Wild Bill (1995)

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Biopic about famous gunslinger Wild Bill Hickock. The early career of legendary lawman is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.

Film Overview
"Wild Bill" is a 1995 western film directed by Walter Hill, starring Jeff Bridges as the titular character, James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok. The plot of the movie revolves around the last days of the life of the notorious gunslinger, weaving in and out of previous encounters, brotherly relationships, bitterness, and the inevitable death of the main figure. The film was primarily based upon the books "Deadwood" by Pete Dexter and "Wild Bill: Legends of the West" by Richard Matheson.

Plot Summary
The movie begins in Deadwood, South Dakota, where the famous Wild Bill Hickok has actually shown up to join his old friend, Calamity Jane (Ellen Barkin). Watching Hickok is a boy called Jack McCall (David Arquette), who resentfully sees Hickok as a daddy figure.

The narrative transitions between the contemporary encounters in Deadwood and the memory flashbacks of Hickok's past. These memories reveal him combating in the Civil War, being a lawman in Abilene, his relationships with pal Charlie Prince and enemy Will Plummer, and his accidental murder of his own deputy.

Character Arc and Themes
Throughout the movie, Bill is represented as a male considerably tortured by his past, experiencing extreme eye issues and progressively dependent on narcotic and alcohol. Costs gradually however definitely loses his eyesight as he attempts to deal with the enemies his gunfighter past has developed, an unnamed stranger, and his own insecurities.

The fear of aging and the fear of dying are recurring styles. Among the most poignant moments in the film is when Bill confesses to Jane that he fears going blind more than death because it would make him helpless and dependent.

One of the major elements of the plot is the discovery that Jack McCall, initially presented as a hero-worshipper of Hickok, is really the kid of Susannah Moore, a woman who as soon as enjoyed Hickok however was killed by him in an unfortunately misunderstood situation. Bill misinterpreted Susannah for an opponent due to his stopping working vision and accidentally killed her, leading McCall to look for revenge versus him.

In the end, McCall attains his revenge, shooting Wild Bill from behind throughout a poker video game, hence ending the turbulent life of the famous gunslinger. Wild Bill passes away holding the infamous "dead man's hand" - a set of aces and a set of eights.

"Wild Bill" depicts the life of a complex male attuned to the brutality of the Wild West, typically defined by violent reckoning and loss. Though it is a fictionalized account of Hickok's life, it captures important themes of personal struggle, regret, fading magnificence, and the effects of living a life on the edge. It presents a deeply character-driven watching experience, painting a multi-faceted representation of among history's most notoriously complicated figures. The movie's appealing cinematography, compelling performing, and its combination of personal hubris and terrible history, leave a long-lasting mark on the viewers.

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