3.5 9
Director: Andrew V. McLaglen

Cast: Andrew V. McLaglen, John Wayne, Forrest Tucker, Christopher George


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Andrew V. McLagalen's Chisum (1970), starring John Wayne (who also produced), was released on laserdisc in the late 1980's in a decent looking letterboxed edition; but it reappears on DVD with a significantly improved image and also with a couple of major bonus features. The first and most important of the latter is a full-length commentary track by the


Andrew V. McLagalen's Chisum (1970), starring John Wayne (who also produced), was released on laserdisc in the late 1980's in a decent looking letterboxed edition; but it reappears on DVD with a significantly improved image and also with a couple of major bonus features. The first and most important of the latter is a full-length commentary track by the director, Andrew V. McLaglen, who goes into myriad aspects of the production, starting from Andrew J. Fenady's original story, based on years of research into the Lincoln County War that was the background for the story. He's not very specific about the filming of various scenes, such as the shootout by the river, choosing instead to give analysis of the character motivations at such moments. He has fond memories of Wayne, and one wishes that Wayne's estate would get him for a commentary track on McLintock! -- as it is, he ranges freely across memories of working with Wayne on five major films, and compares the way the actor handled certain kinds of scenes with certain kinds of actors. In the course of describing the production, he attributes a genuine interest in history to his own fascination with the story, while Wayne was more interested in simply making an exciting picture. He goes into the decision behind the casting of almost every major role in the movie, though McLaglen doesn't say enough about Geoffrey Deuel, who plays perhaps the most important supporting role in the movie, that of William Bonney aka Billy The Kid. On a purely personal note, he doesn't tell much about the relationship between his father and Wayne, but he does vaguely recall some of his early work on Wayne's movies by way of John Ford, without saying anything about Ford -- and he expresses a genuine distaste for the "New Wave" westerns embodied by Sam Peckinpah, and remembers crossing paths with Peckinpah in Durango, Mexico when both were shooting down there. And he also relates the somewhat amusing tale of his almost accidental specialization in westerns, which came about because of one movie that he'd done with James Arness. The movie looks far better here than it did on the laserdisc, with deeper, richer color and a gorgeous image overall. The letterboxing (2.35-to-1) is essential to appreciating this movie, for McLaglen uses almost every corner of the screen, and keeps the action moving forward constantly. The sound is also very sharp and rich, and one wishes that McLaglen had more to say about Dominic Frontiere's music. The 112 minute movie has been given 30 chapters that are well named and placed, and is supplemented with the featurette "John Wayne And Chisum," and the original trailer. The disc opens automatically to a multi-layered menu that includes selections for English captions and French, Spanish, and Japanese subtitles, and a French audio track. The whole disc production should set a standard for how Wayne's movies ought to be treated, not just by Warner Bros. but every distributor, and one sorely wishes that the company had done this kind of a job on its earlier release of Stagecoach, a much more important movie.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
John Wayne was one of the few personalities who could carry a movie almost entirely on his personality, and Chisum is one of those movies. It came out in 1970, a year after Wayne won an Oscar for his self-referential role in True Grit and Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch revolutionized the screen Western. Hollywood studios (behind the times as usual) continued to make the genre the old fashioned way for a few more years. Chisum follows all the traditional formulas, but, thanks to a solid performance by Wayne and some high-energy action sequences, it manages to be good entertainment. Ben Johnson is pretty standard as the comic sidekick; remarkably, this was the film before his Oscar-winning performance in The Last Picture Show. The director, Andrew McLaglen, went on to direct a number of lamentable -- though quite funny -- sequels to movies that he had nothing to do with originally, including Return From the River Kwai, Sergeant Steiner, and The Dirty Dozen: The Next Mission.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital Mono]

Special Features

Closed Caption; Feature-length audio commentary by director Andrew V. McLaglen; Making-of documentary "John Wayne and Chisum"; Interactive menus; Theatrical trailer; Scene access; Languages: English & Français; Subtitles: English, Français, Español & Japanese

