The story of U.S. Army commander George Armstrong Custer, a flamboyant hero of the Civil War who later fought and was exterminated with his entire command by warring Sioux and Cheyenne tribes at the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Despite serious flaws, a movie that can be enjoyed if you go with it.
Okay gang, this is a deeply flawed Custer movie. There is no getting away from that. Yet, if you have any interest at all in the Custer legend (notice I said legend - any relationship to real history and this movie is purely coincidental), and want to see a riveting performance by Robert Shaw, complete with an absurd English accent for Custer, this is a must see movie.
Besides the imaginary history, the geographical locations presented for the story exist only in the minds of the screen writer and director. Despite this, I could not get over how much I liked watching Shaw present his interpretation of Custer. For all the weaknesses in the script, Shaw was given some great speeches to make, demonstrating the tragedy of plains Indians. No matter how ugly the near genocide of them as a people and the total genocide of their culture, and there is no excuse for any of it, they were the victims of events that were pre-determined once Europeans set foot on North America. A point perfectly captured in the movie in the confrontation between Custer and an American actor posing as a representative Indian chief.
For myself, the worst part of the movie, which I was enjoying up to this point, was the Last Stand. Who cares whether it was accurate or not. When was the last time Hollywood ever made any movie about any historical event or person that was not clearly fiction in many aspects? What bothered me, was the fact it was done on the cheap. Custer had around 260 men with him, in the movie, he might have about 50. There is just no drama in watching a big action sequence that falls flat because you were not willing to hire more extras.
Still, I guess this movie is one of my guilty pleasures. If you like action movies or Robert Shaw, give it a look.
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