George Armstrong Custer
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Quotes for
George Armstrong Custer (Character)
from They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

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They Died with Their Boots On (1941)
Ned Sharp: Where is the regiment riding?
George Armstrong Custer: To hell, Sharp... or to glory. It depends on one's point of view.

George Armstrong Custer: You may be right about money, Sharp; quite right. But there's one thing to be said for glory.
Ned Sharp: Yeah? What's that?
George Armstrong Custer: You can take glory with you when it's your time to go.

George Armstrong Custer: [on his cadet uniform] I must get myself a tigerskin as soon as possible.

George Armstrong Custer: Walking through life with you, ma'am, has been a very gracious thing.

[after they first meet, Custer walks Miss Bacon to Gen. Sheridan's house]
George Armstrong Custer: Do you think if I were to come strolling past your house around nine o'clock at night you might be just sitting around on the veranda?
Elizabeth Bacon: Life is full of surprises.
George Armstrong Custer: And if I did find you sitting on the porch perhaps you and I could go for a walk together.
Elizabeth Bacon: [laughs] We seem to have been walking together ever since we met.
George Armstrong Custer: Well, I can't imagine, ma'am - if I may say so - any pleasanter journey, ma'am, than walking through life with you beside me, ma'am.

[Custer addresses the officers after his arrival at Fort Lincoln]
George Armstrong Custer: We're responsible for the protection of 100,000 square miles of territory. And against us are ranged thousands of the finest light cavalry on earth. I found that out this morning. It's a big job, gentlemen... and it's gonna need a fine regiment. Our job is to make this the finest regiment that the United States ever saw. I needn't tell most of you that a regiment is something more than just six hundred disciplined fighting men. Men die. But a regiment lives on; because a regiment has an immortal soul of its own. Well, the way to begin is to find it. To find something that belongs to us alone. Something to give us that pride in ourselves that'll make men endure - and, if necessary, die... with their boots on. As for the rest it's easy: since it's no more than hard work, hard riding and hard fighting. Thank you, gentlemen, I know I can count on you.

Ned Sharp: If the other outfits don't fight their way through, you're liable to have a lot of Sioux on your hands.
George Armstrong Custer: Yes. Yes, quite a lot of Sioux, Sharp. But the greater the odds, the greater the glory.

[the night before the battle, Custer asks Butler to take his last letter back to Fort Lincoln]
Lt. "Queen's Own" Butler: Why are you asking me to go back with it?
George Armstrong Custer: Well, for one thing you're an Englishman, not an American.
Lt. "Queen's Own" Butler: Not an American! What do you Yankees think you are? The only REAL Americans in this merry old parish are on the other side of the hill with feathers in their hatr.
George Armstrong Custer: You're probably right about that. But there's 6,000 of them... and less than 600 of us. The regiment's being sacrificed, Butler, and I wouldn't want to see a foreigner butchered in a dirty deal like this,
Lt. "Queen's Own" Butler: Sporty of you to think of it that way. But I'll remind you, sir, I'm a member of the mess of the Seventh U.S. Cavalry. Fancy walking into the Service Club in Picadilly if the regiment... Get somebody else to post your blinking letter!
George Armstrong Custer: Thanks, 'Queen's Own'. Just so long as you know.

Crazy Horse: [raising his hand to start a peace conference] Crazy Horse, war chief Sioux, speak with Long Hair, war chief Great White Father.
George Armstrong Custer: [raises his hand also] I listen to my brother.


Little Big Man (1970)
General Custer: You came up here to kill me, didn't you? And you lost your nerve. Well, I was correct. In a sense, you are a renegade, but you are no Cheyenne Brave. Do I hang you? I think not. Get out of here.

Jack Crabb: You're not going to hang me.
General Custer: Your miserable life is not worth the reversal of a Custer decision.

Jack Crabb: General, you go down there.
General Custer: You're advising me to go into the Coulee?
Jack Crabb: Yes sir.
General Custer: There are no Indians there, I suppose.
Jack Crabb: I didn't say that. There are thousands of Indians down there. And when they get done with you, there won't be nothing left but a greasy spot. This ain't the Washite River, General, and them ain't helpless women and children waiting for you. They're Cheyenne brave, and Sioux. You go down there, General, if you've got the nerve.
General Custer: Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner. You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, but the subtle truth is you really *don't* want me to go down there!

General Custer: Nothing in this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!

General Custer: A Custer decision impetuous? GRANT called me impetuous, too, the drunkard, sitting there in the White House, calling ME impetuous!

General Custer: A scout has a certain look... Kit Carson, for example. You look like... a muleskinner!
Jack Crabb: Uh, General I don't know anything about mules...
General Custer: Lieutenant, it's amazing how I can guess the profession of a man just by looking at him! Notice the bandy legs, the powerful arms. This man has spent years with mules. Isn't that right?
Jack Crabb: Uh, yes sir!
General Custer: Hire the muleskinner!

