Johnson County War (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

Johnson County War (2002)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

The backdrop for this epic Western, which aired in August 2002 on the Hallmark Channel, will be familiar to fans of the genre and students of Western history. The Johnson County War took place in northern Wyoming in April 1892, growing out of the familiar story of big-money ranchers who suspected homesteader neighbors of rustling. Screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana adapted Frederick Manfred's 1957 novel, Riders of Judgment, which used some of the events and people but changed the names, including the county (which becomes Bighorn) and the main town (from Buffalo to Antelope). Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate (1981) also employed elements of the Johnson County War in its story. Manfred's book and this film center on Cain Hammett (Tom Berenger), a lonesome cowboy who hankers for Rory (Michelle Forbes); she has married his younger brother Dale (Adam Storke) in spite of the fact that she really loves Cain. A third Hammett brother, Harry (Luke Perry), unlike his honest, homesteading siblings, is a rustler who runs afoul of Marshal Hunt Lawton (Burt Reynolds), who is in the employ of wealthy Lord Peter (Christopher Cazenove), an Englishman in cahoots with the owners of big ranches to exterminate all of the homesteaders, guilty or innocent. Cain Hammett's real-life counterpart, Nate Champion, was a prime target of mercenaries hired by the big cattlemen, and the siege of Cain's cabin, which was the opening salvo in the war, provides the film with its climax.


Tom Berenger
as Cain Hammett
Luke Perry
as Harry Hammett
Burt Reynolds
as Hunt Lawton
Rachel Ward
as Queenie
Michelle Forbes
as Rory Hammett
Adam Storke
as Dale Hammett
Jack Conley
as Jesse Jacklin
Silas Weir Mitchell
as Mitch Slaughter
Fay Masterson
as Clara Jager
Ken Pogue
as Wally Tascot
Blu Mankuma
as Hambone
Thomas Heaton
as Sheriff Sine
Stephen Bridgewater
as Dencil Jager
P. Adrien Dorval
as Timberline
Jimmy Herman
as Sam-the-Wolfer
Henry Beckman
as Gov. Barb
Ron Hartmann
as Sen. Thorpe
Tim Koetting
as Bat Waldy
Hal Kerbes
as Irv Hornsby
Paul Coeur
as Claybourne Rodney
David LeReany
as Allen Stone
Tom Heaton
as Sheriff Sine
John F. Parker
as Russell of the Times
Joe Shaw
as Bobby
Billy Morton
as Ringbone
John Dodds
as 2nd Horseman
David Lereaney
as Allen Stone
Doug Lennox
as Texas Ike
Bunk Duncan
as Butcherknife
Kirk Jarrett
as Jimmy Albert
Steve Shayler
as 1st Bad Cowboy
Tom Carey
as Texas Cowboy
Peter Strand Rumple
as Telegraph Operator
Shawn Orr
as Texas Gunman
Chris Ippolito
as Nightherder
J.C. Roberts
as Tom the Granger
Jerry Wills
as Skunker
View All

Critic Reviews for Johnson County War

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

... an irresistible miniseries from the indefatigable Larry McMurtry...

January 31, 2018 | Full Review…

I suspect that supporters of this film are also fond of watching ice melt--which, long about the middle of the second hour, you'll either believe is what you're doing, or wish you were doing instead.

December 9, 2002 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

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