrew Prine, Bruce Cabot, Patric Knowles, Richard Jaeckel, Lynda Day George, Geoffrey Deuel, Pamela McMyler, John Agar, Lloyd Battista.
Note: Imdb 6.9 out of 10, 83% critic 74% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 378 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Durango, Mexico; Calabasas, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico, Sonoita and San Pedro River, Arizona. The Chisum Ranch house is the same housed used in the popular John Wayne western, Big Jake of 1971. Lynda Day met Christopher George during filming and they got married. Wayne and Tucker used stunt doubles in a lengthy fistfight.