As one of the founders of the town of Lincoln, John Chisum is increasingly worried as Lawrence Murphy moves in on the local stores, bank and land by questionable means. Chisum and fellow honest ranch owner Henry Tunstall try and use the law, but Murphy owns that too. Confrontation threatens and Tunstall’s man Billy Bonney is not slow to get involved.
Maybe it is because I grew up with watching John Wayne (my father was a big fan of western movies) but I still really like these old goodies with John Wayne. Actually there are few movies with John Wayne that I do not like even though all of them are rather outdated in this age of overkill action and special effects.
This is definitely one of the better ones. John Wayne is doing what he does best. That is playing a slightly grumpy, hard-hitting cowboy. The role of Chisum is really perfect for John Wayne. That is not to say that the others are not doing a decent performance but it is really John Wayne that makes this movie.
The movie itself is a fairly standard land-grabbing, cattle-steeling and bullying western story were two men spend most of the movie working themselves towards the final confrontation which, as good western tradition prescribes, involves a hearty exchange of gunfire. Just for good measure a bit of fist fighting was thrown in as well.
There is nothing special with the story, there is nothing special with the acting, there is nothing special with the footage. It is just that everything is what I would expect, or at least hope for, in this kind of movie. The entire movie is just right in some old-fashioned way. The fact that the ending is reasonably happy is of course an additional plus.
This movie is simply great uncomplicated entertainment.