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The White Buffalo (1977)

 -  Western  -  May 1977 (USA)
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In this strange western version of JAWS, Wild Bill Hickok hunts a white buffalo he has seen in a dream. Hickok moves through a variety of uniquely authentic western locations - dim, filthy,... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Zane
Crazy Horse / Worm
Mrs. Poker Jenny Schermerhorn
Whistling Jack Kileen
Winifred Coxy
Abel Pickney (Stage Driver)
Amos Briggs (Undertaker)
Cara Williams ...
Cassie Ollinger
Tim Brady (Bartender)
Clifford A. Pellow ...
Pete Holt (Sheriff, Cheyenne, Wyoming) (as Cliff Pellow)
Amos Bixby (Train Conductor / narrator) (as Douglas V. Fowley)
Tom Custer
Scott Walker ...
Gyp Hook-Hand


In this strange western version of JAWS, Wild Bill Hickok hunts a white buffalo he has seen in a dream. Hickok moves through a variety of uniquely authentic western locations - dim, filthy, makeshift taverns; freezing, slaughterhouse-like frontier towns and beautifully desolate high country - before improbably teaming up with a young Indian named Crazy Horse to pursue the creature. Written by Bernard Keane <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The White Earthquake is Here! See more »




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Release Date:

May 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hunt to Kill  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The meaning and relevance of this movie's title, The White Buffalo (1977), is that a white buffalo (or white buck) are synonyms for an albino buffalo. However, a white buffalo can also indicate a bison-cattle crossbreed (a beefalo) or a leucistic buffalo which has white fur with blue eyes. Some buffalo are born white due to a genetic condition but their fur turns brown within a couple of years. In the film, it is a white buffalo that haunts Charles Bronson's Wild Bill Hickok character and he goes out to face his fears and kill such a beast. See more »


The support apparatus for the mechanical buffalo is clearly visible during some charging scenes. See more »


Abel Pinkney: When you get through planting them two, I got three more customers (bodies) for you inside the coach. And I believe they got enough money to pay for their own box.
Amos Bixby: That's right kindly of you, Abel. You better lay them out in the snow until I get back. That will keep them fresh.
See more »


Featured in Room 237 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

A strange, mythical and murky film.
21 April 2001 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

In september 1874, Wild Bill Hickcok (Charles Bronson) returns to the old West under the alias James Otis. He is haunted by the image of a buffalo that symbolizes his fear of death. He awakens every time he tries to sleep from the same nightmare. He knows he must face his nightmare, or go insane.

Oldtimer (and Indian hater) Charlie Zane (Jack Warden), also known as "Oneye" - the great white warrior of Sand Creek - himself an famous Indian hunter in his younger days, go with Wild Bill Hickok to hunt down the White Buffalo.

The old Indian warrior, Chief Crazy Horse (Will Sampson), is looking for the White Buffalo for different reasons. For him, the hunt is sacred, and if he doesn't succeed, he cannot live with himself. His dead little daughter (killed by the White Buffalo) will be "forever tortured in the other world," until he has avenged his child's death. This he must do in the old way.

The realistic locations makes the film chilling indeed. It was filmed on scenic locations in Canon City, Colorado, with interiors at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot. The scenes showing mountains of bleached white buffalo bones are harrowing, as are the cruelty by both whites and Indians.

Great supporting roles by Slim Pickens as a vocal stage driver, Stuart Whitman as a slimy gambler, Cara Williams as the gambler's loumouthed girlfriend, John Carradine as a undertaker, the monstrously big Clint Walker as the murderous trapper "Whistling Jack Kileen," Bert Williams as a barkeeper who helps Wild Bill Hickcok from being killed and finally, Kim Novak made an outstanding return to the screen as Wild Bill Hickcok's old love, and one-time hooker Poker Jenny, now turned respectable.

This is a strange, mythical and murky film. Forget the bad special buffalo effects, and the bad monster. The screenplay in this movie is the thing. The language in this movie is very realistic. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the way the tough, hard people up in the Black Hills really talked back in the 1870s.

I'm proud to call this my favorite western of the 1970s. Not because it was the best, but simply because of it's dark, mythical tone. I've had this on video for a very long time, and have seen it numerous times.

When you see a film over and over again, you notice all the little details, missed by the ones who saw it only once.

In the 1970s, only Sam Peckinpah's westerns were as, or more, interesting. Not to forget Clint Eastwood and Sergio Leone. A matter of taste, of course.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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