For longtime South Dakotans the nostalgia factor should kick into full gear when watching "Born To Buck," a movie produced by local rodeo hero Casey Tibbs. A DVD version of this 1966 film is now available at the newly-opened Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center in Fort Pierre.
Rex Allen and Henry Fonda lend familiar voices to the narration of this tale of Tibbs and a bunch of cowboys rounding up 400 head of wild horses and driving them to Fort Pierre. A nit picky detail - someone should have let Fonda know that the town's name is pronounced "Peer", not "Pee-Air."
While not an award-winning movie by any means, "Born To Buck" provides some entertaining rodeo action, both on the open range and in Stanley County's Casey Tibbs Arena.
Having traveled much of the Lower Brule to Fort Pierre landscape shown in the film I have not once come across a wandering moose or a large mountain covered in lodgepole pine trees, but geographical inaccuracies were much more common in films of this vintage. I love the silhouetted cutout of Casey on a bucking horse that zooms in and out of the frame for transitions between scenes. It reminded me very much of the spinning bat symbol used in similar transitions in the "Batman" TV series that was popular at the same time this movie was produced.
I'm not sure anyone would be able to get away with the scene of horses swimming the Missouri River in today's movie industry, but it's very interesting to see.
As a side note, I highly recommend the Casey Tibbs South Dakota Rodeo Center, where you can pick up your own copy of "Born To Buck." For more information on this very well-done museum, visit Casey Tibbs Center.