Wild Bill

release year: 1995
genre: western
viewing setting: home DVD, 7/24/05

synopsis: This is an account of the life and times of Wild Bill Hickock, who didn't apologize, couldn't show affection for women, and gunned down anyone who got in his way.

impressions: This movie is basically an account of the wilder times in the life of a real badass - a guy who doesn't back down from fights and is brutal and deadly with fists and guns. There are slow moments, most of them flashbacks or opium-pipe visions, but they're necessary to the plot. The fact that this account is based on his real life and history didn't stop me from groaning at the mistakes he made. I guess it's true: the candle that burns the brightest dies out the fastest.

things to watch for: Anytime that anyone touches Bill's hat or threatens him.

something this movie has that no other movie has: A would-be gunfighter in a wheelchair.

acting: Jeff Bridges does a good job as the uncontrollable, freewheeling main character. Ellen Barkin is outstanding as Calamity Jane, a woman who holds her own at drinking, gambling, and fighting. John Hurt is Bill's Englishman friend, and James Gammon is his cowboy friend. David Arquette plays a naive boy out for revenge.

final word: Good Western depicting the adventures of a larger-than-life character, worth seeing.

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