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


Little Big Man Was 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 »


When Jack first sees Mr. Merriweather, Merriweather is using a bass drum pedal. The first bass drum pedal was not patented until 1909 by William F. Ludwig. 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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Featured in Legends of the West (1992) See more »


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

Simply great
4 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

Little Big Man represents the highest point in Arthur Penn's career. The film was made soon after his masterpiece Bonnie and Clyde and stands, in my opinion, right beside it as one of the most significant achievements not only of Arthur Penn's work, but also of the world cinema in general. Unfortunately the chain of remarkable movies began with this two wasn't destined to continue, with director's following films proving to be quite disappointing. But nevertheless Bonnie and Clyde and Little Big Man remain as the two fine notables for which Arthur Penn will always be fondly remembered.

Also mustn't be discarded the role of the time when the Little Big Man was made, the turbulent era of the Vietnam War, which most certainly found its reflection on the film, critically paralleled in portrayal of the ruthless and mindless slaughter of the Indians by the American troops.

The film's story is told by Jack Crabb, a very old man of more than 100 years old, the only remaining witness of the events he is telling to an oral histories collector.

We follow his life story as he is kidnapped and raised by the Indians, after a few years escaping from them only to return back again to witness the brutal death of his friends and loved ones from the hands of the American soldiers under the command of vicious and eccentric General George Armstrong Custer who finally has to pay for his inhuman deeds in the battle of the Little Big Horn that is shown in the end of the film and which might be considered as the natural consequence of the brutal tactics employed by the American troops in conquering the Indian territories, and finally represents a significant lightening of the karmic burden for them, achieved by the purificatory and relieving death in the fight with the Indians whose victory symbolize only a temporarily successful culmination of destined-not-to-last-long struggle.

Though in Jack Crabb's life story we basically revisit a number of very familiar for a Western genre fan fields, one of them being the battlefield of the Little Big Horn, the masterful way in which revisiting is done turn it into an unforgettable viewing experience during which you'll most certainly find yourself moved from laughing at the perfect comic moments of parody on some of the most used Western clichés to shedding tears when tragic happenings unveil on the screen, always remaining absorbed by it, mesmerized by the superb acting delivered by all of the actors involved and the film's visually vast beauty. 10/10

28 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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