Very handsome man, I always liked him too. For some strange reason, it seems that he played more than his fair share of weasels/cowards (examples: Tarzan's Savage Fury, The Big Steal, Five Came Back.) Of course, as "Mr. Peacemaker hisself" he has one of his most sympathetic roles.
I'm glad I'm not alone on Chisum
. I've often thought how it has a heck of a lot more accuracy than most other films dealing with the Lincoln Country War.
Of course, as has been noted, there are some changes... having your main villain die of a heart attack while suing the hero can't top impaling him on a wall-hanging. (Also, it seems to have been more of a Murphy/Brady/Dolan combine, but in a movie you need one clearly defined boss.)
I though the actor playing Billy was good for the role. Didn't look way too old like most of the actors playing him do, and while quite small (like the real Billy) still could come across as dangerous. And, the part was pretty straight-forwardly written: Billy's not evil, and there's some good in him (Garret said as much himself), but the fact that he's already a seasoned killer isn't glossed over.
Anyone think that "Buckshot" Frank Roberts may have loosely inspired the character of Dan Nodeen? A real hard-case. (Unfortunately, I don't know of any possible basis for Pepper.