Johnny Handsome is a deformed gangster who plans a successful robbery with a friend of his, Mikey Chalmette, and another couple (Sunny Boid and Rafe Garrett). During the heist, Johnny and ... See full summary »
Two Arkansas firemen, Vince and Don, get hold of a map that leads to a cache of stolen gold in an abandoned factory in East St. Louis. What they don't know is that the factory is in the ... See full summary »
Get entertainment news, trailer drops, and photos with IMDb's coverage of 2017 San Diego Comic-Con featuring host and IMDboat captain Kevin Smith. Watch our exclusive celebrity interviews, and tune in to our LIVE show from 3:30 to 5 p.m. PDT on Saturday, July 22.
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 <email@example.com>
As Close To History As One Gets For 'Wild Bill' Hickok
Making a movie about a legend is a tricky situation; it is worse when the pages of history are filled with myth. There is no doubt that 'Wild Bill' Hickok was a lawman, gunman and Western legend. There is the problem. He was so famous that numerous sources sought to make their fortunes on stories embellished for sales. The most notable was the "dime novel." The makers of this movie did as good a job as anyone has it trying to tell the true story of this legend.
There are scenes not found in Bill's history, but they are historical for the time. The classic Western model is not in play. Indians, Chinese, black cowboys, ... etc are muti-dimensional characters. The added scenes flow the story and add depth. Even with numerous flash backs the story flows well.
Jeff Bridges as "James Butler 'Wild Bill' Hickok" and Ellen Barkin " as "Calamity Jane" do great jobs with the main characters. Bridges while in costume actually resembles the pictures of the real "Wild Bill." The romantic relationship between these Western notables and its development is well done. The interplay sets this movie apart from most Westerns, and adds appeal to those who might not be Western fans.
Two of the best pieces of acting are by actors with smaller parts in the film. Watch for Keith Carradine as "Buffalo Bill Cody" and John Hurt as "Charley Prince," Bill's friend and the character narrating the film.
James Gammon (I) does a good character role as "California Joe."
If you like Western history, this is a great film. If you want a classic Western flick and non-stop action, you may find it slow. For anything more accurate you'll need to go the library; to date, this is the best film on Hickok.
29 of 35 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?