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

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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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 (Kevin McCarthy), perpetuating myths of white triumph over savage "Injuns" in his Wild West show, as audiences cheer him on and buy his merchandise. But when Sitting Bull (Frank Kaquitts) joins the troupe with his interpreter (Will Sampson), his request for authenticity threatens to throw a wrench into the proceedings. Regardless of how Bill may feel about the facts, he must bow to the preferences of the paying public. ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Classics , Comedy , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
United Artists

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Cast

Burt Lancaster
as The Legend Maker (Ned Buntline)
Paul Newman
as The Star (William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody)
Shelley Duvall
as Mrs. Cleveland
Harvey Keitel
as The Relative (Ed Goodman)
Joel Grey
as The Producer (Nate Salisbury)
Geraldine Chaplin
as Annie Oakley
Bert Remsen
as The Bartender (Crutch)
Kevin McCarthy
as The Publicist (Maj. John Burke)
John Considine
as Frank Butler
Will Sampson
as William Halsey
Allan F. Nicholls
as Prentiss Ingraham
Robert DoQui
as Wrangler
Pat McCormick
as Grover Cleveland
Denver Pyle
as McLaughlin
Alex Green
as Whip & Fast Draw Act
Mike E. Kaplan
as The Treasurer (Jules Keen)
Frank Kaquitts
as Sitting Bull
Noelle Rogers
as Lucille
Bonnie Leaders
as Margaret
Michael J. Kaplan
as The Treasurer
Fred Larsen
as Cowboy King
Joy Duce
as Trick Rider
Jerri Duce
as Trick Rider
Humphrey Gratz
as Old Soldier
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Critic Reviews for Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

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

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | July 24, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | July 15, 2012
EmanuelLevy.Com

Scabrous revues of myopic mythology

Full Review… | November 15, 2009
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.

Full Review… | April 7, 2009
tonymacklin.net

Newman's inspired performance is top-notch.

Full Review… | April 20, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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

½

A simple, minor, funny and entretaining piece of art.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Though a minor work, Newman is hilarious in the role and Altman paints another vivid picture.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

½

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

Sean Gillespie
Sean Gillespie

Super Reviewer

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