With the end of the North American Civil War, the manufacturers of repeating rifles find a profitable means of making money selling the weapons to the North American Indians, using the front man John Lattimer to sell the rifles to the Cheyenne. While traveling in a stagecoach with Calamity Jane and William "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his young wife Louisa Cody that want to settle down in Hays City managing a hotel, Wild Bill Hickok finds the guide Breezy wounded by arrows and telling that the Indians are attacking a fort using repeating rifles. Hickok meets Gen. George A. Custer that assigns Buffalo Bill to guide a troop with ammunition to help the fort. Meanwhile the Cheyenne kidnap Calamity Jane, forcing Hickok to expose himself to rescue her. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
An excellent horseman from his youth in Montana, Gary Cooper did most of his own riding stunts, including the shot where he rode "hanging" between two horses. See more »
On the evening of Lincoln's assassination Van Ellyn and his associates are discussing the supposedly then current John Soule editorial, "Go West, Young Man." Lincoln was murdered in 1865. Soule wrote that famous line in 1851. See more »
At the close of the US Civil War, girl-shy Gary Cooper (as "Wild" Bill Hickok), fellow frontiersman James Ellison (as "Buffalo" Bill Cody), and feisty blonde Jean Arthur (as "Calamity" Jane Canary) battle Native American Indians and greedy gunrunner Charles Bickford (as John Lattimer). Mr. Ellison handles himself exceptionally well alongside Mr. Cooper, already a huge box office star, and young Helen Burgess (as Louisa) does well in the debut of her unfortunately brief film career. Speaking with forked-tongues, young Anthony Quinn and George "Gabby" Hayes have small but notable roles as an Injun and victim.
The film starts by helpfully disclaiming, "The story that follows compresses many years, many lives, and widely separated events into one narrative - in an attempt to do justice to the courage of The Plainsman of our west." This film is far from historically accurate. While mannered and obvious, the handsome production benefits from beautiful visual framing by director Cecil B. DeMille and the Paramount studios crew.
****** The Plainsman (11/16/36) Cecil B. DeMille ~ Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison, Charles Bickford
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