6.2/10
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71 user 31 critic

The White Buffalo (1977)

At the closing of 1874 a haunted, dying Wild Bill Hickok teams up with a grieving Crazy Horse to hunt a murderous albino buffalo.

Director:

J. Lee Thompson

Writers:

Richard Sale (screenplay), Richard Sale (from his novel "The White Buffalo")
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Bill Hickok / James Otis
Jack Warden ... Charlie Zane
Will Sampson ... Crazy Horse / Worm
Kim Novak ... Poker Jenny Schermerhorn
Clint Walker ... Whistling Jack Kileen
Stuart Whitman ... Winifred Coxy
Slim Pickens ... Abel Pickney
John Carradine ... Amos Briggs
Cara Williams ... Cassie Ollinger
Shay Duffin ... Tim Brady
Clifford A. Pellow Clifford A. Pellow ... Pete Holt (as Cliff Pellow)
Douglas Fowley ... Amos Bixby (as Douglas V. Fowley)
Ed Lauter ... Captain Tom Custer
Martin Kove ... Jack McCall
Scott Walker ... Gyp Hook-Hand
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Storyline

Tormented by incessant and recurring nightmares of a hellish great white buffalo attacking him in the snow-clad wilderness, the ailing Wild Bill Hickok, decides to travel north to hunt down the raging mythical beast. Along the way, the experienced hunter will team up with an old friend, the one-eyed Charlie, while in the meantime, the Indian Chief Crazy Horse whose child was killed by the same creature, is already out in the unforgiving landscape, pursuing the extraordinary bison. Without a doubt, both men won't rest until they find the supernatural monster of legend, however, in this uncomfortable alliance, even the slightest mistake can prove deadly. Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Charging... Roaring... Breathing Fire and Hell... The White Earthquake is Here! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

May 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hunt to Kill See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was made and released about two years after Richard Sale's novel of the same name was first published in 1975. See more »

Goofs

The support apparatus for the mechanical buffalo is clearly visible during some charging scenes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Amos Bixby: What the Hell is going on?
Wild Bill Hickok: I had a dream.
Amos Bixby: If there'd been anyone in the upper, you'd have sent him to Hell on a shudder.
Wild Bill Hickok: Sorry, Mister Bixby.
Amos Bixby: My God, Mister Otis. You will stow those damned irons in your carpet bag or I'll stop this train and set you out in Wyoming on your boots.
Amos Bixby: [narrating] In September of 1874 Wild Bill Hickok came back to the Old West. I didn't place him then because he was wearing a different name and he had a strange bee in his bonnet, a deadly dream that was ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The final credits play between two sepia oval portraits of the two principal actors in character, with the captions: "J.B.Hickok - Born 1837- Murdered 1876" and "Crazy Horse - Born 1842- Murdered 1877". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Playboy: The Story of X (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

 
More than just a "giant monster" movie.
2 March 2014 | by Hey_SwedenSee all my reviews

In fact, "The White Buffalo" may on the surface appear to be just another Dino De Laurentiis production of the time like "King Kong" or "Orca", but it's rather intriguing and very moody. It's really an offbeat character study in which the character in question, none other than Wild Bill Hickock (Charles Bronson) has to face an internal demon of his by also doing battle with a real one, supposedly the last of the great white buffaloes that have mostly been wiped out.

On his way to meet his destiny, Wild Bill - now travelling under the alias James Otis - meets a variety of colourful characters, including his old friend Charlie Zane (a hearty Jack Warden) and Poker Jenny (Kim Novak, looking as beautiful as ever). Some of his encounters get intense, with the requisite amount of gunfire and bloodshed, but things really pick up once Bill and Charlie make the acquaintance of the Indian named Crazy Horse (Will Sampson), who is on his own quest to slay the beast.

The special effects may draw criticisms from some viewers, but this viewer never had any problem with them, and certainly appreciated seeing old style animatronics. The wintry atmosphere of "The White Buffalo" is incredible, accompanied by genuinely spooky music by John Barry, and the film has a wonderful spiritual quality not to be found in other collaborations between Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson. It's an unconventional choice of material for them, and today it rates as an under-rated entry on their resumes.

Much of the cast are relegated to cameo roles, but make the most out of their brief screen time: Clint Walker, Stuart Whitman, Slim Pickens, John Carradine, Cara Williams, Douglas Fowley, Ed Lauter, and Martin Kove, among others.

With this assemblage of talent and a decent script (by Richard Sale, based on his novel), this makes for fairly compelling viewing.

Seven out of 10.


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