Movie Review: Buffalo Bill

“Buffalo Bill” is a 1944 release starring Joel McCrea and the always easy on the eyes Maureen O’Hara. It was directed by Bill Wellman and produced by Harry Sherman, best known for his Hopalong Cassidy films.

“Buffalo Bill” is a fun film to watch as we follow a fictionalized version of William Cody (nicknamed Buffalo Bill by dime novelist Ned Buntline) from his time as a scout and Indian fighter to a period when he was down and out and then to his world-famous and world-loved “Wild West Show.”

The entire movie is enjoyable to watch, and it’s interesting to think of it set against the time it was released — the tail end of World War II, when America needed heroes and Hollywood did its best to provide them. But maybe the best part of the movie is the Battle of War Bonnet Gorge and the bigger-than-life horse charge and battle scenes. Decades before CGI, it is thrilling to watch.

And for those who have read my “52 Weeks • 52 Western Novels” nonfiction book, I’m very close to wrapping up the second book in the series, “52 Weeks • 52 Western Movies.” This movie will be one of the selections, and it’s fun to note that Bill Wellman Jr., the son of director William Wellman, has a guest contribution in the book, as does Wyatt McCrea, my friend and the grandson of Joel McCrea. Wyatt McCrea actually has a few contributions, many of them his grandfather’s movies.


Three horseshoes.

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