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Buffalo Bill
     

Buffalo Bill

Director: William Wellman

Cast: Joel McCrea, Maureen O'Hara, Linda Darnell

 
William Wellman's Buffalo Bill (1944) looks fair most of the time and spectacular in some shots in the Fox DVD release, but falls short of the luster of the best-looking of Fox's color movies of the period. The Technicolor materials (mastered full-screen, 1.33:1) have been reasonably well preserved, though there is some inconsistency in their depth and

Overview

William Wellman's Buffalo Bill (1944) looks fair most of the time and spectacular in some shots in the Fox DVD release, but falls short of the luster of the best-looking of Fox's color movies of the period. The Technicolor materials (mastered full-screen, 1.33:1) have been reasonably well preserved, though there is some inconsistency in their depth and intensity from shot to shot -- the result is a sometimes diverting but mostly routine piece of history-inspired fiction. If Fox is going to delve into this part of its library, then it should offer us films such as Jesse James and The Return of Frank James, serious, well-made dramas, rather than this wartime curiosity. On a technical level the disc is just fine, opening automatically on a simple, easy-to-use menu in a basic, no-frills package.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
As a rip-roaring Western, Buffalo Bill is fine entertainment; as a serious biography of one of the legends of the Wild West, it falls a little short. If director William Wellman's later comments are to be believed (and there seems to be little reason to disbelieve them), he intended the film to be a more realistic look at the title character, one which questioned more of his actions and motives and which took a more cynical look at the entire white man-Indian conflict of the time. Unfortunately, as 20th Century Fox's second-most expensive production of the year, there was a great incentive to play it safe and protect the investment, so much of the bite has been removed from the film. While this has really only a minor effect for most of the film, it does pave the way for the ending, one of the most blatantly manipulative and mawkish endings imaginable and one which will induce laughter in many modern viewers. There are other aspects that may be problematic for modern audiences, including the traditional use of white actors as native Americans and substantial cruelty toward the buffalo used in filming this epic. These caveats aside, Bill does provide good entertainment on a superficial level, with generally fine performances and with expert adventure-style direction from Wellman.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/24/2005
UPC:
0024543172796
Original Release:
1944
Rating:
NR
Source:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joel McCrea Buffalo Bill
Maureen O'Hara Louise Cody
Linda Darnell Dawn Starlight
Thomas Mitchell Ned Buntline
Anthony Quinn Yellow Hand
Evelyn Beresford Queen Victoria
Chief Many Treaties Tall Bull
John Dilson President Hayes
Vincent Graeff Crippled Boy
Fred Graham Editor
William Haade Barber
Merrill Rodin Bellboy
Edwin Stanley Doctor
Nick Thompson Medicine Man
Cecil Weston Maid
Sidney Blackmer Theodore Roosevelt
Matt Briggs General Blazier
Edgar Buchanan Sergeant Chips
George Chandler Trooper Clancy
Chief Thundercloud Crazy Horse
Frank Fenton Murdo Carvell
George Lessey Mr. Vandevere
Moroni Olsen Senator Frederici
Frank Orth Sherman

Technical Credits
William Wellman Director
James Basevi Art Director
David Buttolph Score Composer
James B. Clark Editor
Lewis H. Creber Art Director
Rene Hubert Costumes/Costume Designer
Cecile Kramer Screenwriter
Aeneas MacKenzie Screenwriter
Emil Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Clements Ripley Screenwriter
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Leon Shamroy Cinematographer
Harry Sherman Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles [1:17]
2. Prologue/Attack [4:28]
3. Dinner Invitation [3:57]
4. Soiree [3:24]
5. Beautiful Women [1:14]
6. Yellow Hand [:55]
7. Warpath [3:14]
8. Debt Repaid [4:12]
9. Courtship [3:27]
10. Buffalo Hunting [2:57]
11. Black Cloud [3:12]
12. Kit Carson Cody [5:04]
13. Conscience [4:37]
14. Strategy [1:50]
15. War Bonnet Gorge [1:56]
16. Letters [4:47]
17. Daring Deeds [6:48]
18. Civilization [4:14]
19. If You Knew [3:48]
20. Shooting Gallery [3:31]
21. Marksmanship [4:03]
22. Education [1:41]
23. Wild West Show [2:25]
24. Goodbye/End Titles [3:00]

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