AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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Young Buffalo Bill
Alternate Title: Buffalo Bill, Plainsman
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Apr 1940
Production Date:   began late Feb 1940
Duration (in mins):   59
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Roy Rogers (Buffalo Bill Cody)  
    George "Gabby" Hayes (Gabby)  
    Pauline Moore (Tonia Regas)  
    Hugh Sothern (Don Regas)  
    Chief Thundercloud (Akuna)  
    Julian Rivero (Panelio)  
    Trevor Bardette (Emilio Montez)  
    Gaylord Pendleton (Jerry Calhoun)  
    Wade Boteler (Colonel Joe Calhoun)  
    Anna Demetrio (Elena)  
    Estelita Zarco (Dolores)  

Summary: Buffalo Bill Cody and his sidekick Gabby ride to the New Mexico territory to help Colonel Joe Calhoun of the U.S. Cavalry conduct a land survey. The military's efforts have been hampered by a series of Indian raids led by the Comanche medicine man Akuna and by the opposition of Don Regas, the largest land holder in the territory. Unknown to Don Regas, his ranch foreman, Emilio Montez, is in league with Akuna, his half brother, to wrest control of a secret gold mine located on the Regas land. Colonel Calhoun has asked Bill and Gabby to look after his tenderfoot son Jerry, who is coming from the East to complete the survey, and Bill, who is attracted to the don's granddaughter Tonia, convinces the girl to persuade her grandfather to cooperate with Jerry. Montez has other plans for Jerry, however, and after luring the boy into losing all his money gambling, Montez demands that he falsify the survey to exclude the northern section of the Regas land, the portion on which the mine is allegedly located. When Don Regas learns that he has been denied part of his land grant, he angrily denounces the survey and boards the east-bound stage to challenge the document in Washington. Montez informs Jerry that they must eliminate Don Regas, and when Jerry threatens to tell his father, Montez stabs him, takes him prisoner and orders Akuna to ambush the stage. Meanwhile, Bill, suspicious of the survey, discovers that Montez has filed a claim on the land and, anticipating trouble, rides after the stage. Arriving just after the Indians have attacked, Bill and Gabby drive the marauders away and take the injured Don Regas to his ranch. That night, Montez sneaks into the ranch house to search for the land grant documents, and Gabby and Bill follow him back to Akuna's camp. There, Jerry warns them of a planned attack on the hacienda, and Gabby rides for the cavalry as Bill and Jerry ride for the ranch. Gabby and the reinforcements arrive just in time to rout the Indians, and after Jerry admits that he made a mistake in the survey, Don Regas is accorded his entire land grant. 

Production Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
  Bill O'Connor (Asst dir)
Producer: Joseph Kane (Assoc prod)
Writer: Harrison Jacobs (Scr)
  Robert Yost (Scr)
  Gerry Geraghty (Scr)
  Norman Houston (Orig story)
Photography: William Nobles (Photog)
Film Editor: Tony Martinelli (Film ed)
Music: Cy Feuer (Mus dir)
Production Misc: Al Wilson (Prod mgr)
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Blow, Breeze, Blow" and "Rollin' Down to Santa Fe," composers undetermiend.
Source Text:

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Republic Pictures Corp. 12/4/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP9582 Yes

PCA NO: 6134
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA "High Fidelity" Recording

Genre: Western
Sub-Genre: Historical
  with songs
Subjects (Major): Buffalo Bill Cody
  Land rights
  New Mexico
Subjects (Minor): Comanche Indians
  Fathers and sons
  Half brothers
  Medicine men
  Mexican Americans
  Ranch foremen
  United States. Army. Cavalry

Note: The working title of this film was Buffalo Bill, Plainsman . The film is not based on the historical facts of William F. Cody's life. For biographical information on Cody, please see the entry above for Buffalo Bill . Modern sources add Hank Bell, William Kellogg, Iron Eyes Cody, Jack O'Shea, George Chesebro and Trigger to the cast. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
The Exhibitor   1 May 40   p. 513.
Film Daily   28 May 40   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Jan 40   p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter   2 Mar 40   pp. 6-7.
Motion Picture Herald   30 Mar 40   p. 58.
Motion Picture Herald   20 Apr 40   p. 35.
Variety   1 May 40   p. 20.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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