General Custer: Take my advice. Go West!
Olga Crabb: [in a Swedish accent] Vest?
[She wails and bursts into tears]
Jack Crabb: My wife, she's awful scared of Injuns.
General Custer: My dear woman, you have nothing to fear from the Indians, I give you my personal Custer guarantee.
[Abrupt cut to a wagon train being attacked by Native Americans and Olga screaming]


"Son of the Morning Star" (1991)
George Armstrong Custer: [after pursuing a group of Indians on horseback who started to scatter] They scattered. They scattered!
[Fires his rifle in the air]
George Armstrong Custer: Give me a civilized war! An enemy I can find and beat! An enemy who fights by the rules!

George Armstrong Custer: [Upon realizing he had ran into Crazy Horse's warriors] Oh God. This is not the end of the village. This is the middle!

George Armstrong Custer: [a doctor tends to the wounded deserters] Stay away from that wagon, doctor. I have no sympathy with those men. They will receive no aid. Is this clear?

Libby Custer: Let me know what the women are wearing.
George Armstrong Custer: I'll study them carefully.
Libby Custer: Don't you dare.

George Armstrong Custer: [as he watches Reno attack] It begins!

George Armstrong Custer: [to his men as they charge] All right, boys, we caught 'em nappin!

George Armstrong Custer: [to Libby] I didn't marry you for me to sleep in one bed and you in another.


Don't Touch the White Woman! (1974)
The Anthropologist: [Watching the general comb his hair while eating potato chips] You have magnificent hair, General.
George A. Custer: Yes, it impresses the Indians.
[Holding up his comb]
George A. Custer: Now you understand why this is important.

George A. Custer: [Talking about Buffalo Bill] That old fag was my scout for two years. He frequently took the wrong path.
[laughs]

Marie-Hélène de Boismonfrais: What I don't understand is the Indian's attitude. It's obvious that the Lord gave this land to white men so they could settle here, so why do they resist?
George A. Custer: Because they're savages. They're savages. I sometimes feel they're possessed by demons.
Marie-Hélène de Boismonfrais: May God preserve us from that!
George A. Custer: God and the Seventh Cavalry!

George A. Custer: Why did you abandon your houses?
Sitting Bull: Because you destroyed them. Sometimes there were still people inside them.
George A. Custer: You were ordered to go to the reservation.
Sitting Bull: My people are dying of hunger in the reservations.

George A. Custer: Whoever dies for the country hasn't lived in vain. I, on the contrary, will live for the country because I'm not that stupid.

George A. Custer: [as his command is being wiped out] Damned Indians! They don't know how to fight wars!


"Yancy Derringer: Longhair (#1.22)" (1959)
General George Custer: I'll deal with you later.
Colorado Charlie: I'll be waitin'... all out of breath.

General George Custer: Thank you for your hospitality, ladies.
Madame Francine: Hurry back, General.
Pearl Girl: Don't over do it.

General George Custer: Derringer, are you a gambler?
Yancy Derringer: I've been known to take a fly.
General George Custer: I'd like to make a bet with you.
Yancy Derringer: You name it.
General George Custer: I'll bet your blood-brother Pawnee is trying to kill me and I have a way to prove it. If I win, it's his scalp.
Yancy Derringer: And if you lose - yours?
General George Custer: Derringer, a lot of redskins have tried to take Longhair's scalp and died in the trying.
Yancy Derringer: I was thinking about myself.

General George Custer: You don't like me much, huh?
Yancy Derringer: Mr. Custer, I think you are a very brave man, but you're not very smart. You're an ambitious man, but not for you country - strictly for yourself.

General George Custer: Well, I lose. Would you like to try for Longhair's scalp?
Yancy Derringer: I'll leave that up to your Indian friends, Mr. Custer.


Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009)
[from trailer]
General George Armstrong Custer: Any questions
[Sacajawea raises her hand]
General George Armstrong Custer: [Mumbles her name]
Sacajawea: That is not my name.
General George Armstrong Custer: Sacajamea?
Sacajawea: No.
General George Armstrong Custer: Sac, Sack-in-a-box?
Sacajawea: No.
General George Armstrong Custer: Cinco De Mayo. Mission Accomplished

General George Armstrong Custer: We're Americans, we don't plan, we do!

General George Armstrong Custer: I'm a failure.
Larry Daley: No, you're not.
General George Armstrong Custer: Did you lead 208 Americans to their deaths in the Battle of Little Bighorn?
Larry Daley: No.
General George Armstrong Custer: No not good, not good at all.
Larry Daley: that's not good.
General George Armstrong Custer: Sure, i talk in a good game. But the truth of matter is i don't deserve these stars. I will always be famous for my biggest failure.

General George Armstrong Custer: The battle of the Smithsonian. The greatest battle the world will never know.
Larry Daley: We'll know.

General George Armstrong Custer: My hair is considered currency in certain parts of Europe.


Custer of the West (1967)
Capt. Benteen: [riding through the Cheyenne village] Look at them, sir. They've got no fight left in them. We took the whole Cheyenne Nation with 265 men.
Gen. George Armstrong Custer: Pizarro conquered Peru with 167.

