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They Died with Their Boots On (1941)

Approved | | Biography, Drama, Romance | 1 January 1942 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Raoul Walsh

Writers:

Wally Kline (original screenplay), Æneas 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:

A STORY OF UNDYING FAITH! (original ad - all caps) 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

Louis Zamperini, Olympic athlete and subject of Unbroken (2014), was an extra in this film just before being drafted into the United States Armed Forces during World War II. See more »

Goofs

During the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) scene, the soldiers are shown riding among rather large hills. The hills appear to be almost barren. The actual battlefield is on gently rolling hills with plenty of flora. See more »

Quotes

George Armstrong Custer: [on his cadet uniform] I must get myself a tigerskin as soon as possible.
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

Featured in Knots Landing: Straight Down the Line (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

Taps
(uncredited)
Written by Daniel Butterfield
Played when the casualty list is posted
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rousingly spirited but highly inaccurate account of the legendary Custer
10 November 1998 | by buxSee all my reviews

The Custer Legend, a la Warner Brothers Epic. There's no casting against type here, with the flamboyant Flynn as the flamboyant Custer in this rousing tribute, not only to Custer, but to the men of the 7th Cavalry. The story traces the life of the famed 'Boy General" from his turbulent days at West Point to his final fight at the Little Big Horn. Great liberties are taken with facts here, and we are presented with a Custer that is much more sympathetic to the plight of the redman than history relates. But this one is done on such a grand scale, the battle scenes alone provided employment for every extra in Hollywood. Down beat ending and all, this is great fun!


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