Battling with Buffalo Bill
Battling with Buffalo Bill FilmPoster.jpeg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRay Taylor
Written byGeorge H. Plympton (adaptation)
Screenplay byElla O'Neill
Based onThe Great West That Was
by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody
Produced byHenry MacRae
CinematographyJohn Hickson
Edited byAlvin Todd
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 28, 1931 (1931-11-28) (USA)
Running time
217 minutes, 12 chapters
CountryUnited States

Battling with Buffalo Bill is a 1931 American Pre-Code Western serial film directed by Ray Taylor and starring Tom Tyler, Lucile Browne, William Desmond, Rex Bell, and Francis Ford.

Based on the book The Great West That Was by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, the film is about a cowboy named Buffalo Bill who goes up against a shady gambler who is attempting to scare off the townspeople so he can gain possession of a gold strike. When a nearby Indian tribe is provoked into attacking the town, the cavalry rides in to the rescue. Cody's book was also used as the inspiration for the studio's highly successful 1930 serial The Indians Are Coming.[1] Battling with Buffalo Bill was Universal Pictures's 78th serial, the 10th with sound and 4th with full sound, of the studio's total of 137 serials.


The plot is a variation on the standard B-Western "Land Grab" plot: Gold has been discovered in the area and gambler Jim Rodney intends to make sole claim to it by pushing the rightful owners off the land and taking it for himself. To do so he has his henchmen kill an Indian woman, provoking attacks from her tribe. This brings Buffalo Bill and the United States Cavalry into the town. Buffalo Bill proceeds to defeat Rodney and his schemes.



Along with the more successful The Indians Are Coming (1930) this serial was based on the book "The Great West That Was" by Buffalo Bill Cody.[3]


Chapter titles

  1. Captured by Redskins
  2. Circling Death
  3. Between Hostile Tribes
  4. The Savage Horde
  5. The Fatal Plunge
  6. Trapped
  7. The Unseen Killer
  8. Sentenced to Death
  9. The Death Trap
  10. A Shot from Ambush
  11. The Flaming Death
  12. Cheyenne Vengeance


See also


  1. ^ Cline, William C. In the Nick of Time: Motion Picture Sound Serials. McFarland & Company, 1997, pg. 10; ISBN 0-7864-0471-X
  2. ^ Holland, Ted (1989). B-Western Actors Encyclopaedia. McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-89950-306-3.
  3. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "2. In Search of Ammunition". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 10. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
  4. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 204. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X.
Preceded byDanger Island (1931) Universal Serial Battling with Buffalo Bill (1931) Succeeded byThe Spell of the Circus (1931)