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The Plainsman
The Plainsman
Actors: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison, Charles Bickford, Helen Burgess
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Military & War
NR     2004     1hr 53min

Wild bill hickok calamity jane and buffalo bill go up againt indians and a gunrunner. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 06/01/2004 Starring: Gary Cooper James Ellison Run time: 113 minutes Rating: Nr Directo...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, James Ellison, Charles Bickford, Helen Burgess
Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Creators: Courtney Ryley Cooper, Frank J. Wilstach, Grover Jones, Harold Lamb, Jeanie Macpherson, Lynn Riggs, Waldemar Young
Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Indie & Art House, Military & War
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 06/01/2004
Original Release Date: 11/16/1936
Theatrical Release Date: 11/16/1936
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 53min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Keith H. from LIVERMORE, CA
Reviewed on 11/8/2014...
While the historical accuracy may be suspect, Coop and Jean Arthur have a nice chemistry on the screen and DeMille's set piece battles are exciting. James Ellison does a nice turn as Buffalo Bill Cody, torn between his home life and wish to help tame the West.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

The West as it SHOULD have been!
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This epic western condenses "many years into an hourglass". In 1936 when it was made, it used available information & speculation, added a big dose of romance, & created a masterpiece. More recent research has rendered some of the plot devices obsolete, but for the lovers of great film, who cares? The friendship of Hickok & Cody was true enough, & the rest is good fun. Cooper & Arthur are superb, & the supporting cast is terrific. This is a must-see film for anyone."
Faux Historical Epic; Nevertheless Engaging Entertainment!
Nix Pix | Windsor, Ontario, Canada | 03/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

""The Plainsman" represents the directorial prowess of Cecil B. DeMille at its most inaccurate and un-factual. It sets up parallel plots for no less stellar an entourage than Wild Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper), Buffalo Bill Cody (James Ellison), Calamity Jane (Jean Arthur), George Armstrong Custer and Abraham Lincoln to interact, even though in reality Lincoln was already dead at the time the story takes place. Every once in a while DeMille floats dangerously close toward the truth, but just as easily veers away from it into unabashed spectacle and showmanship. The film is an attempt to buttress Custer's last stand with a heap of fiction that is only loosely based on the lives of people, who were already the product of manufactured stuffs and legends.TRANSFER: Considering the vintage of the film, this is a moderately appealing transfer, with often clean whites and extremely solid blacks. There's a considerable amount of film grain in some scenes and an absence of it at other moments. All in all, the image quality is therefore somewhat inconsistent, but it is never all bad or all good - just a bit better than middle of the road. Age related artifacts are kept to a minimum and digital anomalies do not distract. The audio is mono but nicely balanced.EXTRAS: Forget it. It's Universal!BOTTOM LINE: As pseudo-history painted on celluloid, this western is compelling and fun. Just take its characters and story with a grain of salt - in some cases - a whole box seems more appropriate!"
Fascinating Cooper
John | 03/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE PLAINSMAN is probably all the things its champions and its detractors say it is. Graham Greene felt it was the best western ever made when he reviewed it in 1936. Others point to the clumsy plotting and awkward pacing. However, there are things in it which are just wonderful! Take the opening sequence, with the illegal gun runners plotting how to get around government laws. It is tightly written, bitterly ironic and flawlessly acted. Indeed, it is as up-to-date as John Le Carre's fine novel about illegal gun runners of today -- THE NIGHT MANAGER. There are beautifully handled set-pieces, especially the shoot-out on a dusty, deserted street, shot in one long take, in which Cooper kills three villains. No MTV-style editing here, no tight close-ups of guns exploding, bodies flying, etc. You aren't asking yourself after the scene is over, how did he kill all those guys? And then there is Cooper's performance -- since he knew from the beginiing that his character was to die at the end, he played throughout as if his Hickok was doomed and well knew it. The weary fatalism in the way he utters his lines, the bleak look in his eyes for most of the film, it is a very, very fine performance. A performance which isn't given its due, perhaps because it is a DeMille film. For all its flaws, this is a movie with a great deal recommending it. Try it."