Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson
Time Out saysAltman's continuing fascination with the lunatic reality underlying America's popular myths finds an obvious subject in Buffalo Bill. William F Cody was a nonentity who utilised the heroic Western image of 'Buffalo Bill' to create a capitalist showbiz enterprise grossing a million a year. With typical fast-paced wit, Altman focuses on Cody's blinkered, scatter-brained retinue, contrasting their alcoholic self-deception with the mystical reality and strength of the Indians destroyed in their grand distortion of history. Some of it comes off well, and Newman is superb. But the film shows tiresome signs of its origins as a stage play (by Arthur Kopit), and the good moments aren't quite enough to make up for its overall predictability.