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The Plainsman (1936)

Wild Bill Hickok attempts to stop an Indian uprising that was started by white gun-runners.

Director:

Cecil B. DeMille

Writers:

Waldemar Young (screen play), Harold Lamb (screen play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Cooper ... Wild Bill Hickok
Jean Arthur ... Calamity Jane
James Ellison ... Buffalo Bill Cody
Charles Bickford ... John Lattimer
Helen Burgess Helen Burgess ... Louisa Cody
Porter Hall ... Jack McCall
Paul Harvey ... Yellow Hand
Victor Varconi ... Painted Horse
John Miljan ... Gen. George A. Custer
Frank McGlynn Sr. ... Abraham Lincoln
Granville Bates ... Van Ellyn
Frank Albertson ... A Young Trooper
Purnell Pratt ... Capt. Wood
Fred Kohler ... Jake - A Teamster (as Fred Kohler Sr. in End Credit)
Pat Moriarity Pat Moriarity ... Sgt. McGinnis (as Pat Moriarty)
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Storyline

With the end of the North American Civil War, the manufacturers of repeating rifles find a profitable means of making money selling the weapons to the North American Indians, using the front man John Lattimer to sell the rifles to the Cheyenne. While traveling in a stagecoach with Calamity Jane and William "Buffalo Bill" Cody and his young wife Louisa Cody that want to settle down in Hays City managing a hotel, Wild Bill Hickok finds the guide Breezy wounded by arrows and telling that the Indians are attacking a fort using repeating rifles. Hickok meets Gen. George A. Custer that assigns Buffalo Bill to guide a troop with ammunition to help the fort. Meanwhile the Cheyenne kidnap Calamity Jane, forcing Hickok to expose himself to rescue her. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Another Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur Triumph.


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne very much wanted the role of Wild Bill Hickok, which he felt certain would make him a star, but director Cecil B. DeMille wanted Gary Cooper instead. See more »

Goofs

On the evening of Lincoln's assassination Van Ellyn and his associates are discussing the supposedly then current John Soule editorial, "Go West, Young Man." Lincoln was murdered in 1865. Soule wrote that famous line in 1851. See more »

Quotes

Wild Bill Hickok: You've been driven for three days, you change horses 14 times, don't you ever change those beads you're wearing?
Calamity Jane: I ain't wearin' 'em cause you give 'em to me. I wear 'em cause I like beads.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK DVD is cut by 2 secs to remove a horsefall. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Cecil B. DeMille (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Yankee Doodle
(uncredited)
Music traditional - English origin (ca. 1755)
Whistled by James Ellison
See more »

User Reviews

64 pistols from De Mille's collection
22 October 2013 | by discount1957See all my reviews

Conceived and executed with all the brio typical of a De Mille epic - all the 64 pistols used in the film came from his personal collection - 'The Plainsman', for all its attention to petty historical detail (De Mille was insistent that the Phrase 'Go West, Young man' be correctly attributed to John B. Searle, the Editor of The Terra Haute Express) plays fast and loose with history.

Cooper is the austere Hickok, Ellison (a regular in the Hopalong Cassidy series, loaned to De Mille by 'Pops' Sherman)a boyish Buffalo Bill, Arthur a breezy Calamity Jane and Miljan a heroic Custer to whose defence all three come. Bickford is the smooth gun running villain. De Mille's well-practised abilities in handling big budgets, big casts and big stories overcame the doggedly domestic drama of Cooper and Arthur's relationship. Slow moving and overly romantic by modern standards in its depiction of Westward expansion, 'The Plainsman' remains an entertaining spectacle.

In 1966, Universal remade the movie as a vastly inferior telefilm.

Phil Hardy


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Held der Prärie See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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