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Wayne John Chisum
Forrest Tucker Lawrence Murphy
Christopher George Dan Nodeen
Ben Johnson James Pepper
Glenn Corbett Pat Garrett
Andrew Prine Alex McSween
Bruce Cabot Sheriff Brady
Geoffrey Deuel Billy "The Kid" Bonney
Pamela McMyler Sallie Chisum
Patric Knowles Henry Tunstall
Richard Jaeckel Jess Evans
Lynda Day Sue McSween
John Agar Patton
Lloyd Battista Neemo
Robert Donner Morton
Ray Teal Justice Wilson
Edward Faulkner Dolan
Ron Soble Bowdre
John Mitchum Baker
Alan Baxter Gov. Axtell
Alberto Morin Delgado
William Bryant Jeff
Pedro Armendariz Ben
Christopher Mitchum O'Folliard
Abraham Sofaer White Buffalo
Gregg Palmer Riker
Pedro Gonzalez-Gonzalez Mexican Rancher
Glenn Langan Dudley
John M. Pickard Aggressive sergeant
Hank Worden Stage Depot Clerk
Jim Burk Actor
Eddy Donno Actor
Bob Morgan Actor
Chuck Roberson A Trail Herder
Ralph Volkie Blacksmith
Merle Haggard Singer

Technical Credits
Andrew V. McLaglen Director
Carl Anderson Art Director
Luster Bayless Costumes/Costume Designer
William H. Clothier Cinematographer
Andrew J. Fenady Songwriter,Producer,Screenwriter
John Ferguson Sound/Sound Designer
Dominic Frontiere Score Composer
Norman Gimbel Songwriter
Michael J. Harte Costumes/Costume Designer
Robert L. Simpson Editor
Michael Wayne Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Credits.
2. Contemplating Change.
3. Rustlers Strike.
4. Lead for Horses.
5. Invitations Made and Refused.
6. Sallie and the McSweens.
7. Lonely Wind.
8. Ain't Like Old Times.
9. Fine Looking Couple?
10. Pat Garrett Arrives.
11. Treachery in the Dark.
12. Not Bled Enough.
13. Owning the Law.
14. Influencing the Military.
15. Cain, Abel and Target Practice.
16. New Businesses.
17. Rumors About Billy.
18. Collecting Rewards.
19. Smell of Death...
20. Competition.
21. Law of the Lord.
22. Pepper's Opinion.
23. Trap for Tunstall.
24. Graveside Promise.
25. Hard to Believe.
26. Pair of Killers.
27. Billy's Justice.
28. New Sheriff.
29. Murphy Learns a Fact.
30. Ultimatum for Billy.
31. Law Enforcement.
32. Revenge vs. Justice.
33. Cornered.
34. Standoff.
35. McSween's Mistake.
36. Longhorn Solution.
37. Fights to the Finish.
38. Law Sooner or Later.


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Chisum 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie has all the classic cliche lines, from 'Ah, senor, there has been a mistake.' 'You made it.' to 'We may be neighbors, but I don't have to be neighborly.' But guess what? With the Duke saying them, they work! Yes, the history is a bit iffy, but the story is great. The West wasn't really this way - but it should have been!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is no way to turn off the voice-over of Andrew V. McLaglen. His voice drowns out the actors throughout. There is no way to shut off the special features of Mr. McLaglen giving his personal opinions. Minimal movie sound exists. Sad....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was never a John Wayne fan because my parents never watched them.. But after watching McLintock and Chism.. I am a huge fan of John Wayne.. DYK.. it was filmed in Durango, Mexico for only $4.4 million dollars and Wayne only used 1 production company for ALL his movies.. Great movie.. BUY IT TODAY
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Wayne gives a superb performance especially if you are a fan. He portrays John Chisum and in the process gives a marginal man the cinematic prowess that only the Duke can lend to another man. Even better than seeing Wayne at his best (or close, if you want his best check out Big Jake or McClintock and that is including is long overdue Oscar for True Grit ) is getting to watch Ben Johnson doing what he always did best, support. In Chisum, he was wonderful, almost as good as he was in the Undeafeated or The Last Picture Show. He portrayed the man behind Chisum, the friend, but more importantly the one who always backed his friend. The soundtrack is above par as well and for anbody who has not had the opportunity to see this movie, I encourage you to try it out. If you don't want to buy, you will once you see it. AMC runs it every now and then.