The Plainsman (1936)

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    • The Plainsman (1936)




      Plot Summary
      With the end of the North American Civil War, the manufacturers of repeating rifles
      find a profitable means of making money selling the weapons to the North American Indians,
      using the front man John Lattimer to sell the rifles to the Cheyenne.
      While traveling in a stagecoach with Calamity Jane and William "Buffalo Bill" Cody
      and his young wife Louisa Cody that want to settle down in Hays City managing a hotel,
      Wild Bill Hickok finds the guide Breezy wounded by arrows and telling
      that the Indians are attacking a fort using repeating rifles.
      Hickok meets Gen. George A. Custer that assigns Buffalo Bill to guide a troop
      with ammunition to help the fort.
      Meanwhile the Cheyenne kidnap Calamity Jane, forcing Hickok to expose himself to rescue her.
      Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

      Gary Cooper ... Wild Bill Hickok
      Jean Arthur ... Calamity Jane
      James Ellison ... Buffalo Bill Cody
      Charles Bickford ... John Lattimer
      Helen Burgess ... Louisa Cody
      Porter Hall ... Jack McCall
      Paul Harvey ... Yellow Hand
      Victor Varconi ... Painted Horse
      John Miljan ... General George A. Custer
      Frank McGlynn Sr. ... Abraham Lincoln
      Granville Bates ... Van Ellyn
      Frank Albertson ... A Young Trooper
      Purnell Pratt ... Captain Wood
      Fred Kohler ... Jake - A Teamster (as Fred Kohler Sr. in End Credit)
      Pat Moriarity ... Sergeant McGinnis (as Pat Moriarty)
      Charles Judels ... Tony - The Barber
      Harry Woods ... Quartermaster Sergeant
      Anthony Quinn ... A Cheyenne Indian
      Francis McDonald ... A River Gambler
      George Ernest ... A Boy
      George MacQuarrie ... General Merritt
      George 'Gabby' Hayes ... Breezy (as George Hayes)
      Fuzzy Knight ... Dave
      Duke R. Lee ... Trooper (uncredited)
      Hank Worden ... Deadwood Townsman (uncredited)

      Cecil B. DeMille

      Writing Credits
      Waldemar Young ... (screen play) &
      Harold Lamb ... (screen play) &
      Lynn Riggs ... (screen play)
      Jeanie Macpherson ... (material compiled by) (as Jeanie Mac Pherson)
      Courtney Ryley Cooper ... (based on data from stories by) &
      Frank J. Wilstach ... (based on data from stories by)
      Grover Jones ... (contributor to screenplay construction) (uncredited)

      Cecil B. DeMille ... producer (uncredited)
      William LeBaron ... executive producer (uncredited)
      William H. Pine ... producer (uncredited)

      George Antheil

      Victor Milner ... (photographed by)
      George Robinson ... (uncredited)

      John Wayne very much wanted the role of Wild Bill Hickok,
      which he felt certain would make him a star,
      but director Cecil B. DeMille wanted Gary Cooper instead.

      Film debut of Hank Worden.

      An excellent horseman from his youth in Montana,
      Gary Cooper did most of his own riding stunts,
      including the shot where he rode "hanging" between two horses.

      2,000 Indian actors were used as extras for the Custer massacre sequence.

      "Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 31, 1937
      with Jean Arthur reprising her film role.

      Paramount executives wanted Wild Bill Hickok to survive the card-game shootout,
      but Cecil B. DeMille resisted and got his way.

      The cavalry sequences were shot with members of the Wyoming National Guard.
      Two guardsmen were badly hurt during filming of a charge scene.

      The Native-American (Anthony Quinn) who happens upon Hickok and Cody's camp
      has the guidon for Company E, 7th Calvary.
      This company,
      commanded by Lt. Algernon Smith, was known as the "Gray Horse Company".

      Anthony Quinn told Cecil B. DeMille that he spoke fluent Cheyenne.
      Quinn's description of the Custer battle is gibberish, but DeMille was impressed.

