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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:

The heroic saga of Custer's Last Stand! 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

Untrained rider George Murphy was killed when he fell from his horse while drunk. See more »

Goofs

Ulysses S. Grant graduated from West Point in 1843, ranking 21st in a class of 39--not at the bottom of his class, as characters state in the movie. See more »

Quotes

[Custer addresses the officers after his arrival at Fort Lincoln]
George Armstrong Custer: We're responsible for the protection of 100,000 square miles of territory. And against us are ranged thousands of the finest light cavalry on earth. I found that out this morning. It's a big job, gentlemen... and it's gonna need a fine regiment. Our job is to make this the finest regiment that the United States ever saw. I needn't tell most of you that a regiment is something more than just six hundred disciplined fighting men. ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film was released in West Germany in 1952, the local distributor chose to cut ca. 58 minutes, as the theme of the film was deemed 'too american'. The first time the film could be seen in its complete form was in the 90s when a newly redubbed version was shown on TV. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Little Big Man (1970) 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

 
Errol Flynn was born to play General Custer.
19 February 2003 | by tmwestSee all my reviews

Although this film changes reality to make it more heroic and entertaining, sometimes fantasy is more enjoyable than real life, and also nothing could be more real than Errol Flynn playing Custer. This remains the best film made about Custer. The music of Max Steiner is magnificent and also all through the film the Irish song "Gerry Owen", which was a favourite of Custer is played. The film should have more villains, because they try to concentrate all the bad guys in Arthur Kennedy. The relationship between Flynn and De Havilland flows like in no other off their films together, and director Raoul Walsh with his experience in outside scenes with a lot of actors is at his best.


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