6.1/10
3,787
40 user 34 critic

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976)

A cynical Buffalo Bill hires Sitting Bull to exploit him and add his credibility to the distorted view of history presented in his Wild West Show.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Arthur Kopit (suggested by the play "Indians" by), Alan Rudolph (screen story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A repressed, middle-aged divorced U.S. Greek meets a young singer through a dating service and becomes smitten.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Dooley, Marta Heflin, Titos Vandis
A Wedding (1978)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The daughter of a Louisville truck driver marries the scion of a very wealthy family, but reception at the family estate is boycotted by the invited guests.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Desi Arnaz Jr., Paul Dooley
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When two men break out of prison, they join up with another and restart their criminal ways, robbing banks across the South.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, John Schuck
HealtH (1980)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A parody and satire of the U.S. political scene of the time, HealtH is set at a health food convention at a Florida luxury hotel, where a powerful political organization is deciding on a new president.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, James Garner
Streamers (1983)
Crime | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Four young soldiers waiting to be shipped to Viet Nam deal with racial tension and their own intolerance when one soldier reveals he's gay.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Matthew Modine, Michael Wright, Mitchell Lichtenstein
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a casual gambler befriends a professional one, he begins to mirror his life, sending both deeper into the sleazy gambling world where the stakes keep getting bigger.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: George Segal, Elliott Gould, Ann Prentiss
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An introverted loner living in the bowels of the Astrodome plots to develop - with the aid of a mysterious guardian angel - a pair of wings that will help him fly.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Bud Cort, Shelley Duvall, Sally Kellerman
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Tim Roth, Paul Rhys, Adrian Brine
Quintet (1979)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

During a future ice age, dying humanity occupies its remaining time by playing a board game called "Quintet." For one small group, this obsession is not enough; they play the game with living pieces ... and only the winner survives.

Director: Robert Altman
Stars: Paul Newman, Vittorio Gassman, Fernando Rey
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A white youth who is raised in the jungle by the animals is captured by a safari and brought back to civilization as an attraction in a circus.

Directors: H. Bruce Humberstone, Max Marcin
Stars: Buster Crabbe, Frances Dee, Sidney Toler
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Explores the relationships shared by the residents of a seedy boarding house in London.

Director: Franklin Gollings
Stars: Bette Davis, Michael Redgrave, Alexis Kanner
Way Back Home (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Seth Parker takes in Robbie Turner and protects him from his cruel father Rube. When the father disappears, Seth intends to raise Robbie as his own son. The vindictive father attacks Mary ... See full summary »

Director: William A. Seiter
Stars: Phillips Lord, Effie Palmer, Frank Albertson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... The Star (William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody)
Joel Grey ... The Producer (Nate Salisbury)
Kevin McCarthy ... The Publicist (Maj. John Burke)
Harvey Keitel ... The Relative (Ed Goodman)
Allan F. Nicholls ... The Journalist (Prentiss Ingraham) (as Allan Nicholls)
Geraldine Chaplin ... The Sure Shot (Annie Oakley)
John Considine ... The Sure Shot's Manager (Frank Butler)
Robert DoQui ... The Wrangler (Oswald Dart) (as Robert Doqui)
Mike Kaplan ... The Treasurer (Jules Keen)
Bert Remsen ... The Bartender (Crutch)
Bonnie Leaders Bonnie Leaders ... The Mezzo-Contralto (Margaret)
Noelle Rogers Noelle Rogers ... The Lyric-Coloratura (Lucille DuCharme)
Evelyn Lear ... The Lyric-Soprano (Nina Cavallini)
Denver Pyle ... The Indian Agent (McLaughlin)
Frank Kaquitts Frank Kaquitts ... The Indian (Sitting Bull)
Edit

Storyline

Buffalo Bill plans to put on his own Wild West sideshow, and Chief Sitting Bull has agreed to appear in it. However, Sitting Bull has his own hidden agenda, involving the President and General Custer. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (1979) | (video)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The full-length portrait of Buffalo Bill astride his horse, that appears several times in the film, is based closely on a similar portrait by the French artist Rosa Bonheur, which hangs in the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. See more »

Goofs

Sitting Bull joined Cody's show in 1885. The performing arena shows several Wyoming state flags, but Wyoming wasn't granted statehood until 1890, and that flag wasn't adopted until 1917. See more »

Quotes

William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody: Where were ya?
William Halsey: It's the first of the moon.
Nate Salisbury: That's not what Buffalo Bill asked ya! Now where in the hell have you been?
William Halsey: During the first day of the first moon, Sitting Bull visits the sun in the mountains while his squaws move the teepees to the moon path.
Nate Salisbury: Damn it, Halsey! Stop sunning and mooning us! Now where the hell have you been?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Robert Altman's Absolutely Unique and Heroic Enterprise of Inimitable Lustrel See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A very uneven film, prone to excesses
28 October 2002 | by LumpenproleSee all my reviews

I really enjoyed some of Buffalo Bill and the Indians. The first half hour of the film is Altman doing what he does best, the camera wanders around a fully-realized world built from the ground up and peopled by Altman. The overlapping dialogue is great and the casting looks perfect. I think the film peaks with the scene where Bill and Annie Oakley are target practicing - Altman weaves together firearms, sex, showbusiness and relationships into a pretty funny scene.

Then the Indians show up. Sitting Bull and William Halsey are portrayed as noble, mysterious and aloof. The movie spirals into a series of events where they confound the smarmy Bill Cody over and over. The last hour of the movie requires Newman to act more and more flustered by Sitting Bull until he has a really cringeworthy breakdown in front of a ghostly Sitting Bull. Maybe there was more fresh drama in watching a white profiteer abase himself before noble Injuns in 1976. It's hard for me believe that anyone but the most hardcore sentimentalist will find the drama between Cody and Bull interesting.

Anyway, there's stuff for hardcore Altman fans to watch for. Newman is initially impressive in his role and then sputters. The pageants and attention to details that Altman excels at are well done. Ultimately the themes of showbiz and history wilt before the rambling blah of the noble savage.


7 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 40 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed