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 »
Olivia de Havilland,
The story of U.S. Army commander George Armstrong Custer, a flamboyant hero of the Civil War who later fought and was exterminated with his entire command by warring Sioux and Cheyenne tribes at the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Shaw earned $350,000 for his portrayal of Custer, whilst his wife Mary Ure received only $50,000 for her turn as Custer's wife. See more »
A scene in this movie depicts a medical tent with a red cross on the side. Custer lived between 1839 and 1876, but the [American] Red Cross was not formed until 1881. See more »
Gen. George Armstrong Custer:
War isn't just killing, you know. It's a contest. It's a man against a man.
[indicates a Gatling gun]
Gen. George Armstrong Custer:
That's a machine! Personal courage wouldn't count. Honor, duty, loyalty - everything a soldier lives by - would be wiped out. All you would have left is statistics. How many men would the machine murder today? One hundred? One thousand? Ten thousand? If this is the future, I don't want any part of it.
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35mm prints released in both complete and shortened versions. Some shortened versions were titled "A Good Day for Fighting". See more »
Custer of the West is directed by Robert Siodmak and written by Bernard Gordon and Julian Zimet. It stars Robert Shaw, Jeffrey Hunter, Lawrence Tierney, Ty Hardin, Mary Ure and Kieron Moore. It's a Cinerama production with music by Bernardo Segall and cinematography by Cecilio Paniagua. Film is a very loose telling of George Armstrong Custer's military life from 1861 up to his death at Little Big Horn in 1876.
It's the word disjointed that springs to mind once one has sat thru this attempt at an epic telling of George Custer's (Shaw) demise. Right thru the film nothing ever plays out right; Shaw's accent, the historical facts, Segall's score sounding like it belongs in a comedy, Cinerama scenes thrown in without due care for narrative, jumbled intentions of the makers in what they want to say, wooden prop acting (Ure falls in for mannequin duties), Spanish location for filming one of the American West's most famous battles and the final battle itself is short, weak and befits the penny pinching feel of the whole movie. Undeniably the ambition is there, with the odd moment of visual splendour, but it plods when it should be sprinting and tedious in dialogue when it should be perking up the ears. As good as Siodmak (The Killers/Criss Cross) was at directing low budget noirs of the 40s, here he is without impetus and inspiration and you have to wish that original choice to direct, Akira Kurosawa, had indeed gotten hold of the project.
Shaw at least adds intensity and part of the screenplay has honourable intentions to be sympathetic to Native Americans, but ultimately the film as a whole is a disjointed experience. 4/10
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