6.9/10
1,807
28 user 11 critic

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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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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

2,000 Indian actors were used as extras for the Custer massacre sequence. See more »

Goofs

According to the film, Custer's Last Stand and the establishment of the boom town of Deadwood occur shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1865. In actuality they happened 11 years later in 1876. See more »

Quotes

Calamity Jane: Tip your hat when you speak to a lady!
Wild Bill Hickok: I will... when I speak to a lady.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in Sunny Side Up (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(1860) (uncredited)
Written by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Played as background music when the indians charge
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Why bother with research
9 March 2004 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I still have the copy my parents gave me of Cecil B. DeMille's autobiography and he does go into some detail about the research done for his films. I'm wondering if Paramount decided to save money on the research for this one.

The action of this film takes place from the end of the Civil War until Wild Bill Hickok is shot dead in Deadwood which was 1876. Now that's eleven years that if you took this film literally is compressed to about three months. I found that a wee bit too much to swallow.

But DeMille knew how to fill the screen with some slam bang entertainment. The battle with the Cheyenne Indians is exciting, almost an early version of 3-D. I'm suspecting a lot is lost by only seeing it on television.

Gary Cooper is at his laconic yup and nope best, Jean Arthur is a fine Calamity Jane. The rest of the cast does well also. One tragic note is that Helen Burgess who plays the bride of Buffalo Bill died shortly after completing this film at the age of 19. I think a wonderful career was cut short.

Good entertainment, but any resemblance to western history is purely coincidental.


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