25 September 2023

Buffalo Girls

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Reviewed by Rama Gaind.

Director: Rod Hardy, Via Vision Entertainment.

Cast: Anjelica Huston, Melanie Griffith, Sam Elliott, Peter Coyote, Gabriel Byrne.

Wild. Untamed. Legendary. So states the publicity blurb: if you loved the wild west adventure of Lonesome Dove, hitch your wagon to Buffalo Girls.

What a ride it is too, as we lament the passing of the glory days of the western category.

It was released in 1995, based on a novel by Larry McMurty and screenplay by Cynthia Whitcomb. This is an absorbing take on some well-known figures from this genre. Not only does it explore their personal lives and troubles, but it also honours womanhood and its endless diversity.

There’s Huston’s unfeminine Calamity Jane, the frilly Dora DuFran (Griffith) and the no-nonsense Annie Oakley (Reba McEntire). There’s also Elliott as Wild Bill Hickok, Byrne is Teddy Blue and Coyote plays Buffalo Bill Cody.

It’s a moving acknowledgement of what Jane calls “the last of the Wild West times . . . them last few days of wildness”.

The main characters act ably, settings and costumes are precise, there is comedy, enthusiasm and enjoyment. Oddness ensues, at times in their travels, but the cinematography by David Connell is dramatic.

You could win one of three copies of Buffalo Girls DVD, if you correctly tell us who plays the character called Wild Bill Hickok?

Entries should be sent to [email protected] by next Monday, 2 July 2018. Names of the winners will be announced in Frank Cassidy’s PS-sssst…! column next week.

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