A fictionalized account of the life of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. A hunter and Army Scout in the early part of his life, he rescues a US Senator and his beautiful daughter, Louisa Frederici. Cody is portrayed as someone who admires and respects the Indians and is a good friend of Yellow Hand who will eventually become Chief of the Cheyenne. Everyone else, including the military, politicians and businessmen on the other hand hate the Indians and are perfectly prepared to trample on their lands and destroy their buffalo hunting grounds. He's eventually forced to fight the Cheyenne however. He's also met a writer, Ned Buntline, who writes about Cody's exploits and he becomes a sensation when he travels East. His career is not assured however, particularly when he attacks those in positions of authority over their maltreatment of the Native American population. He eventually establishes his wild west show that becomes an international sensation. Written by
While as Biography, "Buffalo Bill" is probably as accurate as the depiction of Custer in "They Died With Their boots On", it is still excellent film making and a fine vehicle for stalwart Joel McCrea, who, despite performances in excellent non-westerns such as "Sullivan's Travels" and "Foreign Correspondent" was known primarily as a Cowboy Star.
I would also hold this film up as another example, along with John Ford's Cavalry Trilogy, of a film which depicted Native Americans as a noble race, victimized by the march of western civilization, long before the advent of films such as "Little Big Man" or "Dances With Wolves" The White Man is clearly the villain in this and the Ford films. Early on, Cody admonishes a Government representative, telling him that Yellow hand (Anthony Quinn, who also plays Crazy Horse in "They Died With Their boots On") is a Prince of his people, and should be treated as such.
Plus, if the reunion at the shooting gallery and the Wild West Show farewell scenes don't put a lump in your throat, better check your pulse.
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