Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976) [Blu-ray ONLY, StudioCanal Import - English audio, removable subtitles]

Buffalo Bill and the Indians (1976) [Blu-ray ONLY, StudioCanal Import - English audio, removable subtitles]

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One of a number of revisionist westerns made in the 1970s, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (to give the film its full title) has been unfairly maligned by its critics. Problematic for Americans for its “subversive” satirising of the principal character, in an attack which is as much aimed at Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general as at William Cody’s Wild West Show, Buffalo Bill and the Indians was nevertheless immediately recognised by some as an important film, winning the Golden Bear at 1976’s Berlin International Film Festival. Today it is regarded as a key work in the oeuvre of maverick director Robert Altman, second in its ambition only to Nashville.

Hollywood great Burt Lancaster lends weight to the production as Ned Buntline, the writer who made a star of William Cody in his newspaper serial Buffalo Bill, the King of the Border Men, first published in the New York Weekly in late 1869. Geraldine Chaplin is a taciturn but expressive Annie Oakley, and Newman himself is an effective Buffalo Bill. There’s depth of talent in a cast which includes Harvey Keitel in an atypical role, Joel Grey (Cabaret) and Shelley Duvall (Nashville).

Altman’s style is an acquired taste, but he is certainly effective in recreating the world of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and no one with an interest in the Wild West can really pass up a Paul Newman western. If you haven’t seen it, track down a copy of 1972’s The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean - it’s just as eclectic, satirical and downright fascinating.

Swedish Region B (fully UK-compatible) Blu-ray ONLY, Soul Media/StudioCanal 2012

Please note: Our stock is stickered by the manufacturer “The box only includes a Blu-ray disc” - there is no DVD. Subtitles have been tested and confirmed removable using disc menus.

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