Vol. LII No. 7
July 2017

‘The Chickasaw Rancher’ wraps production


Martin Sensmeier, who landed a starring role alongside Denzel Washington in “The Magnificent Seven,” plays the lead role of Montford Johnson in “The Chickasaw Rancher.”

This new movie by Chickasaw Nation Productions also features Tommy Flanagan of the acclaimed television series “Sons of Anarchy” and Dermot Mulroney, who starred in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding,” in a diverse ensemble cast. Filming in Oklahoma wrapped last month. Filming took place on the Chickasaw Ranch, near Davis, Okla., and other locations across the Chickasaw Nation.

“The Chickasaw Rancher” is inspired by the life of Chickasaw rancher Montford Johnson. Orphaned at a young age, Johnson survived great hardships and tragedy to establish a vast ranching empire along the famous Chisholm Trail, the fabled cattle highway of the American West.

“Film production is part of our effort to tell the story of the Chickasaw people,” Gov. Bill Anoatubby said. “We became involved in making movies because film is a great way to tell our own stories and illustrate the important role Chickasaw people have played in American history. Montford Johnson’s story is also the story of the Chickasaw Nation. He went through tough times. He was able to stand up against adversities. He became a success in spite of difficult times. This is a perfect story to tell about the Chickasaw Nation.”

Principal cast members include:

Martin Sensmeier, who portrayed Red Harvest in “The Magnificent Seven,” plays the lead role of renowned Oklahoma cattleman Montford Johnson. Raised in the Tlingit Coastal Community in Alaska, Mr. Sensmeier grew up learning and participating in the traditions of his tribes, the Tlingit and Koyukon-Athabascan. He is also an ambassador for The Native Wellness Institute and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

Dermot Mulroney is cast as Montford Johnson’s estranged father Boggy Johnson. Since being discovered at Northwestern University 28 years ago, Mr. Mulroney has appeared in more than 70 films, including “Young Guns,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “August: Osage County,” for which he and fellow cast members were nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.

Tommy Flanagan brings the character Holden to the screen. Mr. Flanagan’s lengthy film and television credits include “Sons of Anarchy,” “Gladiator” and “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2.”

James Landry Hébert is cast as Lt. Richter. Mr. Hebert is known for his work on “Gangster Squad,” “Looper” and “Seven Psychopaths.” He also has recurring roles on the television series “Taken” and “Westworld.”

Tatanka Means, an award-winning Native American actor who represents the Oglala Lakota, Omaha and Navajo tribes, is Rising Wolf. Mr. Means’ movie credits include “A Million Ways to Die in the West” and “Tiger Eyes.”

“The Chickasaw Rancher” has 12 Native American tribes represented in speaking roles. Chickasaw citizens and Cheyenne and Arapaho citizens, among others, will appear in pivotal roles. More than 175 Chickasaw citizens appear as extras in the film.

Governor Bill Anoatubby said film production was part of the Chickasaw Nation’s effort to tell the true story of Native Americans such as Montford Johnson.

“Montford Johnson’s life story helps illustrate the important role Chickasaw people have played in shaping American history and culture,” Gov. Anoatubby said. “We are pleased we have such a diverse group of actors involved in telling the story of Montford Johnson’s remarkable legacy of entrepreneurialism, altruism and diplomacy.”

“The Chickasaw Rancher” is directed by Nathan Frankowski and produced by Paul Sirmons. Mr. Frankowski and Mr. Sirmons’ previous credits include “Te Ata,” also produced by Chickasaw Nation Productions.

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