• Warning: Spoilers
    A film that divides critics equally, Robert Altman's 1976 offering is a clunky movie that fails to sparkle and delivers far less than it should. Flowing haired Paul Newman plays the titular hero, and the premise centres around his Wild West sideshow and his attempts to lure the legend that is white-American nemesis Sitting Bull into the show ring. Meanwhile, the great red Indian chief secretly has his own agenda, and the stand off comes in Newman sacrificing historical fact for blatant commercialism whilst Sitting Bull wants his opportunity to put the record straight on behalf of him and his people. Altman went on record and denied any deliberate political allegory, but there is certainly plenty of evidence to suggest otherwise. The main problem with the movie for me is that a Wild West sideshow with the chief protagonists turned into circus acts just doesn't work. And whilst Gerladine Chaplin is highly watchable as Annie Oakley, with her breathtaking shooting skills ready to go wrong at any minute, there is little to engage the viewer here and it doesn't rise above the mediocre. Newman delivers his lines admirably, and, for such a consummate professional is not inconvenienced by the fact that the movie misfires, but it's too slow in places. He was very similar in WUSA, where he was perfectly able to display his skills with ease whilst all around him was uninspiring, but there are a few too many movies like that in the Newman cannon. This is probably for strict Newman or Altman fans only (unless you really want to spot a youthful looking Harvey Keitel) but you won't be rushing to see this one again and again.