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Sitting Bull (1954)

Approved | | Western | 6 October 1954 (USA)
A cavalry officer sympathetic to the wronged Sioux fixes a meeting between Chief Sitting Bull and President Grant but a dishonest Indian Agent and a hateful General Custer test the Sioux's patience, threatening to derail the peace-talks.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Major Robert 'Bob' Parrish
...
Kathy Howell
...
...
Gen. Wilford Howell
Joel Fluellen ...
Sam
...
...
...
William Tannen ...
O'Connor
...
Charles Wentworth (as Bill Hopper)
Thomas Browne Henry ...
Indian Agent Webber (as Tom Brown Henry)
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Storyline

Chief Sitting Bull of the Sioux tribe is forced by the Indian-hating General Custer to react with violence, resulting in the famous Last Stand at Little Bighorn. Parrish, a friend to the Sioux, tries to prevent the bloodshed, but is court- martialed for "collaborating" with the enemy. Sitting Bull, however, manages to intercede with President Grant on Parrish's behalf. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest Battle That Ever Shook the West!

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das letzte Gefecht  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)|

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

J. Carrol Naish's portrayal of Sitting Bull was adapted into cartoon form by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera as Crazy Coyote in a Huckleberry Hound cartoon. See more »

Goofs

When Custer is assembling his troops consisting of a couple of hundred soldiers, you will notice, if you look close, that in several scenes the rifles that most of the troopers are carrying are BOLT ACTION Mauser rifles instead of the historically correct .45/55 TRAPDOOR SPRINGFIELD CARBINES that were used in the actual battle. Bolt action rifles were not used by the US until about 15-20 years after the Little Big Horn fight. The United States Army didn't officially adopt a bolt action until around 1892. That rifle was the .30/40 Krag. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sitting Bull: These are the Black Hills of Dakota. The Sioux Indians named this land. It is their word for "friendly." There are seven warrior tribes in the Sioux Nation. And I have prayed the Dakota and its hills would be too rough for the white man and his plows. But, once again, the white man comes. I watch their coming with a sad heart. There are few now, but I know that many will come for they seek the white man's treasure... gold.
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Connections

Featured in Legends of the West (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Great Spirit
Music and Lyrics by Max Rich
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User Reviews

 
Prone Bull
20 February 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

No western hero who was in the military ever took more on himself than did Dale Robertson in Sitting Bull. Not even Errol Flynn who buried Confederate gold in violation of orders in Virginia City got himself in as much trouble as did Major than Captain Robertson did here.

This B film from MGM is yet another version of the events of surrounding the Little Big Horn battle where Douglas Kennedy as Custer got himself surrounded and massacred by some angry Sioux Indians. This version does show the Indian side of the events, how badly treated they were on reservations, how the whites once word of gold being discovered in their sacred Black Hills of Dakota territory systematically broke the treaties signed. Yet in fact the film went a bit overboard with presenting the Indian side and took great liberty with the facts.

Dale Robertson's an army major who zealously follows his orders about respecting the Indian rights, to the dismay of former General now Colonel George Armstrong Custer. Robertson's maverick tendencies wouldn't be liked in the army in any event, but his fiancé Mary Murphy who is General John Litel's daughter wants an upwardly mobile career man and Robertson doesn't look like a good bet. For standing on his beliefs Robertson loses her to newspaper reporter William Hopper.

But Dale gets himself in an even bigger jackpot. He's got an agreement with his former commander Ulysses S. Grant who is now president of the United States, the big chief of all the white folks. But when Custer moves prematurely and gets massacred and troops are sent on reprisal, Robertson does a very daring and potentially foolish thing to keep the peace process alive. That's the essence of our story.

Which of course never did happen. Neither did Ulysses S. Grant as played by John Hamilton on hiatus from the Superman series ever come west to negotiate with J. Carrol Naish as Sitting Bull. That's the biggest flaw in this film.

Murphy's character doesn't ring true either. From a woman who makes no bones about her desire for an upwardly mobile man, she does an about face and would make Tammy Wynette proud if Tammy had in fact ever seen Sitting Bull.

The film's heart is the in the right place, but the rest of it is out to lunch.

Though I will say one thing. If what I read is true about Mary Murphy's bout with Montezuma's revenge on location for this movie, she may have given one of the great performances of all time just getting through this film without a hint on screen.


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