Battling with Buffalo Bill (1931) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • A western adventure serial in 12 episodes. Buffalo Bill battles gambler Jim Rodney who is trying to scare off the townspeople so he can gain possession of a gold strike discovered in the area. A nearby Indian tribe is provoked to attack the town and the cavalry is called in.

  • Universal's 10th serial of the sound-era(between "Danger Island" and "Spell of the Circus")gave "The Great West That Was" by William F."Buffalo Bill" Cody as the story source but the title was about all that was retained. When gold is discovered in a small western town, local gambler Jim Rodney(Francis Ford) decides to seize possession of the claim by having the townspeople either murdered or frightned away by Indians. In order to stir up the Indians, Rodney has his henchmen Joe Tampas(Bud Osborne) and Lem Tampas(Merrill McCormick) murder an Indian woman and steal their horses. When the town comes under attack by the enraged Indians, "Buffalo Bill" Cody(Tom Tyler)arrives with a U.S.Cavalry troop and drives the Indians off.That takes care of chapters 1(Cornered By Redskins)and 2(Ciccling Death)but Rodney is not totally discouraged and pursues his goal by having himself elected town marshal, defeating Cody's friend, Dave Archer(Rex Bell), in a rigged election. Cody then takes on the task(across ten more chapters)of bringing Rodney to justice while fighting off constant attacks by the still rightfully-hostile Indians. Lucile Browne plays Archer's love-interest Jane Mills,and she is not "Miss Archer" as some sources incorrectly show.But then some sources show Yakima Canutt 'credited" as the 2nd unit director, despite the fact that only one serial of Universal's total 69 sound serial ever carried a credit for a 2nd Unit Director, and this one isn't it. Canutt, in addition to playing a leading role and stunting and supervising stunts, did some 2nd unit work, but he wasn't credited for anything other than the his role as Scout Jack Brady.


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