7.6/10
27,837
110 user 48 critic

Little Big Man (1970)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

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
...
Historian
...
Sergeant
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pequeño gran hombre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Spanish release)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of Old Lodge Skins was initially offered to Marlon Brando, who turned it down. Other sources claim Arthur Penn's first choice for the role was Laurence Olivier. When that didn't work out, Richard Boone was slated for the role. When Boone backed out at the last minute, Chief Dan George was given the part and earned an Oscar nomination. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Zodiac Killer (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Amazing Grace
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Henry Thacker Burleigh
Sung by parishioners in church
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent Western
8 November 2004 | by (somerville, ma) – See all my reviews

My parents purchased a VHS copy of Little Big Man for me when I was 14 and, because it was a western, I didn't touch it for two years, in spite of their belief in its greatness. When I finally watched the film, I was astounded to find a film that was funny, angry, violent, and moving simultaneously. It turned out that my parents were, in fact, correct. Little Big Man was great.

I've gone back to the movie several times since that first viewing and it continues to entertain and affect; for me, a film that has emotional resonance well after the first viewing is rare and, though it does not always point to greatness, it often does.

Every element of the film is fantastic. The acting, by Hoffman and Dan George in particular, is amazing, as is Penn's direction. The story picaresque and always fascinating. There simply is no weak component to this movie.

I must also commend the film as a literary adaptation. I am not the most supportive critic of the Thomas Berger novel upon which the film is based. I find its thematics confused; it cannot decide whether or not it wants to revise western mythology or further it and, in that way, it fails for me. Calder Willingham's adaptation removes the ambivalence inherent in the novel and thereby writes one of the first and greatest revisionist Hollywood Westerns.

Little Big Man is a great movie, as I have said, and it deserves much more notoriety than it receives. This is, I fear, a film that too few people of my generation know. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it as an excellent and entertaining way to spend a couple of hours.


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