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Son of the Morning Star (1991)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | History | Western  -  3 February 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 616 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 1 critic

The story of George Custer, Crazy Horse and the events prior to the battle of the Little Bighorn, told from the different perspectives of two women.



(book), (teleplay)
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Title: Son of the Morning Star (TV Movie 1991)

Son of the Morning Star (TV Movie 1991) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Won 4 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Blatchford ...
Lt. Cooke (as Ed Blatchford)
George Dickerson ...
Charlie Reynolds
Gen. Alfred Terry
Nick Ramus ...
Tom Custer
Robert Schenkkan ...
Capt. Weir
Kate Bighead (voice)
Bryce Chamberlain ...


The life of George Armstrong Custer comes alive in this made for television movie. Written by K.L

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two great warriors. One final confrontation. The last great battle for the American Frontier.


PG-13 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Son of the Morning Star  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


It is mentioned by Kate Bighead that Custer cut his hair before the battle, a historical fact. The only other film that mentions that is "Tonka." See more »


When the reporter is taking notes while Custer and his scout Rivers describe the Kidder massacre site, the newsman is using a modern-day small legal pad. See more »


Capt. Weir: [Indignantly to Benteen] Captain! Permission to ride to the sound of the firing, SIR!
See more »


Featured in Legends of the West (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

The Crow called him Son Of The Morning Star.
2 September 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Son Of The Morning Star is a made for TV movie that's directed by Mike Robe, with the teleplay adapted by Melissa Mathison from the novel of the same name written by Evan S. Connell. It stars Gary Cole (George Armstrong Custer), Rosanna Arquette (Libby Custer), Stanley Anderson (Ulysses S. Grant), George Dickerson (Gen. Sherman), Rodney A. Grant (Crazy Horse), Terry O'Quinn (Gen. Alfred Terry), David Strathairn (Capt. William F. Benteen), Dean Stockwell (Gen. Philip Sheridan) & Sheldon Peters Wolfchild (Bloody Knife). Buffy Sainte-Marie narrates as Kate Bighead and location work is at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, Billings, Montana & Buffalo Gap, South Dakota (Kees Van Oostrum the cinematographer) and the music is by Craig Safan. The story tells of George Custer & Crazy Horse and the events prior to, and encompassing, the battle of the Little Bighorn. It's told from the different perspectives of two women, Libby Custer & Kate Bighead.

The name Custer and The Battle Of Little Big Horn has become one of the most famous stories of American/Indian history. Numerous books, film's and TV shows have taken it as a source for entertainment or historical teachings. Of the many screen adaptations, Son Of The Morning Star is arguably the most fascinating due to its two pronged approach and willingness to explore all the principal characters from both sides of the War. At only three hours in length it's inevitable that not everything is covered, but when judged as a whole the makers here have evidently achieved remarkable results and kept it well balanced. It covers a ten year period that starts in 1866 when Custer was commander at Fort Riley in Kansas; and culminates with the famous battle that occurred in June of 1876.

There's some sloppy editing and not all the cast deliver convincingly in their respective portrayals. But everyone and everything about the piece is professional. Be it with the dissection of Custer the man (brave, arrogant, foolish & driven), or showing the Indian's as a complex race-to intelligently letting us into the government and political aspects of the period; Robe's movie is always narratively strong. The action is very well staged and the scenery (in spite of not yet having the DVD remastering it deserves) is very pleasing on the eye. We may never get the complete story in film form, or even one that will be budgeted to the extent of shaking Hollywood to its foundations. But this will do nicely and it's hoped that more people will not only get to see it, but also to hopefully appreciate its attention to detail. 8/10

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