Maverick Writer and Director Walter Hill's version of the famous Wild Bill Hickok legend is a dreamscape western that is told entirely in flashback. Hickok's friend Charley Prince (Sir John Hurt) narrates the events of Wild Bill's life while sitting at Bill's graveside. Hickok is played by Jeff Bridges as a mean, high-spirited, but gallant outlaw. He wanders the West, adding to his reputation with some well-chosen gunfights, and he meets up with characters such as Calamity Jane (Ellen Barkin), who becomes his sidekick for a time. After becoming a legend, Hickok signs up for a stint with Buffalo Bill Cody's travelling variety show. Eventually, he falls in love with Susannah Moore (Diane Lane), and his love leads him to tragedy in the town of Deadwood, South Dakota.
The whole sequence with the hired gunmen is fiction. Jack McCall worked alone. His reason for killing Wild Bill is disputed but it was thought to be either being embarrassed by Will Bill paying for his breakfast that morning or being paid to do it by gamblers frightened that Wild Bill might become Deadwood's sheriff. See more »
Better than average western, with some very nice touches.
I wasn't expecting much from this one, but Walter Hill's direction credit during the opening title sequence sucked me in - and I was glad it did.
A very capable cast and an interesting cinematic style gave this film a unique flavor, although some of the characters bordered on unbelievable at times.
Loved the interaction between Wild Bill and Calamity Jane on the saloon table, although the conversation seemed too modern for the late 1800s. But overall, the film was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially when compared with some of the lesser films available at the time.
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