A mountain man who wishes to live the life of a hermit becomes the unwilling object of a long vendetta by Indians, and proves to be a match for their warriors in one-on-one combat on the early frontier.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Paul Scofield was considered for the role of Old Lodge Skins. Curiously, it was not until shortly before filming began that director Arthur Penn thought about using an actual Native American for this role - even though an important point made in Thomas Berger's original novel was that Caucasian actors are hardly ever convincing in such parts. See more »
..or maybe not. If the movie is just a tall tale told by Jack Crabb, then most factual errors and anachronisms are simply the character's mistakes or quirks. However, since this is debatable, they are left on this list for your consideration. See more »
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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Before LBM indians were savages or wooden stereotypes and very unPC. After LBM broke the western mold films went the other way so that twenty years later you get the very PC and treacly mythologizing of Dances With Wolves. DWW other than the similar story is a poor comparison for LBM. Better to see it side by side with that other grand epic of the west, The Way the West Was Won. There the murder of the red man is incidental to the sweeping and righteous rapine of Manifest Destiny. LBM rips the facade from the theme and ravages its details. LBM does that to all the preceding westerns but it seems particularly true of HtWWW. Imagine Debbie Reynolds and Karl Malden as Mr. & Mrs. Pendrake and go from there. The self effacing humor goes a long way to redress the pretensions of 'epic westerns' made before and after.
Wryly the Cheyenne say of the Little Big Horn, "The Cheyenne won the battle. The Sioux got the glory and the Crow got the land." It's a game response for their long suffering.
For me it's always been unfortunate the title character shares the name, Little Big Man with a Lakota Sioux famously implicated in the death of Crazy Horse, the Ogalala warrior and mystic. ...so I call her Woman Who Doesn't Like Horses. Of course she's lying.
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