Gen. George Armstrong Custer: [after the Washita River Massacre in 1868] Take a dispatch to General Sheridan. Despite overwhelming odds, a great victory was won here today. Factors contributing to our success were - One, the Indians were asleep, - Two, the women and children offered little resistance, - Three, the Indians are bewildered by our change of policy.

Gen. George Armstrong Custer: [commenting with disgust about the coming industrialization] If this is the future, I don't want any part of it!
Elizabeth Custer: Where does that leave you?
Gen. George Armstrong Custer: With the Indians!

Gen. George Armstrong Custer: I'll make it very simple for you. The fact that we seem to be pushing you clear off the earth is not my responsibility. The problem is precisely the same as when you Cheyenne decided to take another tribe's hunting ground. You didn't ask them about their rights. You didn't care if they had been there a thousand years. You just had more men and more horses. You destroyed them in battle. You took what you wanted, and right or wrong, for better or worse, that is the way things seem to get done. That's history. I'm talking about history. You are a militarily defeated people. You are paying the price for being backward. And whatever my personal feelings, and I don't say I have, there's nothing I can do to change all this. Do you understand?
Chief Dull Knife: I understand.

Gen. George Armstrong Custer: War isn't just killing, you know. It's a contest. It's a man against a man.
[indicates a Gatling gun]
Gen. George Armstrong Custer: That's a machine! Personal courage wouldn't count. Honor, duty, loyalty - everything a soldier lives by - would be wiped out. All you would have left is statistics. How many men would the machine murder today? One hundred? One thousand? Ten thousand? If this is the future, I don't want any part of it.


Santa Fe Trail (1940)
George Armstrong Custer: They're running! They're getting away!
James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: No they're not. We're going after them!
George Armstrong Custer: Hey, wait a minute! They outnumber us three to one!
James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: Well, if it makes you nervous, don't count 'em.

James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: By the way, how'd they ever come to name you Kit Carson Holliday?
Kit Carson Holliday: Well, Mr. Carson and my dad were very good friends and they were so sure I was going to be a boy that they named me before I was born.
James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: Oh, I see. I'm certainly glad they were wrong.
George Armstrong Custer: Me, too!
James Ewell Brown 'Jeb' Stuart: Well, me too.
Kit Carson Holliday: Me, too!


Crazy Horse (1996) (TV)
Reporter: What about the Indians, General? And aren't the Black Hills officially Sioux land from the treaty of 1868?
General George Armstrong Custer: Whatever the right or wrong isn't the question. The Indians must be dispossessed. The practical question is how the inevitable can be accomplished with the least inhumanity to the Indians.
Reporter: Didn't General Polk say that?
General George Armstrong Custer: I believe in destiny, you see. For individuals as well as nations. Nothing can stop the movement of history.

General George Armstrong Custer: They are a brave people. Their time has passed. History moves on.


Sitting Bull (1954)
Major Robert 'Bob' Parrish: That man and his bunch were in Sioux territory. My orders were to ride patrol for just such a violation of the Indian treaty.
Col. Custer: An officer, Major, is supposed to be able to exercise a certain amount of initiative. Now, as a member of my regiment, I issued you your orders. I did not set them in concrete.
Major Robert 'Bob' Parrish: And my head isn't set in concrete either.

Major Robert 'Bob' Parrish: Those people use this fort to buy their supplies in. They lie in their teeth about where they're going. They go into Sioux territory, slaughter their game, foul their water, and shoot every Indian they see if he's old or harmless enough. The treaties, they don't mean anything to them. They're just words on paper.
Gen. Wilford Howell: Admitting every word of that to be true, it's outside your province as a soldier. We are all here to obey orders.
Col. Custer: And orders seem to be something of a stumbling block for you. Major, you've been a burr under my saddle ever since you came west. You were an aide to General Grant when I first knew you, a colonel! Now you seem to be traveling downwards in rank.
Major Robert 'Bob' Parrish: Well, we seem to be traveling in the same direction, Colonel Custer. You used to be a general.


The Ridiculous 6 (2015)
General George Custer: [regarding Ramon's shocked-face signal to begin the heist] You know, I make that same face when I put my cologne on in the morning, especially when I'm home alone.

Grant: Gentlemen, the buy-in is $15,000
Mark Twain: 15 large. Are you sure General Custard can swing that?
General George Custer: It's Custer, not "Custard." There is no "D." I'm not a dessert.
Mark Twain: Boom, I just dropped some satire on your ass, General!
General George Custer: You got me!


"Branded: Call to Glory: Part 3 (#2.26)" (1966)
General George Armstrong Custer: Well, the Indians name this valley 'Rich Grass.' Trappers call It the Little Big Horn.


"Cheyenne: Gold, Glory and Custer - Prelude (#4.7)" (1960)
Colonel George Custer: I understand you have a certain shall we say affection for the Indians?
Cheyenne Bodie: I think respect might be a better word Colonel. When a Sioux makes a promise he'll keep it or die trying. If we did the same, we wouldn't have any Indian trouble.