Buffalo Bill and the Indians - Native American Movie Listing


Paul Newman stars as Buffalo Bill, the showman of the wild west, with his circus act of performers. Robert Altman is famous for movings that expose how easily people fall for myths and stories, and this is no exception. Bill and his crew are all larger than life, believing in the stories written about themselves. They decide to put Geronimo into their act, thinking that they can stir up their audience into a blood lust against the "evil Indians".

To their surprise, people actually respect the native Americans, and even the president comes out to meet Geronimo for himself. In the end it's only Geronimo that speaks honestly, and he is ignored. He leaves the white men to their problems.

There are a number of famous actors and actresses here - Joel Grey, Harvey Keitel, Burt Lancaster, Geraldine Chaplin. Undoubtedly all signed on to make a movie that had social significance, especially with it coming out in 1976 - America's 200th year of independence. However, they are in essence satiring people who in fact were "heroes" in many ways. Buffalo Bill did in fact do some impressive things in his life. By all accounts Geronimo liked him and enjoyed being with him. For many of the city slickers, these shows were their only glimpse into what the wild west was all about, even in a general portrayal.

Also, the native americans are treated as being supernatural Gods. They get across rivers that are uncrossable, they set up lodgings where they should not be able to. There isn't any relating to them as people, as a culture. I would really have liked to see more of the cross-cultural issues - the different ways in which they related to women, to minorities, to performing in public.

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