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
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 »
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?
I ain't wearin' 'em cause you give 'em to me. I wear 'em cause I like beads.
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The UK DVD is cut by 2 secs to remove a horsefall. See more »
Music traditional - English origin (ca. 1755)
Whistled by James Ellison See more »
64 pistols from De Mille's collection
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.
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