Joel McCrea plays a hotshot reporter who thinks he knows everything and Jean Arthur plays an actress who puts one over on him. It turns out the financier of her play is a notorious art ... See full summary »
Four passengers escape their bubonic plague-infested ship and land on the coast of a wild jungle. In order to reach safety they have to trek through the jungle, facing wild animals and attacks by primitive tribesmen.
Cecil B. DeMille
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
2,000 Indian actors were used as extras for the Custer massacre sequence. 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 »
Where sun rise, white man's land. Where sun set, Indian land.
The Plainsman is directed by Cecil B. DeMille and written by Courtney Ryler Cooper & Frank J. Wilstach. It stars Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison, Charles Bickford, Helen Burgess and Paul Harvey. Music is by George Antheil and cinematography by Victor Milner. Film is a fictionalised account of the relationships involving Wild Bill Hickok (Cooper), Calamity Jane (Arthur), Buffalo Bill (Ellison) and George Custer (John Miljan).
Master of the epic DeMille crafts a big and bold Western that's finely acted, interesting in its telling and big on idealism. You obviously have to forget real time lines, this is a splicer as DeMille and Co take some of the Wild West's most famous characters and stir them into one Oater stew! Friendships and affairs of the heart form the basis of thematics, with the war against the redskin giving the characters reason for being. Gun running and politico musings drift in and out of the narrative but leave a mark, while DeMille proves classy in action construction as a number of warfare sequences raise the pulse considerably.
There are no bad apples in the cast (Cooper wonderfully macho, Arthur whip-crackingly gorgeous and Bickford suitably weasel like), though Burgess doesn't quite grasp the dramatic thrust of being Buffalo Bill's good woman. The running time is a touch too long, with several passages of dialogue serving only as time filling exercises, while the back screen projection work is irritable if a little understandable given the time of production. Ultimately there are flaws that make this only a comfortable recommendation to classic era Western fans who can accept it as a 1930s dressed up bit of frontier malarkey. Casual observers, mind, are unlikely to get past the historical hodge-podge and hooray idealism. 7/10
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