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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Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson -- Paul Newman portrays the frontier hero with gusto and charm in this comedic, high-spirited look at the legendary western adventurer.  Co- stars Harvey Keitel, Burt Lancaster and Shelley Duvall.


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Down 37% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Arthur Kopit (play)
Alan Rudolph (screen story and screenplay) ...
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 »
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 »
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Interesting, like all Altman films, but not his best. See more (33 total) »


  (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)

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
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

Additional Details

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

Did You Know?

Final western of actor Paul Newman. This was Newman's second western of the 1970s, his first had been The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972), it also having a long title, as did his previous to that, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).See more »
Anachronisms: There is a flag on the flagpole. All 3 flags have 48 stars on them. The flag with 48 stars didn't come about until 1912.See more »
Ned Buntline:Bill, any youngster like yourself who figures to set the world on fire best not forget where he got the matches.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in A Decade Under the Influence (2003)See more »


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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Interesting, like all Altman films, but not his best., 11 August 2006
Author: McGonigle from bean world, massachusetts

This movie is certainly worth watching if you're an Altman fan, or a fan of revisionist Westerns. The performances are great (as per usual when Altman is at the helm) and the movie is entertaining enough on its own merits.

The two biggest flaws, though, are these: Compared to most of Altman's films, much of the dialogue in this movie is very "stagy" and theatrical. I suppose it's supposed to be that way because of the questions of "myth" and "legend" that the story concerns itself with, but my impression was that such theatrical-sounding dialogue didn't mesh well with Altman's typically naturalistic style of filming.

The other problem I had is that the whole subject matter -- myth vs. reality, history vs. reality, show business vs. reality, etc. -- isn't really explored with any depth or subtlety. We're constantly being reminded that Buffalo Bill is a man who created his own legend out of lies, and that that is the basis of modern show business to this day, but really, that just didn't strike me as being a particularly insightful observation. This is hardly the first movie to point out that lies are often more "real" (or more attractive) than the truth, and Altman doesn't seem to bring anything new to the table.

Still, it's Altman, which means it's well-made, entertaining and beautiful to look at. I don't think this will ever be considered one of his major works but it's certainly worth a look.

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