7.3/10
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They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 1 January 1942 (USA)
A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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California Joe
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Samuel Bacon, Esq.
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Major Romulus Taipe
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William Sharp
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Fitzhugh Lee
...
Callie
G.P. Huntley ...
Lt. 'Queen's Own' Butler (as George P. Huntley Jr.)
...
Captain Webb
...
Sergeant Doolittle (as Joseph Sawyer)
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Storyline

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little discipline at the academy but is prepared to stand up to the senior cadet, Ned Sharp, who makes his life miserable. While there he catches the eye of the commandant, Col. (later General) Phil Sheridan and also meets his future bride, Elizabeth Bacon. Graduating early due to the Civil War, it is only through a chance meeting with General Winfield Scott that he finally gets assigned to a cavalry regiment. He served with distinction during the war and when he is promoted to Brigadier General in error, he leads his troops in a decisive victory. He has little to do after the war turning down lucrative positions in private industry and it's his wife who arranges with Gen. Scott for him to be appointed a Lt. Colonel and given command of the 7th Cavalry. He is depicted as a friend of the Indians who will fight for... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HEROES UNMATCHED FOR COURAGE..HISTORY UNEQUALED FOR GLORY! (original ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1942 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

To the Last Man  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Fontaine turned down the role of Libby. Priscilla Lane, Elisabeth Fraser and Nancy Coleman were all tested for the part. See more »

Goofs

When at the company trading store talking to Sharp; Custer asks where the Winchester rifles are from that are being sold to the Indians. He is told they are Civil War surplus. The Winchester repeater came out in 1866, the Civil War ended in 1865. Custer also states that they would outrange his carbines. In actuality the reverse is true. The Winchesters were advantageous v the carbines, as repeaters. See more »

Quotes

[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. ...
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Connections

Referenced in M*A*S*H: Iron Guts Kelly (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played at the wedding
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User Reviews

 
Errol Flynn's best film
4 April 2003 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

Dashing Errol Flynn brings his usual flair for drama in this historically flawed but entertaining film of the life of George Armstrong Custer. The dashing, jovial Flynn essays Custer from his days at West Point as a reckless, headstrong cadet, through the Civil War years in an extraordinarily generous and partisan interpretation of history, and finally as the nonpareil Indian fighter whose blunder at the Little Big Horn is excused as a sacrifice by Custer of his command as a way of exposing the corruption of government officials and post traders as well as a protest of the unfair treatment of the Plains Indians. Olivia de Havilland, Flynn's co-star in several other films, scores as the devoted, adoring Libby Bacon, and Anthony Quinn looks the part as the fierce Sioux chief Crazy Horse. The film's battle scenes are excellent. The Civil War battles are brief and are shown as several vignettes in which Custer, seemingly supported by just a handful of troopers, hammers the Confederate army into submission. Custer's last fight against the Indians is a grand spectacle, a savage clash between red men and white, with no quarter given in a wild mix of military might between determined fighting men. Great direction, cinematography, casting and wonderful music by Max Steiner make this film a Hollywood classic.


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