“Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher” now streaming
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office
Release Date: November 01, 2021
The life of historic Chickasaw rancher Montford Johnson inspired the feature film “Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher” which Chickasaw Nation Productions has made available via online streaming as of November 2021.
The Chickasaw Nation Productions’ film portrays the great hardships and tragedy Johnson and those close to him overcame to establish a vast ranching empire along the famous cattle highway of the American West, the Chisholm Trail.
Johnson’s story is a true Western epic, spanning from his birth in 1843, through the tumultuous years of the Civil War and its aftermath, and the Land Rush of 1889.
Inspired by recounts of Johnson's life and the book “The Chickasaw Rancher,” this story tells of Johnson’s time among settlers, cowboys, tribes, military and bandits.
Armed with determination and dreams of a better life, he had the grit and courage needed to tame what seemed an infinite wilderness, while always maintaining respect for the First Americans who lived there.
The son of an Englishman and a Chickasaw woman, Johnson would befriend Jesse Chisholm, who convinced him to establish cattle ranches and trading posts in Indian Territory to serve fellow First Americans.
As his ranching empire expanded, Johnson’s perseverance established his legacy. Through conflicts with “Boomers” and cattle rustlers, and numerous personal tragedies, Johnson stood strong. His ranching practices, such as burning fields to control growth and reduce diseases spread by ticks, along with barbed wire fencing, are still used today.
At the height of his ranching operation, Johnson accumulated a herd of over 35,000 head of cattle which grazed over a million acres of the newly-created Indian Territory.
Many tribes are represented within the cast of the movie. Martin Sensmeier, who portrays Montford Johnson, is Tlingit and Koyukon-Athabascan. Tatanka Means, who plays Rising Wolf, is an award-winning First American actor who represents the Oglala Lakota, Omaha and Navajo tribes. Casey Camp-Horinek portrays Granny Vicey and is a Ponca tribal member. Sonia Hoffman is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and is cast as Asha, Rising Wolf’s wife. Rebeckah Boykin, a Choctaw model and actress, portrays Johnson’s sister, Adelaide. Eddie Easterling, a Chickasaw citizen, plays Jesse Chisholm.
Other cast members include Dermot Mulroney, Tommy Flanagan, Grace Montie, James Landry Hébert, Denim Richards, Mackenzie Astin, Caleb Marten, Eddie Easterling, Danny Tracey, Cat Merritt, Richard Whitman, Zack Morris, Randy Mendez-Kestler, Bella Muncy and Callan Wilson.
“Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher” was directed by Nathan Frankowski and produced by Paul Sirmons.
Most of the film was captured on Oklahoma soil during the spring and summer. Davis, Reagan and Fort Gibson were key filming locations.
It is the third feature film produced by the Chickasaw Nation, joining “Te Ata” and “Pearl” in its effort to tell the story of the Chickasaw people.
For more information about Chickasaw Nation Productions, visit ChickasawFilms.com.
“Montford: The Chickasaw Rancher” is now available to stream on Netflix.