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The White Buffalo (1977)

PG | | Western | May 1977 (USA)
At the closing of 1874 a haunted, dying Wild Bill Hickcock teams up with a grieving Crazy Horse to hunt a murderous albino buffalo.

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Charlie Zane
...
Crazy Horse / Worm
...
...
Whistling Jack Kileen
...
Winifred Coxy
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Abel Pickney (Stage Driver)
...
Amos Briggs (Undertaker)
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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)
...
...
Scott Walker ...
Gyp Hook-Hand
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Storyline

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 <BKeane2@email.dot.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two legendary enemies unite to fight the charging white beast!! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hunt to Kill  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Bronson as Wild Bill Hickcock is seen regularly wearing dark sunglasses throughout this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Charlie Zane (Jack Warden) is riding through the mini avalanche in the gully, the same scene of him and his horse dodging by a big rock is shown twice, the second time from a slightly different angle. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Amos Bixby: What the Hell is going on?
Wild Bill Hickok: I had a dream.
Amos Bixby: If there'd been anyone in the upper, you'd have sent him to Hell on a shudder.
Wild Bill Hickok: Sorry, Mister Bixby.
Amos Bixby: My God, Mister Otis. You will stow those damned irons in your carpet bag or I'll stop this train and set you out in Wyoming on your boots.
Amos Bixby: [narrating] In September of 1874 Wild Bill Hickok came back to the Old West. I didn't place him then because he was wearing a different name and he had a strange bee in his bonnet, a deadly dream that was ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credits play between two sepia oval portraits of the two principal actors in character, with the captions: "J.B.Hickok - Born 1837- Murdered 1876" and "Crazy Horse - Born 1842- Murdered 1877". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Playboy: The Story of X (1998) 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.


24 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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