Wild Bill (1995)

R  |   |  Action, Biography, Western  |  1 December 1995 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 4,599 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 21 critic

The early career of legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickock is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.



(book) (as Pete Dexter) , (play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Charley Prince
Susannah Moore
Lurline Newcomb
Will Plummer
Song Lew
Sioux Chief
Dave Tutt
Pato Hoffmann ...
Cheyenne Leader


Wild Bill Hickok, famed lawman and gunman of the Old West, is haunted by his past and his reputation. He is loved by, but cannot love, Calamity Jane. Dogging his trail is young Jack McCall, who blames Bill for abandoning the boy's mother and destroying her life. McCall has sworn to kill Bill, and Bill's ghosts, his failing eyesight, and his fondness for opium may make McCall's task easier. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Name Is Legendary. The Man Is Real. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for wild West violence and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Divlji Bil  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


$2,167,808 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


More than 30 years earlier, the part of Wild Bill Hickok was played by Jeff Bridges' father, Lloyd Bridges, in a 1964 episode of the television series _"The Great Adventure" (1963)_. See more »


When Bill arrives in Deadwood for the first time, just after the Stagecoach door opens, the camera skips to the next angle behind the Stagecoach. Bill steps out as if the carriage has just stopped, however, the mud that the wheel has accumulated has dried on the tread part in clumps. If the Stagecoach had just stopped, the mud would still be wet on the tread of the wheel. If the road were dry, the treads would be clean as the rolling wheel would have broken the dried mud loose as it rolled against the dry ground. See more »


Carl Mann: What kind of whiskey do you favor?
James Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok: Carl, I prefer it in a glass. Other than that, it's all good.
See more »


Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »


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User Reviews

A Psychedelic Look At 'Wild Bill'
21 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If there was ever a psychedelic western movie, this has to be it. It's so bizarre, at least compared to most westerns, that it was tough for me to write this review. I stopped and re-started several times. Where to start?

I just found it great fun, an entertaining film that's always a kick to view, and what more you can ask? Being someone who is very much into visuals, great cinematography and unique approaches to camera-work, this film provided all of that and more, such as an interesting story with whacked-out characters.

I love narration and John Hurt's description of the goings-on here was just great to hear. He played "Charlie," an Englishman with a gentleman's vocabulary that was in stark contrast to the hardened outlaws, led by 'Wild Bill' Hickok himself, played by Jeff Bridges. Ellen Barkin plays "Calamity Jane," and few women of the 1980s and '90s played foul-mouthed, hard-but-sexy women as convincingly as Barkin.

In addition to Hurt, Bridges and Barkin, other fun characters included "California Joe," Hickok's gravel-voiced friend who doesn't say much but when he does, you hear some some of the longest sentences ever uttered. Daid Arquette plays a very strange villain, the man who became famous for shooting Wild Bill. He acts strange and talks as if he has a mouthful of marbles. James Remar, another mean-looking tough guy, is a hired killer. Christina Applegate, Bruce Dern, Margoe Gortner, Keith Carradine and assorted other characters all add to this strange tale, strange in its telling and even stranger in its visual style.

Some of the film is in flashback, which is seen in startling black-and-white and mainly features Diane Lane, who is flat-out gorgeous and maybe the most intriguing person in the film. One of the flashbacks has the film deliberately overexposed with wild dream-like images.

No western "purist" admits to liking this but I love the genre and I put this near the top of my list of favorite westerns. So, sue me!

37 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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