'Buffalo Girls - Mini-Series' [+ Digital]
(Anjelica Huston, Melanie Griffith, Sam Elliott, Gabriel Byrne, Reba McEntire, et al / DVD+Digital / NR / (1995) 2018 / Mill Creek Entertainment)
Overview: Wild. Untamed. Legendary. 'Buffalo Girls' celebrates the bold escapades of tough-talking Calamity Jane Canary and her illustrious cohorts.
It's the waning days of the Wild West and Jane, the rough 'n' rugged cowgirl, is searching not only for her long-lost daughter, but the Wild West she once knew.
Jane traverses plains, mountains and continents until she finally discovers the answer to her problems: Dora, the vivacious, gold-hearted madam who's been her one true friend all along.
DVD Verdict: As much as I genuinely liked this mini-series, the main characteristic is typical of TV films (or, indeed, mini-series') re: it is slightly too slow and it concentrates too much on close-up shots of characters or faces; and less on action.
The story itself is based on the life of Wild Bill Hickok (Sam Elliott), Calamity Jane (Anjelica Houston), and, of course, Buffalo Bill Cody (Peter Coyote, among others.
In short, and as you would have fully expected anyway, 'Buffalo Girls' is a commemoration of this period when the wild west turned into the not-so-wild west and pretty soon the no-longer wild west.
The mini-series tries to show this time period and these characters from inside their very own psyches and so we get many overdone moments of character sentimentality.
We also get to witness the other side (the more cinematically covered one) of the traditional western films with the guns, the fights, and the dishonest settlers; or exploiters of settlers, therein.
Which is still a good thing to have here as it parlays well into why they all settled there in the west. Also, the nostalgia factor that inhabited the minds of the pioneers, the trappers, the hunters and also, but far behind in this film, the Indians who were seeing a mode of living, a life style disappearing, and themselves along with it, is played out well too here.
So yeah, there are some portions of this movie that are as close to being historically truthful as they can be. But, if I am being honest, no one really knows the whole truth about these famous people.
However, my love for stories of the old west and the people in them made this an entertaining mini-series to me. The acting is very good and the sets interesting - although the brilliant 'Deadwood' sprang to mind several times!
So, and in closing, if you are going to watch this show, watch it for the love of Westerns and a decent story, not for the history that you can learn. Enjoy it purely for enjoyments sake. This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.