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The Plainsman (1936)

Wild Bill Hickok attempts to stop an Indian uprising that was started by white gun-runners.



(screen play), (screen play) | 4 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Burgess ...
Louisa Cody
Painted Horse
Van Ellyn
A Young Trooper
Purnell Pratt ...
Captain Wood
Jake - A Teamster (as Fred Kohler Sr. in End Credit)
Pat Moriarity ...
Sergeant McGinnis (as Pat Moriarty)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

16 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Held der Prärie  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 31, 1937 with Jean Arthur reprising her film role. 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 »


Wild Bill Hickok: What started you on the warpath, Yellow Hand?
Yellow Hand: Where sun rise, white man's land. Where sun set, Indian land. White man come, take our land, kill buffalo, our food. White man promise us food. White man lie. Now Cheyenne buy white man thunder stick. Soon war drum sound in all Indian land. All tribes ride with Yellow Hand. We drive white man, like buffalo, away back to rising sun. Yellow Hand has spoken.
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The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Part of the score at the end
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User Reviews

Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill, Custer, all are here
12 November 2004 | by (S. Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The Plainsman is an entertaining western, no doubt a classic, which is actual even today. Gary Cooper is Wild Bill Hickok, ideal for the role, together with John Wayne and James Stewart, they were the best actors that played western heroes in their generation. Jean Arthur is great as Calamity Jane, nobody that I know played it better than her. Even if might not be historically accurate, the film manages to capture the most important about Hickok and about the time it takes place. Sometimes you have to sacrifice History to make your point and that is what DeMille does here. The friendship of Hickok with Buffalo Bill, the selling of rifles to the Indians by a great manufacturer to compensate for the losses he would have because of the end of the civil war, Custer and Little Big Horn, the uneasy relationship between Buffalo Bill's wife, a religious woman, with Hickok a man who had killed plenty, also the unusual love affair between Hickok and Calamity all this makes 'The Plainsman' a non conventional and interesting film. Anthony Quinn has a very short appearance, that already shows what a great actor he was going to become. A lot of care was taken to show the original guns of that time.

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