5.9/10
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Wild Bill (1995)

The early career of legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickock is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.

Director:

Walter Hill

Writers:

Peter Dexter (book) (as Pete Dexter), Thomas Babe (play) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Wild Bill Hickok
Ellen Barkin ... Calamity Jane
John Hurt ... Charley Prince
Diane Lane ... Susannah Moore
Keith Carradine ... Buffalo Bill Cody
David Arquette ... Jack McCall
Christina Applegate ... Lurline Newcomb
Bruce Dern ... Will Plummer
James Gammon ... California Joe
Marjoe Gortner ... Preacher
James Remar ... Donnie Lonigan
Karen Huie ... Song Lew
Steve Reevis ... Sioux Chief
Robert Knott ... Dave Tutt
Pato Hoffmann Pato Hoffmann ... Cheyenne Leader
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Name Is Legendary. The Man Is Real. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for wild West violence and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Preacher is played by Marjoe Gortner, who, in reality, was at one time a "church tent" revivalist minister and evangelist. See more »

Goofs

When Bill arrives in Deadwood for the first time, just after the Stagecoach door opens, the camera skips to the next angle behind the Stagecoach. Bill steps out as if the carriage has just stopped, however, the mud that the wheel has accumulated has dried on the tread part in clumps. If the Stagecoach had just stopped, the mud would still be wet on the tread of the wheel. If the road were dry, the treads would be clean as the rolling wheel would have broken the dried mud loose as it rolled against the dry ground. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Charley Price: Jack McCall was hanged March 1, 1877, for the murder of James Butler Hickory, known as Wild Bill. Like a city in the Old Testament, Deadwood had become a place of prophesy and visions. Bill was 39 years old when he died. I'm proud to say I was his friend.
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Connections

Referenced in Last Man Standing (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Beautiful Dreamer
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
See more »

User Reviews

 
Overambitous but disappointing
3 September 2010 | by Hunt2546See all my reviews

Most reviews seem to look at this through the prism of "Deadwood," which seems unfair as the elongated TV format allows for far more character development. So to point out that the characters in "Wild Bill" aren't as-- well, you get the picture. Viewed alone, the movie deserves praise for performance, set design, a sense of period dialogue and historical accuracy in visual recreations. Yes, WB really did wear Navy Colts backwards, cavalry-style, in a red sash; yes, he did have greasy lanks of hair and wear a big floppy hat, a thick tie and a vest that didn't match his jacket which didn't match his pants. And for about an hour, I think the movie is pretty amusing. But when it sinks into Deadwood over its last hour, it appears to use too much of the stagey dialogue of one of its sources, a play by someone named Thomas Babe. At this point, it pretty much abandons history which is bad enough, but also cinematic fluency, of which Hill is a master: it becomes static, talky, dreary, and completely loses its momentum. And someone--Babe?--made the decision to give the McCall-Hickcock dynamic an Oedipal overtone--he's the "son" of a woman once loved , then abandoned, by Hickcock. This is an attempt at coherency, to bring the murder into some sort of classic framework. Yeah, swell, however: McCall was much older, a buffalo hunter who'd lost dough to Wild Bill the night before. He didn't stand for the abused son, he stood for the randomness of frontier violence, where booze, pride, stupidity and a culture of pointless aggression could easily spell an ambush murder like McCall's. THAT, to me, would not only have been more accurate, but more fluent and a better movie.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Sioux | Cantonese

Release Date:

1 December 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wild Bill See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$987,515, 3 December 1995

Gross USA:

$2,193,982

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,193,982
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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