| Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane..Give me a break.
I recently saw this film for the first time on TV. It starts out OK but later turns into a joke.
The first part of the movie deals with the Brian Keith character's fight to help Texas recover following the Civil War. This includes battling with the carpet baggers and organizing the ranchers to move their cattle to the nearest railhead, which happens to be in Kansas. The drive fails so Keith decides to go to Kansas to persuade the railroad to run a line into Texas.
Fine up to this point, but then the picture turns ludicrous. Along comes Wild Bill Hickok (a woefully miscast Robert Culp), Young Buffalo Bill (Jim McMullen) and Calamity Jane (Judi Meredith). Why these characters were introduced into the story is beyond me. They add nothing and serve as not much more than comic relief. The Plainsman (1936) explored this concept much better.
The conflict between Keith and the army (led by an effective Albert Ryder), could have been developed without the aforementioned three characters. Good character actors like Warner Anderson, Harry Carey Jr., Richard Deacon and Trevor Bardette are wasted. Possibly some of their scenes were cut as the film only runs 75 minutes.
They should have built the story around the opening scenes. That would have resulted in a much better movie.