109 user 46 critic

Little Big Man (1970)

Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer.



(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mr. Merriweather
Sunshine (as Amy Eccles)
Olga Crabb
Carole Androsky ...
Caroline Crabb (as Carol Androsky)
Robert Little Star ...
Little Horse
Cal Bellini ...
Younger Bear
Ruben Moreno ...
Shadow That Comes in Sight
Steve Shemayne ...
Burns Red in the Sun


Jack Crabb is 121 years old as the film begins. A collector of oral histories asks him about his past. He recounts being captured and raised by indians, becoming a gunslinger, marrying an indian, watching her killed by General George Armstrong Custer, and becoming a scout for him at Little Big Horn. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Either The Most Neglected Hero In History Or A Liar Of Insane Proportion! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pequeño gran hombre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Spanish release)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As acknowledged in the film, the self chosen names of many American native tribes simply translate as "the human beings," leading to inevitable difficulties in translating and interpreting certain sayings in their languages. See more »


Many inaccuracies regarding the Battle of Little Big Horn are copied from They Died with Their Boots On: see goofs for that movie. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Crabb: I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb. And I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, uh, uh, popularly known as Custer's Last Stand.
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Referenced in Marathon Man (1976) See more »


Traditional Irish Jig
Played often by Custer's marching band
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User Reviews

A Western with a Sense of Humor
3 May 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This will always be one of my favorite movies. I love long, episodic plots such as this. The character of Jack Crabb has such dimension and so grows from one incarnation to another, that he is worth watching from beginning to end. This was Dustin Hoffman in his pre-pretentious "I'm such a big star I won't listen to anyone" period and he is an absolute joy because he just plays the character as it should be played. I love that he can be cowardly one moment, confused the next, heroic the next. He goes through phases in his life. Of course, the neatest part of the whole movie is the portrayal of the Indians. They are multi-dimensional and wonderful in their acceptance and joy with their world. Maybe everyone should see this movie to see how these "human beings" have been driven from what they were to what they are now. I have a top ten list of movie moments and on it is the scene where old Lodge Skins goes off to die because it "is a good day." As he lies there a drop of rain hits him in the eye and he decides that "sometimes the magic doesn't work."

The death of Sunshine is also so sad. I visited the Custer Battlefields a few years after seeing the movie, and while the place is interesting historically, I just couldn't look at it in the same way. The narration of the ancient Jack to the overmatched reporter is a delight. I know that this is a novel, not pure history, but Thomas Berger must have known these people and this delicate, beautiful movie is certainly his legacy.

49 of 88 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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