Joe Neumaier
May 31, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Wild Bill

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Ellen Barkin, Jeff Bridges
director
Walter Hill
genre
Drama, Western

We gave it an B-

Tired yet perennially tested, chased by the past, James Butler ”Wild Bill” Hickok is as haunted as the Western genre itself. And he’s brought growlingly to life by Jeff Bridges, who saves Wild Bill from simple dead-horse beating. This elegiac character study finds the famous gunslinger wrestling with a restless spirit, impending blindness, and a rekindled romance with Calamity Jane (the underutilized Ellen Barkin). Director Walter Hill (48 HRS.) saddles his epic with two-bit execution, but the claustrophobic saloons and chintzy crowd scenes look fine on video. Still, while Hill’s hallucinatory script — adapted from a novel and a play — is about the dangers of fostering your own myth, the movie fawns over its character’s legend rather than aiming for his murky reality. B-

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST