John Wayne plays a rugged character set down in New Mexico Territory, circa 1878, as King of the Pecos, its greatest landholder and biggest cattle owner. Andrew J. Fenady, who scripted, has taken the events of the bloody Lincoln County cattle war which ended in 1878 to background his story.
Forrest Tucker plays Lawrence Murphy, the ambitious, land-grabbing and power-hungry newcomer who was one of the principals of the infamous cattle war.
Basis of picture is his move in on Chisum, who didn’t create his empire through any lack of fighting, and the cattleman’s powerful resistance.
Wayne clothes his interpretation of the early West figure with vigor and warmth.