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


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 1,978

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Movie Info

"Truth is whatever gets the loudest applause." Debunking western myths even more than he did in McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971), Robert Altman's Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) sardonically explores the gap between western history and legend in show biz-obsessed America. Megalomaniac "Buffalo Bill" Cody (Paul Newman) assumes the legend created for him by writer Ned Buntline (Burt Lancaster), aided and abetted by his producer (Joel Grey) and his publicist


Western, Classics, Comedy

Robert Altman & Alan Rudolph

May 8, 2001

United Artists

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All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

It's a sometimes self-indulgent, confused, ambitious movie that is often very funny and always fascinating.

May 9, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Aspires to a cynical Brechtian snappiness, but the drama is too thinly imagined, the meanings too familiar and heavily stated, for this 1976 film to gather any real interest.

July 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While not one of Altman's strongest films, this cynical tale merits a look as a meditation on American history, mythmaking, and showbusiness

July 15, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Scabrous revues of myopic mythology

November 15, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Altman and crew have done the necessary reorganizing and reediting on Buffalo Bill and have created a terrific movie out of the troubled dust of what was. The first time I saw the movie in New York, it was explicit, contrived, and needed a lot of help.

April 7, 2009 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

Newman's inspired performance is top-notch.

April 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Minor Robert Altman

July 11, 2007
Atlantic City Weekly

Altman at his perverse best.

August 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Explores the interface between heroes, hypocrisy, and illusion....What kind of America has been passed on to us by historians?

May 3, 2001 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson

A simple, minor, funny and entretaining piece of art.
March 30, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Though a minor work, Newman is hilarious in the role and Altman paints another vivid picture.
October 27, 2011
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Buffalo Bill and the Indians" is about the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show in 1885. Buffalo Bill Cody(Paul Newman) has just signed the legendary Indian Chief Sitting Bull to appear in his show. Buffalo BIll, here, is pictured as being a buffoon, a drunkard and having a fetish for opera singers. Since this movie is directed by Robert Altman, it contains some of his normal flourishes - Shelly Duvall, socio-politcal statement, overlapping dialogue, and a large capable cast including Newman, Harvey Keitel, Joel Grey, Kevin McCarthy, Geraldine Chaplin and Burt Lancaster who in a small role nearly steals the movie.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Buffalo Bill and the Indians" is a disappointing movie. It is certainly well-staged but none of the characters truly come to life, despite the cast. I get the feeling that Altman was trying to make a statement about the nature of entertainment vs. reality but it backfires especially because this movie is not as good as "Annie Get Your Gun"(1950) which was immensely entertaining despite its antideluvian gender politics. [/font]
May 30, 2005
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

In the same off-beat comedy style as Robert Altman's M*A*S*H*.
July 25, 2011

Super Reviewer

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