Highly fictionalized account (see the IMDB 'goofs' for examples) 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 ... See full summary »
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Highly fictionalized account (see the IMDB 'goofs' for examples) 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... Written by
Jim Thorpe who was an extra on this film had an off camera fight with Errol Flynn. With one punch Thorpe knocked out Flynn who was in his Custer uniform. See more »
As Custer meets Libby while walking his "Punishment Tour" at
West Point, he's carrying a Springfield muzzle-loader but, the musket has no ram-rod which was essential to its loading. That might be the least of the mistakes in this scene since history records that Elizabeth "Libbie" Bacon never met Custer while he was at West Point; she met him in 1862, almost a year after he left the Military Academy. See more »
As long as you don't expect to see much actual history, this is an entertaining movie with plenty of action and an Errol Flynn performance that gives his fans everything they could ask for. It covers the life of a character named George Armstrong Custer, whose experiences every so often have some vague similarities with a historical figure of the same name. That is to say, there wasn't much of an effort to make it historically accurate, but they did make it quite enjoyable to watch. And as far as the rampant fabrications go, a light-hearted movie like this is far less likely to create a wrong impression than are today's pseudo-historical movies that take themselves too seriously in pushing some pet theory of the film-makers.
Flynn certainly is well cast as Custer, a role that gives him a chance to do whatever comes naturally to him without placing any constraints on his energy and charisma. The supporting cast is good, too, with Sydney Greenstreet being quite entertaining as the old war-horse Winfield Scott, plus Flynn favorite Olivia de Havilland and others. Things move along at a good pace, and though it may be a little too long, there is usually more than enough going on to hold your attention. It works well as long as you don't take any of it seriously.
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