Buffalo Bill and the Indians 12/15/20

Powerhouse Indicator
Region B Blu-ray

or, Sitting Bull’s History Lesson. Robert Altman’s grand circus movie about the intersection of history, show biz and mythomania is the expected free-form pageant with dozens of speaking roles, all talking over each other. Paul Newman is a grand Buffalo Bill, and his conflict with the famed Indian chief ends up on a literal ‘spiritual’ level. Geraldine Chaplin is great as Annie Oakley and the Wild West Circus atmosphere is wonderful. The only gripe is Altman’s style: it’s all filmed in telephoto lenses, which flattens everything out and keeps up visually/psychologically distant from the drama. The extras include vintage early films of the actual Wild West show, including a performance by the real Annie Oakley. On Region B Blu-ray from Powerhouse Indicator.