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Author Topic: The White Buffalo (1977)  (Read 8915 times)
Tucumcari Bound
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« on: September 17, 2007, 10:38:46 PM »

Has anybody seen this overlooked Charles Bronson western?

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« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2007, 09:55:46 AM »

possibly, it seemed overly mystical, if its the film I'm thinking about.

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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2008, 07:35:14 PM »

Finally managed to copy this onto DVD-R yesterday. The first time I saw this as a kid it was kind of scary to me. Very much a western version of JAWS in a lot of ways. A most bizarre western. Saw it a few years ago on cable and it looked like it was transferred from tape. Saw it again about a year ago and it looked obviously remastered. Apparently MGM doesn't have enough faith for a DVD release or they're testing the waters on cable first. There is however, a R2 DVD which I just found last week and widescreen, too. This copy will do till I can nab one of those. A good number of AIP movies have been playing on cable recently since MGM (and now Sony) acquired the library.

In regards to the special effects in THE WHITE BUFFALO (1977), I don't see what the big fuss is about really. The effects are quite good for the time and this was rather an expensive enterprise for Dino De Laurentiis who had a fair number of big budget disasters in a row around this time with this being one of them. Stuart Whitman is wasted here. Bronson is of course great as always in another J. Lee Thompson collaboration.

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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 08:03:02 PM »

Does it have the white buffalo running around in foggy clouds sort of in repeated dreamlike sequences - that's about all I remember

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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 08:05:41 PM »

Does it have the white buffalo running around in foggy clouds sort of in repeated dreamlike sequences - that's about all I remember

During the opening, there's an attack sequence after which Bronson (Wild Bill Hickox) wakes up from a supposed nightmare blasting his guns into the bunk above him. The scene jumps to an Indian massacre by the big buffalo.

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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2008, 04:40:29 AM »

No clouds or dreamlike sequences (or is that the nightmare?)

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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2008, 01:58:36 PM »

No clouds or dreamlike sequences (or is that the nightmare?)

The sequence described above has a dream-like quality to it (a snow bound set) and I think there is another nightmare scene in there. But when Bronson awakens, he has obviously just had a nightmare only you're not sure whether he was seeing the buffalo attack or if it was all in his head. I haven't seen it in a long time and only just converted it to DVD-R.

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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2008, 02:19:25 PM »

Yea that's it ,the snowbound mention, jogged my memory I remember it being all white for some reason, lol.

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« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2008, 10:14:12 PM »

I still have to see this.

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« Reply #9 on: May 12, 2008, 11:28:55 PM »

It was on again today.

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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2008, 11:23:31 PM »

Was on encore westerns tonight.
Just finished watching it.

Not bad. Worth a look for Bronson's performance and a rather unusual plot.
Hickock has recurring nightmares of a giant (and fake looking) White Buffalo.
He determines that he has to hunt down this creature and kill it to stop the dreams.
Along the way he meets Crazy Horse who wants to kill the Buffalo for a different reason.
So it becomes a dis-placed For a few dollars more motif towards the end.

There was obviously a lot of money thrown into this considering all the sets look really good (Then again it is a Dino De laurentis picture so I'm not surprised).
This is a snowbound western every fan should check out at least once.
Rent it first.
Or catch it on Encore Westerns. They play it regularly.



Kim Novak has a small role as an ex-lover of Hickock's.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 11:27:49 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2008, 12:18:44 PM »

I got a copy of the widescreen Japanese DVD today. The movie looks gorgeous possibly a step up from the recent fullscreen version making the rounds on digital cable of late. I was told there's a making of on here but I don't see it but there is the soundtrack and US trailer as extras.

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« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2008, 12:38:24 PM »

I saw this movie many years ago and I don't remember much of it. Which makes me believe it was not that great.

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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2009, 04:21:35 PM »

Finally got this in watchable form.

I was intrigued by the mystic premise right away. The opening sequence is great: through the mind of Wild Bill Hickok (going under the name James Otis) in some sort of oniric-clarvoyant hybrid sequence, we see The White Buffalo in a savage rampage destroying an Indian village, gruesomely killing everybody in his path, women and children included, and then the spooked Billie-boy waking up, but only after unloading the two barrels of his revolvers in the ceiling of the train.

The opening is followed by a pack of good scenes that definitely show the influence of SW: Hickok/Otis gunning mean pistoleers down, humorous dialogues, finding himself a companion for the White Buffalo hunt - the grumpy old trapper Charlie Zane (played correctly by Jack Warden), their brief occurrence in one of the dirtiest of the dirty saloons, and some rather vulgar and almost out of place whore humor (carried out mostly by the cameo appearance of Kim Novak, that caught off-guard even the otherwise constant Charlie Bronson).

Unfortunately that's about when the fun stops, about 40 minutes from the end of the movie, just when the real hunt for the WB should start in the snowy wilderness, Hick and Zane get involved in a strange racist flavored ménage à trois with the Indian hunter on the quest of valor - Crazy Horse/Worm (played by Will Sampson). In a couple of re-looped cave based love-me/love-me-not scenes they menage to collapse the mythical and mystical feel of the picture, ignore the beautiful snowy landscapes and ultimately make the White Buffalo a cheap and utterly stupid ''boys against the monster'' final fight.

I was really waiting them to explain how come the White Buffalo, a holy spirit of the ancient Native American religion and symbol of good, suddenly went berserk and slaughtered all those people. Turns out they couldn't carry out a simple action packed Western, let alone explain the spiritual implication of the whole business they started.

5/10

« Last Edit: May 15, 2009, 04:23:47 PM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2009, 07:21:42 PM »

This is now on OnDemand.

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