Wild Bill Hickok (1923)

  |  History, Western

Wild Bill Hickok (1923) Poster

After the America Civil War ends, important political and military figures gather in Washington D.C. Gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok (William Hart) retires to Dodge City where he hangs up his ... See full summary »



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11 February 2016 | boblipton
| History Becoming Legend
William S. Hart's penultimate movie purports to be history. However, since he was a friend of Bat Masterson -- who first appeared as a movie character here -- and this was the first screen appearance of Hickock, we can see the skillful blending of fact and mythic archetype that Hart's movies made use of.

At least we can see hints of it. The version screened today at New York's Museum of Modern Art timed in at 55 minutes, fifteen less than the credited time. It's clear that a big hunk of the middle, covering his time with Custer is gone, causing a bit of a plot hole.

Looking at old movies, you get used to that, and in taking pleasure where you can. Here, it's in Joe August's camera work and Hart's usual fine job playing another version of the Good Bad Man, facing down true villains and leaving in just enough warts to let us know that people who are not even as good as we imagine ourselves, can be. If that be so, we can all be heroes.

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