In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It has a message, it has things to say, and it never makes any bones about saying them openly and directly.”
“The difference between a white man and an injun in all situations is that an injun is red. And an injun is red for a very good reason. So we can tell us apart.”
For a long time, westerns always seemed to me like a genre for old men. Sure, when you watch old sitcoms from the 50s, or even in the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, young boys are always portrayed as being obsessed with cowboys. But in my lifetime, westerns have always been watched by old blokes. A baseless theory that none the less gets more validity as I get older and like them more and more. As I increasingly seek westerns out, I generally only ever found further examples of the standard clichés that define the genre in its broadest terms. But today, I stumbled across a real anti western, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson.
William ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody (Paul Newman) was once a frontier conquering, buffalo killing, man of the range. But when this movie picks up, he’s a cheap huckster, leading a cheesy troupe of performers in ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’. A kind of arena show for late 19th century rubes, notorious names of the day, like Cody and Annie Oakley (Geraldine Chaplin) pimp out their once good names, and resort to performing re-enactments of recent cowboy versus Indian events. (more…)