A look at what happened to Custer and his troops at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Custer, an outspoken believer in fair treatment for the Indians, is ousted from his post and forced into ... See full summary »
A look at what happened to Custer and his troops at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Custer, an outspoken believer in fair treatment for the Indians, is ousted from his post and forced into retirement. Fueled by ambition when a senator convinces him to run for president, Custer decides to upstage General Terry at Little Big Horn. Written by
"Major Benton" is obviously based on Major Frederick Benteen, but his actions in this film do not relate very directly to his historic basis. Benteen may have hated Custer, but was too professional a soldier to strike his commanding officer, no matter how much he wanted to. See more »
Hollywood got it wrong once again in retelling the tale of George Armstrong Custer and the battle he lost to the Sioux at the Little Big Horn. Pity that such a good cast was wasted on a mediocre western.
The film centers around the three commanders that led troops at the battle. Custer is played by Philip Carey and Major Marcus Reno is played by Joseph Cotten and Captain Frederick Benton (Benteen) was played by Darren McGavin.
It's come down in legend that Major Reno was an alcoholic and for most of this film he's just that. A southerner who enlisted in the army after the Civil War ended, Reno feels he's not getting his just due. He despises Benton for paying court to his daughter. Reno was never a southerner and he never had a daughter. His abrupt change of character including sobering up never happened in real life and was not believable here.
Nor was Carey changing from a decent soul with a decent regard for the rights of the Sioux to a bloodthirsty ambitious figure who wants to score a big military victory over the Sioux for political ambitions. It has come down to us in legend that Custer was angling for the Democratic nomination in 1876. As Custer was a hero from the Civil War, the Democrats who stigmatized as the party of secession could not be painted that with a Union general heading their ticket for once. They actually did do that with Winfield Scott Hancock in the next election in 1880 and almost won.
Bad script and mediocre direction characterize The Great Sioux Massacre. On the plus side the battle scenes are nicely staged. Historians might want to view the film to count the errors.
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