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Son of the Morning Star (1991)

TV Movie  |  PG-13  |   |  Biography, History, Western  |  3 February 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 675 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 7.4/10

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

Aamutähden poika  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The low ratings this mini-series garnered during its initial 1991 broadcast had ABC executives re-think and eventually pull the plug on the Civil War epic "The Killer Angels", which they planned to produce and air. This decision led to Ted Turner picking up the project, renaming it Gettysburg (1993), and releasing it in theaters. See more »


While in a tent on the plains with his wife Libby, Custer complains to her that he is 'only a colonel'. In fact, Custer was a lieutenant colonel (LC) at the time, and should have used that complete rank title in this conversation. Although the one word 'colonel' may be used informally to denote an LC, in this case Custer's complaint was specifically directed at his actual rank, so he should have used its full title. (Incidentally, Custer had reached the temporary rank of major general during the Civil War. But like many general officers of that conflict, he reverted to a lower permanent rank after the war ended. It is out of respect for his former higher rank that several fellow 7th Cavalry troopers in the movie address him as 'general'). See more »


Gen. Alfred Terry: What happened here, Captain Benteen?
Capt. William F. Benteen: Mistakes were made.
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, films 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

13 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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