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The Plainsman (1937)

Gary Cooper , Jean Arthur , Cecil B. DeMille  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur
  • Directors: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Producers: Cecil B. DeMille
  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001FVDWS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,090 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Plainsman" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Editorial Reviews

    Screen legends Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur star in Cecil B. DeMille's sweeping classic. This stylish Western skillfully interweaves classic real-life Old West legends like Wild Bill Hickok (Cooper), Calamity Jane (Arthur), Buffalo Bill Cody, George Armstrong Custer and Abraham Lincoln into a stunning tale as vast as the wild frontier itself. Packed with thrilling action, powerful drama and spectacular set pieces, The Plainsman set the standard by which other western extravaganzas would be forever measured.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars The West as it SHOULD have been! June 27, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    This epic western condenses "many years into an hourglass". In 1936 when it was made, it used available information & speculation, added a big dose of romance, & created a masterpiece. More recent research has rendered some of the plot devices obsolete, but for the lovers of great film, who cares? The friendship of Hickok & Cody was true enough, & the rest is good fun. Cooper & Arthur are superb, & the supporting cast is terrific. This is a must-see film for anyone.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
    By Nix Pix
    Format:DVD
    "The Plainsman" represents the directorial prowess of Cecil B. DeMille at its most inaccurate and un-factual. It sets up parallel plots for no less stellar an entourage than Wild Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper), Buffalo Bill Cody (James Ellison), Calamity Jane (Jean Arthur), George Armstrong Custer and Abraham Lincoln to interact, even though in reality Lincoln was already dead at the time the story takes place. Every once in a while DeMille floats dangerously close toward the truth, but just as easily veers away from it into unabashed spectacle and showmanship. The film is an attempt to buttress Custer's last stand with a heap of fiction that is only loosely based on the lives of people, who were already the product of manufactured stuffs and legends.
    TRANSFER: Considering the vintage of the film, this is a moderately appealing transfer, with often clean whites and extremely solid blacks. There's a considerable amount of film grain in some scenes and an absence of it at other moments. All in all, the image quality is therefore somewhat inconsistent, but it is never all bad or all good - just a bit better than middle of the road. Age related artifacts are kept to a minimum and digital anomalies do not distract. The audio is mono but nicely balanced.
    EXTRAS: Forget it. It's Universal!
    BOTTOM LINE: As pseudo-history painted on celluloid, this western is compelling and fun. Just take its characters and story with a grain of salt - in some cases - a whole box seems more appropriate!
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Cooper March 13, 2000
    By John
    Format:VHS Tape
    THE PLAINSMAN is probably all the things its champions and its detractors say it is. Graham Greene felt it was the best western ever made when he reviewed it in 1936. Others point to the clumsy plotting and awkward pacing. However, there are things in it which are just wonderful! Take the opening sequence, with the illegal gun runners plotting how to get around government laws. It is tightly written, bitterly ironic and flawlessly acted. Indeed, it is as up-to-date as John Le Carre's fine novel about illegal gun runners of today -- THE NIGHT MANAGER. There are beautifully handled set-pieces, especially the shoot-out on a dusty, deserted street, shot in one long take, in which Cooper kills three villains. No MTV-style editing here, no tight close-ups of guns exploding, bodies flying, etc. You aren't asking yourself after the scene is over, how did he kill all those guys? And then there is Cooper's performance -- since he knew from the beginiing that his character was to die at the end, he played throughout as if his Hickok was doomed and well knew it. The weary fatalism in the way he utters his lines, the bleak look in his eyes for most of the film, it is a very, very fine performance. A performance which isn't given its due, perhaps because it is a DeMille film. For all its flaws, this is a movie with a great deal recommending it. Try it.
    Comment | 
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    20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars FAUX HISTORICAL EPIC - FLASHY BUT INACCURATE June 1, 2004
    By Nix Pix
    Format:DVD
    "The Plainsman" represents the directorial prowess of Cecil B. DeMille at its most inaccurate and un-factual. It sets up parallel plots for no less stellar an entourage than Wild Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper), Buffalo Bill Cody (James Ellison), Calamity Jane (Jean Arthur), George Armstrong Custer and Abraham Lincoln to interact, even though in reality Lincoln was already dead at the time the story takes place. Every once in a while DeMille floats dangerously close toward the truth, but just as easily veers away from it into unabashed spectacle and showmanship. The film is an attempt to buttress Custer's last stand with a heap of fiction that is only loosely based on the lives of people, who were already the product of manufactured stuffs and legends.
    TRANSFER: Considering the vintage of the film, this is a moderately appealing transfer, with often clean whites and extremely solid blacks. There's a considerable amount of film grain in some scenes and an absence of it at other moments. All in all, the image quality is therefore somewhat inconsistent, but it is never all bad or all good - just a bit better than middle of the road. Age related artifacts are kept to a minimum and digital anomalies do not distract. The audio is mono but nicely balanced.
    EXTRAS: Forget it. It's Universal!
    BOTTOM LINE: As pseudo-history painted on celluloid, this western is compelling and fun. Just take its characters and story with a grain of salt - in some cases - a whole box seems more appropriate!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Never a dull moment. January 15, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    Although the dialogue leaves a lot to be desired, this is a very entertaining film. The story moves in such a way that there is never a dull moment. Gary Cooper is good with gentle sarcastic wit. If Jean Arthur as Calamity Jane would slow down a little, her character might be more appealing. She seems to rush through her lines. But the story is good, albeit a little unbelievable at times - just too many big-name American historical characters interacting. (Did they really all cross paths like this?) Definitely worth watching. You'll get caught up in the story.
    Comment | 
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars A classic
    One of the classics. Great scene with General Custer riding to the rescue with the American flag flowing in the background. Read more
    Published 10 hours ago by Kevin T. Buckley
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A very underrated movie, a must see for any western fan.
    Published 20 days ago by Felice Glorioso
    3.0 out of 5 stars THE PLAINSMAN
    Another DeMille and Cooper effort. Talks about the relationship between Wild Bill Hicock, Buffalo Bill Cody and Calamity Jane. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by James R. Morrella
    5.0 out of 5 stars Pure fun
    Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in a rocking western as only Cecil B Demille can make. Wild Bill Hickok (Gary Cooper), Buffalo Bill Cody (James Ellison), and Calamity Jane (Jean... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Ashley Morton
    1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't access the dvd
    This was a western my 84 year old husband loved as a young man. Unfortunately we didn't have a remote for our
    tv so we couldn't arrow down to "play" the dvd. Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Don Wallace
    1.0 out of 5 stars Save your money
    I like old westerns but this one is awful. It is totally made up low grade melodrama. The filming is pathetic, with battles on "green screen" (not even) in the... Read more
    Published 4 months ago by Thoughtful Reviewer
    4.0 out of 5 stars the plainsmen fun to watch.
    picture was clear no distorted areas. haven't seen this movie since the early nineteen forties liked it then and still like it brings back memories .A good story never gets old. Read more
    Published 5 months ago by william g. moran
    5.0 out of 5 stars Memories of my youth
    All of the movies that I have ordered were memories of my youth, or other memories. Movies that I enjoyed when they were "new"!
    Published 9 months ago by Ron T
    3.0 out of 5 stars plainsman
    I enjoyed the story line and the price, but didn't like the fact that my order came from so many diffent places and sent at diffent times, instead of all at once.
    Published 9 months ago by ROBERTSONGER
    5.0 out of 5 stars Humorous and sad...
    This movie was great as the characters in it played their parts REALLY well. I love the censorship that this era offered, this movie portrayed how the human emotions are played... Read more
    Published 12 months ago by Harmony Hamilton
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