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They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

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A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little ... See full summary »

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Wally Kline (original screenplay), ├ćneas MacKenzie (original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Errol Flynn ... George Armstrong Custer
Olivia de Havilland ... Elizabeth Bacon
Arthur Kennedy ... Ned Sharp
Charley Grapewin ... California Joe
Gene Lockhart ... Samuel Bacon, Esq.
Anthony Quinn ... Crazy Horse
Stanley Ridges ... Major Romulus Taipe
John Litel ... General Phil Sheridan
Walter Hampden ... William Sharp
Sydney Greenstreet ... Lt. General Winfield Scott
Regis Toomey ... Fitzhugh Lee
Hattie McDaniel ... Callie
G.P. Huntley G.P. Huntley ... Lt. 'Queen's Own' Butler (as George P. Huntley Jr.)
Frank Wilcox ... Captain Webb
Joe Sawyer ... Sergeant Doolittle (as Joseph Sawyer)
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Storyline

A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little discipline at the academy but is prepared to stand up to the senior cadet, Ned Sharp, who makes his life miserable. While there he catches the eye of the commandant, Col. (later General) Phil Sheridan and also meets his future bride, Elizabeth Bacon. Graduating early due to the Civil War, it is only through a chance meeting with General Winfield Scott that he finally gets assigned to a cavalry regiment. He served with distinction during the war and when he is promoted to Brigadier General in error, he leads his troops in a decisive victory. He has little to do after the war turning down lucrative positions in private industry and it's his wife who arranges with Gen. Scott for him to be appointed a Lt. Colonel and given command of the 7th Cavalry. He is depicted as a friend of the Indians who will fight for... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Scene After Scene Of The Most Exciting Adventure Ever Screened! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1942 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

To the Last Man See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,200,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stuntman Jack Budlong died after falling from his horse onto his sword. See more »

Goofs

In several scenes (as Custer rides into the Black Hills, and later during his charge at the Little Big Horn) the sky as originally shot was apparently later replaced as a visual effect. The clouds are out of sync with the motion of the camera against background hills and the other elements of the shots. See more »

Quotes

[the night before the battle, Custer asks Butler to take his last letter back to Fort Lincoln]
Lt. "Queen's Own" Butler: Why are you asking me to go back with it?
George Armstrong Custer: Well, for one thing you're an Englishman, not an American.
Lt. "Queen's Own" Butler: Not an American! What do you Yankees think you are? The only REAL Americans in this merry old parish are on the other side of the hill with feathers in their hatr.
George Armstrong Custer: You're probably right about that. But there's 6,000 of them... and less than 600 of us. The regiment's being sacrificed, Butler, and I ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

When shown om Swedish TV (TV1) in the mid 90s there was an additional scene between the scene where Custer, California Joe and Lt Butler leaves Custer's tent on the night before the final battle and when Custer subsequently frees Sharpe at the wagon where he is held "kidnapped". It contained two shots, first an Indian banging a drum, then a shot of Crazy Horse, on a hill overlooking the Indian camp, addressing the spirits. The scene is missing in present DVD copies, and was not seen on previous Swedish TV showings. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 800 balas (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

My Country Tis of Thee
(uncredited)
Music written by Henry Carey (1744)
Played as part of the score
See more »

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User Reviews

Entertaining Non-History
18 July 2002 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

As long as you don't expect to see much actual history, this is an entertaining movie with plenty of action and an Errol Flynn performance that gives his fans everything they could ask for. It covers the life of a character named George Armstrong Custer, whose experiences every so often have some vague similarities with a historical figure of the same name. That is to say, there wasn't much of an effort to make it historically accurate, but they did make it quite enjoyable to watch. And as far as the rampant fabrications go, a light-hearted movie like this is far less likely to create a wrong impression than are today's pseudo-historical movies that take themselves too seriously in pushing some pet theory of the film-makers.

Flynn certainly is well cast as Custer, a role that gives him a chance to do whatever comes naturally to him without placing any constraints on his energy and charisma. The supporting cast is good, too, with Sydney Greenstreet being quite entertaining as the old war-horse Winfield Scott, plus Flynn favorite Olivia de Havilland and others. Things move along at a good pace, and though it may be a little too long, there is usually more than enough going on to hold your attention. It works well as long as you don't take any of it seriously.


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