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The Plainsman (1936)

Approved  |   |  Biography, History, Romance  |  16 November 1936 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,317 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 6 critic

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

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(screen play), (screen play), 5 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
James Ellison ...
...
Helen Burgess ...
Louisa Cody
Porter Hall ...
Paul Harvey ...
Victor Varconi ...
Painted Horse
John Miljan ...
Frank McGlynn Sr. ...
Granville Bates ...
Van Ellyn
...
A Young Trooper
Purnell Pratt ...
Captain Wood
Fred Kohler ...
Jake - A Teamster (as Fred Kohler Sr. in End Credit)
Pat Moriarity ...
Sergeant McGinnis (as Pat Moriarty)
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Storyline

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

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

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Quinn told Cecil B. DeMille that he spoke fluent Cheyenne. Quinn's description of the Custer battle is gibberish, but DeMille was impressed. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Louisa Cody: Will, does he kill like that?
Buffalo Bill Cody: Ain't a corpse-maker like him, honey!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Golden Saddles, Silver Spurs (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock-a-Bye Baby
(1886) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Effie I. Canning
Hummed by Jean Arthur when she shows the hand cradle to the indians
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Trails cross sometimes
28 November 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This Cecil B. DeMille epic of the old West contains what may be Jean Arthur's finest performance, as a hysterical, eccentric, incurably amoral, but devotedly doting Calamity Jane. She really pulled it off! Gary Cooper is at his most taciturn, but manages some occasional pithy sayings: 'The plains are big, but trails cross ... sometimes.' The story is a pastiche to end all pastiches. All the cowboy heroes of Western lore seem to be in there somehow except for Jesse James. Even Abraham Lincoln opens the story in person (or at least, DeMille would have us believe so). There is no room for anything so evanescent as subtlety, this is a 'stomp 'em in the face' tale for the masses. A remarkable thing about this film however is that it is a very early full frontal attack on what Eisenhower was eventually to name 'the military industrial complex'. It isn't just a story about gun-runners, but about arming anyone for money, and doing so from the heart of Washington. But let's not get into politics, let's leave that to DeMille, who can be guaranteed to be superficial. The chief interest of this film all these years later is that it uses the first film score composed by George Antheil, who has a lot to say about the job in his autobiography, 'Bad Boy of Music'. Antheil seems to have originated 'the big sound' adopted by all subsequent Westerns, whereby the plains sing out with the voices and sounds of countless cowboys in the sky, celebrating the open spaces and interweaving common melodies. That is why it does not sound at all unusual, because we have heard it a thousand times. But he seems to have been the first to summon up the combined rustlings of all the sage brush into this symphony of the open skies which has entered into American mythic lore, and given it a soundtrack which has never varied since then, corny as it may be, but doubtless appropriate. It is amusing to see Anthony Quinn in an early appearance as a Cheyenne Indian. Gabby Hayes is in there somewhere, but you miss him in the crowd. Gary Cooper overtops them all, looming large, - but when did he ever loom small?


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