      The script originally had Anthony Quinn's character entering the campsite
      with no concern because he thought it was the camp of another Indian.
      Quinn told Cecil B. DeMille that a real Indian would know the difference
      between a white man's camp and that of another Indian's, a
      nd should show caution when entering.
      When Quinn insisted, DeMille thought about it and agreed
      that's how the character ought to react.

      One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949,
      which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution,
      and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since

      During the riverboat card game scene, Bill Hickock, who "doesn't like women"
      is clearly wearing a wedding band.

      Factual errors
      On the evening of Lincoln's assassination Van Ellyn and his associates
      are discussing the supposedly then current John Soule editorial, "Go West, Young Man."
      Lincoln was murdered in 1865. Soule wrote that famous line in 1851.

      According to the film, Custer's Last Stand and the establishment
      of the boom town of Deadwood occur shortly after the end of the Civil War in 1865.
      In actuality they happened 11 years later in 1876.

      Abraham Lincoln leaves for the theatre, and is shot within a matter of minutes.
      In reality, it was two hours between Lincoln's arrival and assassination.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Birney, Montana, USA
      Cheyenne Indian Reservation, Lame Deer, Montana, USA (Custer's massacre)
      Iverson Ranch - 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Kern River, California, USA
      Paramount Ranch - 2813 Cornell Road, Agoura, California, USA
      Pole Mountain, Laramie, Wyoming, USA (cavalry sequences)
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • The Plainsman is a 1936 American Western film
      directed by Cecil B. DeMille and starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur.

      The film presents a highly fictionalized account of the adventures
      and relationships between Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody,
      and General George Custer, with a gun-runner named
      Lattimer (Charles Bickford) as the main villain.
      The film is notorious for mixing timelines and even has an opening scene with
      Abraham Lincoln setting the stage for Hickok's adventures.

      Anthony Quinn has a role as an Indian.
      A remake using the same title was released in 1966.

      Couple of Duke's 'Pals' to ,look out for
      Anthony Quinn, George 'Gabby' Hayes
      and the first screen performance of Hank Worden

      User Review

      Trails cross sometimes
      28 November 2007 | by robert-temple-1 (United Kingdom)

      ROBERT wrote:

      This Cecil B. DeMille epic of the old West contains what may be Jean Arthur's finest performance, as a hysterical, eccentric, incurably amoral, but devotedly doting Calamity Jane. She really pulled it off! Gary Cooper is at his most taciturn, but manages some occasional pithy sayings: 'The plains are big, but trails cross ... sometimes.' The story is a pastiche to end all pastiches. All the cowboy heroes of Western lore seem to be in there somehow except for Jesse James. Even Abraham Lincoln opens the story in person (or at least, DeMille would have us believe so). There is no room for anything so evanescent as subtlety, this is a 'stomp 'em in the face' tale for the masses. A remarkable thing about this film however is that it is a very early full frontal attack on what Eisenhower was eventually to name 'the military industrial complex'. It isn't just a story about gun-runners, but about arming anyone for money, and doing so from the heart of Washington. But let's not get into politics, let's leave that to DeMille, who can be guaranteed to be superficial. The chief interest of this film all these years later is that it uses the first film score composed by George Antheil, who has a lot to say about the job in his autobiography, 'Bad Boy of Music'. Antheil seems to have originated 'the big sound' adopted by all subsequent Westerns, whereby the plains sing out with the voices and sounds of countless cowboys in the sky, celebrating the open spaces and interweaving common melodies. That is why it does not sound at all unusual, because we have heard it a thousand times. But he seems to have been the first to summon up the combined rustlings of all the sage brush into this symphony of the open skies which has entered into American mythic lore, and given it a soundtrack which has never varied since then, corny as it may be, but doubtless appropriate. It is amusing to see Anthony Quinn in an early appearance as a Cheyenne Indian. Gabby Hayes is in there somewhere, but you miss him in the crowd. Gary Cooper overtops them all, looming large, - but when did he ever loom small?
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().