IMDb > Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
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Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.1/10   2,544 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Arthur Kopit (play)
Alan Rudolph (screen story and screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 June 1976 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Altman's Take on the Wild West See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Newman ... The Star (William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody)

Joel Grey ... The Producer (Nate Salisbury)

Kevin McCarthy ... The Publicist (Maj. John Burke)

Harvey Keitel ... The Relative (Ed Goodman)
Allan F. Nicholls ... The Journalist (Prentiss Ingraham) (as Allan Nicholls)

Geraldine Chaplin ... The Sure Shot (Annie Oakley)

John Considine ... The Sure Shot's Manager (Frank Butler)

Robert DoQui ... The Wrangler (Oswald Dart) (as Robert Doqui)
Mike Kaplan ... The Treasurer (Jules Keen)

Bert Remsen ... The Bartender (Crutch)
Bonnie Leaders ... The Mezzo-Contralto (Margaret)
Noelle Rogers ... The Lyric-Coloratura (Lucille DuCharme)

Evelyn Lear ... The Lyric-Soprano (Nina Cavallini)

Denver Pyle ... The Indian Agent (McLaughlin)
Frank Kaquitts ... The Indian (Sitting Bull)

Will Sampson ... The Interpreter (William Halsey)
Ken Krossa ... The Arenic Director (Johnny Baker)
Fred N. Larsen ... The King of the Cowboys (Buck Taylor)
Jerri Duce ... The Cowboy Trick Rider
Joy Duce ... The Cowboy Trick Rider

Alex Green ... The Mexican Whip and Fast Draw Act
Gary MacKenzie ... The Mexican Whip and Fast Draw Act
Humphrey Gratz ... The Old Soldier
Pat McCormick ... The President of the United States (Grover Cleveland)

Shelley Duvall ... The First Lady (Mrs. Grover Cleveland)

Burt Lancaster ... The Legend Maker (Ned Buntline)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dennis Corrie ... Rancher (uncredited)
E.L. Doctorow ... Adviser to President Grover Cleveland (uncredited)

Patrick Reynolds ... President Cleveland's Aide (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert Altman 
 
Writing credits
Arthur Kopit (play "Indians")

Alan Rudolph (screen story and screenplay) &
Robert Altman (screen story and screenplay)

Produced by
Robert Altman .... producer
Scott Bushnell .... associate producer
Jac Cashin .... associate producer
Dino De Laurentiis .... executive producer
Robert Eggenweiler .... associate producer
David Susskind .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Richard Baskin 
 
Cinematography by
Paul Lohmann (director of cinema photography)
 
Film Editing by
Peter Appleton 
Dennis M. Hill  (as Dennis Hill)
 
Production Design by
Anthony Masters  (as Tony Masters)
 
Art Direction by
Jack Maxsted 
 
Set Decoration by
Dennis J. Parrish 
 
Costume Design by
Anthony Powell 
 
Makeup Department
Monty Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Les Kimber .... unit manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Rob Lockwood .... second assistant director
Tommy Thompson .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Rusty Cox .... scenic artist
Dennis J. Parrish .... property master
Graham Sumner .... assistant property master
Graham Sumner .... assistant set decorator
 
Sound Department
Chris McLaughlin .... sound
Richard Oswald .... sound editor
Richard Portman .... sound re-recording mixer
William A. Sawyer .... sound editor (as William Sawyer)
James E. Webb .... sound (as Jim Webb)
Rob Young .... sound (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Logan Frazee .... special effects
Terry D. Frazee .... special effects (as Terry Frazee)
John Thomas .... special effects
Bill Zomar .... special effects
Joe Zomar .... special effects
 
Stunts
John Forster .... stunts (uncredited)
Greg Walker .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Arthur Brooker .... grip (as Art Brooker)
Edmond L. Koons .... camera operator (as Eddie Koons)
J. Michael Marlett .... gaffer
Jack L. Richards .... camera operator (as Jack Richards)
Robert Reed Altman .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Peter Appleton .... featurette cinematographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
J. Allen Highfill .... costume assistant
Jules Melillo .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Stephen Altman .... apprentice editor (as Steve Altman)
Mark Eggenweiler .... apprentice editor
Tony Lombardo .... assistant editor
Tom Walls .... assistant editor
 
Other crew
Lyn Austin .... Broadway stage producer
John Bianchi .... Buffalo Bill's gun belt by
John Binder .... script supervisor
Dino De Laurentiis .... presenter (as Dino DeLaurentiis)
Maysie Hoy .... researcher
Dan Perri .... title designer
John Scott .... head wrangler
Oliver Smith .... Broadway stage producer
Roger L. Stevens .... Broadway stage producer (as Roger Stevens)
Tommy Thompson .... production executive
Norman Walke .... operator: titan boom
Joe Thornton .... production assistant (uncredited)
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
123 min | Finland:105 min (1979) | 135 min (video release)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The major cast's characters on the pre-publicity press sheet and opening credits were billed in the style of some old theater programs i.e. by their titles/professions rather than by their names. These here were: The Star, The Producer, The Publicist, The Relative, The Journalist, The Sure Shot, The Sure Shot's Manager, The Wrangler, The Treasurer, The Bartender, The Mezzo-Contralto, The Lyric-Coloratura, The Lyric-Soprano, The Indian Agent, The Indian, The Interpreter, The Arenic Director, The King of the Cowboys, The Cowboy Trick Rider, The Mexican Whip and Fast Draw Act, The Old Soldier, The President of the United States, The First Lady, and The Legend Maker.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Another flag with 48 stars is seen just prior to the Presidential scene. In the scene where Buffalo Bill plays for the President, the Presidential booth is adorned with 2 flags, each with 48 stars. The 48 star flag became the official flag in 1912.See more »
Quotes:
Ned Buntline:Injuns gear their lives to dreams. And what an injun dreams, no matter how farfetched, will wait until he dies to come true. The white men - they're different. The only time they dream is when things are going their way. I'm no expert on the subject, but it seems to me that what Sitting Bull does is a hell of a lot cheaper than mounting a wild west show... which is dreaming out loud.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003)See more »

FAQ

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17 out of 27 people found the following review useful.
Altman's Take on the Wild West, 31 July 2007
Author: evanston_dad from United States

A very weak Altman film, all the weaker because it came out the year after one of Altman's best works: "Nashville." "Buffalo Bill..." is one of the most savagely satiric films from a director known for savage satire. Unfortunately, it's also a one-joke film, whose joke is given away in the first five minutes, leaving the film nowhere to go. Paul Newman plays Buffalo Bill as a complete buffoon, surrounded by yes-men and lackeys. He practically buys ex-Indian chief Sitting Bull for his Wild West show, and what we suffer through is scene after scene of white men making asses of themselves while native American Indians nobly and quietly observe and judge them. It's two hours of smug finger pointing at oblivious Caucasians for raping and pillaging the American frontier.

All of Altman's films have the feel of coming together in the editing room, and many times this approach to structure results in inspired moments, but "Buffalo Bill" feels even more than usual like a film without a center. There's no narrative thread to hold it together, so it has a wandering and monotonous quality. Also, it doesn't help that Altman's shooting style is uncharacteristically distant. There are virtually no close-ups in the entire picture, so scene after scene is photographed in medium and long shots. Both the screenplay and the camera keep us at a distance; as a result, we never become engaged in the action.

A definitive misfire.

Grade: C

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