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The Plainsman (1936)

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


Cecil B. DeMille


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




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 ... 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)


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


IT'S MIGHTY OUTDOOR ADVENTURE! (print ad - Lubbock Morning Avalanche - Tech Theatre - Lubbock, Texas - April 11, 1947 - all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The script originally had Anthony Quinn's character entering the campsite with no concern because he thought it was the camp of another Indian. Quinn told Cecil B. DeMille that a real Indian would know the difference between a white man's camp and that of another Indian's, and should show caution when entering. When Quinn insisted, DeMille thought about it and agreed that's how the character ought to react. See more »


Abraham Lincoln leaves for the theatre, and is shot within a matter of minutes. In reality, it was two hours between Lincoln's arrival and assassination. See more »


Yellow Hand: You, Hickok. I know you.
Wild Bill Hickok: Speak you're own language, Yellow Hand. I'll understand.
Yellow Hand: You. Me. Speak white man tongue. I must know - you know - what I say.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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


Featured in Gary Cooper: The Face of a Hero (1998) See more »


When Johnny Comes Marching Home
(1863) (uncredited)
Written by Louis Lambert
Played as background music for the first scene, Washington, D.C.
See more »

User Reviews

Silly Fun
2 November 2009 | by FightingWesternerSee all my reviews

Wild Bill Hickock, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Calamity Jane fight alongside General Custer and expose a scheme by greedy arms manufacturers to sell repeating rifles to renegade Indians.

This somewhat gratuitous exercise in wild west name-dropping is pretty silly but also fairly entertaining as well, though it's a bit too long and runs out of steam near the end.

Also, it might be off-putting to many modern viewers due to it's politically incorrect, stereotyped treatment of Indians.

The feisty Jean Arthur is extremely cute as Calamity Jane and easily runs away with the picture.

Recognizable cameos include iconic western sidekick George "Gabby" Hayes as a wounded scout and director Cecile B. DeMille's future son-in-law Anthony Quinn as the Cheyenne brave who relates the news of Custer's last stand to Cody and Hickock.

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Release Date:

16 November 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Plainsman See more »


Box Office


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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