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Buffalo Bill (1944)

Approved | | Biography, Romance, Western | April 1944 (USA)
The story of William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, legendary westerner, from his days as an army scout to his later activities as owner of a Wild West show.


William A. Wellman


Æneas MacKenzie (screenplay) (as Aeneas MacKenzie), Clements Ripley (screenplay) | 2 more credits »


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Complete credited cast:
Joel McCrea ... William Frederick 'Buffalo Bill' Cody
Maureen O'Hara ... Louisa Frederici Cody
Linda Darnell ... Dawn Starlight
Thomas Mitchell ... Ned Buntline
Edgar Buchanan ... Sgt. Chips McGraw
Anthony Quinn ... Chief Yellow Hand
Moroni Olsen ... Sen. Frederici
Frank Fenton ... Murdo Carvell
Matt Briggs ... Gen. Blazier
George Lessey ... Mr. Schyler Vandervere
Frank Orth ... Sherman - Shooting Gallery Owner


A fictionalized account of the life of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. A hunter and Army Scout in the early part of his life, he rescues a US Senator and his beautiful daughter, Louisa Frederici. Cody is portrayed as someone who admires and respects the Indians and is a good friend of Yellow Hand who will eventually become Chief of the Cheyenne. Everyone else, including the military, politicians and businessmen on the other hand hate the Indians and are perfectly prepared to trample on their lands and destroy their buffalo hunting grounds. He's eventually forced to fight the Cheyenne however. He's also met a writer, Ned Buntline, who writes about Cody's exploits and he becomes a sensation when he travels East. His career is not assured however, particularly when he attacks those in positions of authority over their maltreatment of the Native American population. He eventually establishes his wild west show that becomes an international sensation. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His adventure made him a hero.His showmanship made him a legend.


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

April 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aventuras de Buffalo Bill See more »

Filming Locations:

House Rock Canyon, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Navajo Indians from Arizona played the majority of the Indians in this film. See more »


Early in the film, Sergeant Chips McGraw refers to Buffalo Bill's "big Springfield" rifle but Bill is armed with an 1866 Winchester rifle in this scene. See more »


William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody: What killed my son?
Doctor: Diptheria.
William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody: What's that?
Doctor: A germ.
William F. 'Buffalo Bill' Cody: Where does it come from?
Doctor: Water systems... and sewage. It's a crowd disease. A disease of civilization.
See more »


Featured in The Siege at Red River (1954) See more »


Buffalo Gals (Won't You Come Out Tonight)
(1844) (uncredited)
Written by William Cool White
Played on an offscreen piano as Bill walks near a New York museum
See more »

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User Reviews

Light as well as colorful biopic about the mythical hero taking on Indians and Cheyenne chief Yellow Hand
27 June 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is an entertaining chronicle of the noted frontier explorer . A simple story of William "Buffalo Bill" F. Cody (Joel McCrea) , legendary westerner , whose adventures made him a hero , this is a fictionalized account of the life and career from his days as an army scout or frontier hunter , his marriage to Louisa Frederici Cody (Maureen O'Hara) , to his later activities as showmanship . There happen sad events , as a lot of Buffalos had been exterminated , as hordes of eager hunters pursued the Buffalo herds in mass attacks and newspapers publicized special excursions to Buffalo grounds , including ¨the Great Russian Duke hunt¨ . Bill participated but also denounced these deeds . His hat along with a small part of his scalp was shot off by the Sioux Indians with their chief Crazy Horse and Cheyennes tribes , as in 1869 took place the action leading to a stunning victory over the Cheyenne at Summit Springs , Kansas . And there occurred his fight against ¨Yellow Hand¨ (Anthony Quinn) . Bill inspired dime novelist Ned Buntline (Thomas Mitchell) to write a serial featuring him and he began escorting hunting parties for rich men . The movie describes his rising and fall when Bill assaults an editor , denounced fraud , evicted from Astor ; though Bill , finally , accused Monied interests of instigating Indian wars . After winning a Congressional medal of Honor for bravery , then Cody left scouting and headed East to begin a theatrical career . Bill , subsequently , becomes a wealthy owner of a Wild West show , as a showman made him a legend.

Good biographic movie portraying the famous Wild West role . Well and lavishly directed by William A. Wellman with a great all-star-cast as Joel McCrea , Maureen O'Hara , Anthony Quinn , Linda Darnell , Edgar Buchanan , among others . Being emotionally right on the mark and there's precious action . The picture has an excellent Mise-En-scene with spectacular battles , big production design , thrilling score by David Buttolph and spectacular cinematography by Leon Shamroy .

During his 72 years Bill (1846-1917) enjoyed one of the greatest careers in Western history . Bill started early , by the age of 14 , he had already worked as drover , prospector , trapper and Pony Express rider . While grading track , and hunting Buffalos for the Kansas Pacific Railroad , after the Civil War , 21-year-old William F. Cody allegedly received the nickname ¨Buffalo Bill¨ after bringing down 11 of the beasts with 12 shots . Like his friend , ¨Will Bill Hickock¨ whom he met during the Civil war , Cody scouted for the Union in its wartime campaign against the Plains tribes and continued operating against Indians in the service of General Sheridan , General Carr's 5th Cavalry and other commanders . The dime novels and other popular entertainments of the time had already begun to be filled with rather fanciful accounts of Cody's exploits . And coming west on the newly completed transcontinental railroad . Shortly thereafter, the celebrated scout moved to Fort McPherson , Nebraska . In 1875-1876 he returned briefly to scouting in the Sioux Wars where he distinguished himself yet again . From then until his death in 1917 , Bill divided his time between ranching and producing Wild West Shows , in which Bill was cheered by crowds of enthusiastic citizens that made him wealthy and secured his everlasting fame .

Other films about ¨Buffalo Bill¨ are the followings : ¨Battling with Buffalo Bill¨ (1931) by Ray Taylor with Tom Tyler , ¨The Plainsman¨ (1936) by Cecil B. De Mille with Gary Cooper , James Ellison , Jean Arthur , ¨Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory¨ by Bernard Ray with Clayton Moore , Chief Thundercloud , ¨Buffalo Bill rides again ¨ (1947) by Bernard Ray with Richard Arlen , ¨Buffalo Bill¨ by Mario Costa with Gordon Scott , Mario Petri and the historical pastiche as well as perennial underrated ¨Buffalo Bill and the Indians¨ (76) by Robert Altman with Paul Newman who appears as a charlatan and shameless exemplar of encroaching imperialism .

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