MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 8,102 this week

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)

 -  Comedy | Western  -  24 June 1976 (USA)
6.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.1/10 from 2,631 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 22 critic

A cynical Buffalo Bill hires Sitting Bull to exploit him and add his credibility to the distorted view of history presented in his Wild West Show.

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screen story and screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 46 titles
created 04 Jul 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 18 Jul 2012
 
a list of 48 titles
created 30 Nov 2012
 
a list of 28 titles
created 27 Jan 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 12 May 2013
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) on IMDb 6.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

User Polls

1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck
Kansas City (1996)
Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, Harry Belafonte
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

O.C. and Stiggs aren't your average unhappy teenagers. They not only despise their suburban surroundings, they plot against it. They seek revenge against the middle class Schwab family, who embody all they detest: middle class.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Daniel Jenkins, Neill Barry, Jane Curtin
Images (1972)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A frustrated young man, separated from his younger girlfriend, gets involved in a juvenile gang.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tom Laughlin, Peter Miller, Richard Bakalyan
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Rene Auberjonois
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Conflict arises in the small town of Holly Springs when an old woman's death causes a variety of reactions among family and friends.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler
Secret Honor (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A fictionalized former President Richard M. Nixon offers a solitary, stream-of-consciousness reflection on his life and political career - and the "true" reasons for the Watergate scandal and his resignation.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Philip Baker Hall
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

This is an insane and fast-paced romantic comedy about a bizarre dinner date among Bruce (Goldblum) and Prudence (Hagerty), and their lunatic therapists, and Bruce's jealous, gun-wielding ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Julie Hagerty, Jeff Goldblum, Glenda Jackson
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A no account outlaw establishes his own particular brand of law and order and builds a town on the edges of civilization in this farcical western. With the aid of an old law text and ... See full summary »

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Ava Gardner, Roy Jenson
WUSA (1970)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A radio station in the Deep South becomes the focal point of a right-wing conspiracy.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Perkins
HealtH (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, James Garner
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
The Producer (Nate Salisbury)
...
The Publicist (Maj. John Burke)
...
The Relative (Ed Goodman)
Allan F. Nicholls ...
The Journalist (Prentiss Ingraham) (as Allan Nicholls)
...
...
The Sure Shot's Manager (Frank Butler)
...
The Wrangler (Oswald Dart) (as Robert Doqui)
Mike Kaplan ...
The Treasurer (Jules Keen)
...
The Bartender (Crutch)
Bonnie Leaders ...
The Mezzo-Contralto (Margaret)
Noelle Rogers ...
The Lyric-Coloratura (Lucille DuCharme)
...
The Lyric-Soprano (Nina Cavallini)
...
The Indian Agent (McLaughlin)
Frank Kaquitts ...
The Indian (Sitting Bull)
Edit

Storyline

Buffalo Bill plans to put on his own Wild West sideshow, and Chief Sitting Bull has agreed to appear in it. However, Sitting Bull has his own hidden agenda, involving the President and General Custer. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Buffalo Bill and the Indians  »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1979) | (video release)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture's long title, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976), was ten words long. See more »

Goofs

Sitting Bull joined Cody's show in 1885. The performing arena shows several Wyoming state flags, but Wyoming wasn't granted statehood until 1890, and that flag wasn't adopted until 1917. See more »

Quotes

William Halsey: Sitting Bull says that history is nothing more than disrespect for the dead.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Robert Altman's Absolutely Unique and Heroic Enterprise of Inimitable Lustrel See more »

Connections

References Nashville (1975) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Minor Misfire
8 February 2011 | by (Greenwich, CT United States) – See all my reviews

The best part of "Buffalo Bill And The Indians, Or Sitting Bull's History Lesson" is the first ten to 15 minutes. We join a Wild West show rehearsal circa 1885, and watch as its staff work at creating a show that takes itself a little too seriously. The feeling of observing a real, living thing comes across, only a bit funnier than reality.

"Tell Joy not to get on the horse in back," mutters the show's MC, Salisbury (Joel Grey) regarding an actress playing a white woman abducted by Indians. "It looks fake. We're in the authentic business." Later, Salisbury shoots down a band's idea of real frontier music as "too Ukrainian."

All this is easy to miss when so much is going on at once, while horses nearly run down a pedestrian in the foreground. This is a Robert Altman film, after all, or "Robert Altman's Absolutely Unique and Heroic Enterprise of Inimitable Lustre!" as it bills itself.

As Jeff Lebowski might say, Altman's not into that whole brevity thing here. A two-hour extravaganza, "Buffalo Bill" stars Paul Newman as Bill and makes its points about how show business and American mythmaking became one with repetitive, haymaker swings. The end result is a comedy that's not that funny and a social statement that's not that convincing, but Altman's secret sauce of a busy camera and piquant performances makes for a pleasant if shapeless affair.

Newman's something of a disappointment, giving less a performance than a caricature. I get the feeling he was directed by Altman to just play a slightly older and more pompous Hud with a goatee. He fills out Bill by drinking rotgut from a schooner, loving and spurning a succession of opera singers who never stop singing in frame, and watching over his stardom with a kind of prissy defensiveness that belies his self-cultivated frontier image. He can be a joy to watch still, working his eyes and playing to his mirror, maybe winking at the audience about what they expect from him as both Bill and Paul. If only he had better material.

"You ain't changed, Bill."

"I ain't supposed to. That's why people pay to see me."

There's also the business of his dealing with the Wild West Show's newest star attraction, Sitting Bull (Frank Kaquitts), which gives the story much of its social perspective. Bill thinks of Bull as an ungrateful pet who needs cultivation in "the show business," while Bull thinks Bill sells lies in the guise of history. Hence the "history lesson," which feels shoehorned in from a more socially committed source play. Altman wants to tell that story, but most times he'd rather have fun with the show-making part, and while you are watching this, you wish he'd cut loose and do just that.

The film succeeds in short bursts, though the eccentric casting choices Altman throws at you here don't work as well as they did in his other films. Geraldine Chaplin as Annie Oakley? Harvey Keitel as Bill's nerdy nephew? Some Altman vets like Robert DoQui and Allan F. Nicholls are barely in the film while stars like Newman, Keitel, and Burt Lancaster get longer spotlight time. John Considine is fun as Annie's flinchy husband, "the handsomest human target in the West," though that running joke, like so many others, is plugged more times than one of Annie's nickels. I was impressed also by Kevin McCarthy's publicist character, not only for the juiciness of his grandiloquent performance but the magnitude of his handlebar mustache.

"Buffalo Bill" takes a lot of time saying a good deal less than it thinks. But the spectacle of "the show business" and the minor bits of Altman kookiness and sardonic commentary around the edges keep this a diverting if underfilling entertainment.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My review robschmidt
Opera singer caran-2
Paul Newman was magical sumankey13

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?