26 user 1 critic

Son of the Morning Star 

0:59 | Trailer
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.




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





Complete series cast summary:
Gary Cole ...  George Armstrong Custer 2 episodes, 1991
Rosanna Arquette ...  Libby Custer 2 episodes, 1991
Stanley Anderson ...  Ulysses S. Grant 2 episodes, 1991
Edward Blatchford Edward Blatchford ...  Lt. Cooke 2 episodes, 1991
George Dickerson George Dickerson ...  Gen. Sherman 2 episodes, 1991
Rodney A. Grant ...  Crazy Horse 2 episodes, 1991
Tom O'Brien ...  Charlie Reynolds 2 episodes, 1991
Terry O'Quinn ...  Gen. Alfred Terry 2 episodes, 1991
Nick Ramus ...  Red Cloud 2 episodes, 1991
Tim Ransom ...  Tom Custer 2 episodes, 1991
Robert Schenkkan ...  Capt. Weir 2 episodes, 1991
David Strathairn ...  Capt. William F. Benteen 2 episodes, 1991
Buffy Sainte-Marie ...  Kate Bighead 2 episodes, 1991
Dean Stockwell ...  Gen. Philip Sheridan 2 episodes, 1991
Bryce Chamberlain Bryce Chamberlain ...  Parsons 2 episodes, 1991
Peter Leitner Peter Leitner ...  Dr. Coates 2 episodes, 1991
George K. Sullivan ...  Gen. Hancock 2 episodes, 1991
Demina Becker Demina Becker ...  Young Kate Bighead 2 episodes, 1991
George American Horse George American Horse ...  Stone Forehead 2 episodes, 1991
Rion Hunter ...  Sioux Interpreter 2 episodes, 1991
Sheldon Peters Wolfchild Sheldon Peters Wolfchild ...  Bloody Knife 2 episodes, 1991
Michael Medeiros ...  Major Marcus Reno 2 episodes, 1991
Mike Casey Mike Casey ...  Lt. Varnum 2 episodes, 1991
Sav Farrow Sav Farrow ...  Pvt. Martini 2 episodes, 1991
Wendy Feder Wendy Feder ...  Maggie Calhoun 2 episodes, 1991
Patrick Johnston Patrick Johnston ...  Boston Custer 2 episodes, 1991
Eric Lawson Eric Lawson ...  Fred Gerard 2 episodes, 1991
Jay Bernard Jay Bernard ...  Congressman 2 episodes, 1991
Kimberly Guerrero ...  Kate Bighead 2 episodes, 1991
Russ Walks Russ Walks ...  Autie Reed 2 episodes, 1991
Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman ...  Sitting Bull 2 episodes, 1991


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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


In the film, Custer is correctly portrayed as carrying some sort of early double-action revolver rather than the normal Single Action Army that was issued to the rest of the 7th Cav. While Custer's armament at the Battle of Little Bighorn is not completely known, the general consensus is that he was armed with a .50-70 Rolling Block Remington rifle, as well as his pair of Webley Royal Irish Constabulary pistols chambered in either .442 or .450 that had been presented to him, as well as a matching pair to his brother Tom, by the British some years before. 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 »


Kate Bighead: [Speaking the words of Crazy Horse] One does not sell the land upon which all living creatures walk.
See more »


Featured in Legends of the West (1992) See more »

User Reviews

Best Custer movie yet.
26 March 2005 | by Bobster36See all my reviews

I generally find Gary Cole rather uninteresting as an actor. But he does a good job in edgy roles, like Jeffrey MacDonald in "Fatal Vision" and George A. Custer in "Son of the Morningstar." The movie has its flaws. It takes too long to get going and I found the Indian narrative tiresome.

But it provides the most accurate Hollywood depiction of the events leading up to Custer's last battle and of the battle itself. Cole portrays Custer as a driven man, but not the madman of "Little Big Man" or the saint of "They died with Their Boots On." And it accurately captures the scenery of the Little Big Horn, not the bizarre desert setting of "Custer of the West." Most details, some not so well known, are handled accurately. Custer's men did not have sabers with them (little did Errol Flynn know). Custer refused gatling guns because they were too cumbersome to haul over the hilly areas the cavalry was expected to cover quickly. Custer couldn't see the Indian village from a distance when it was pointed out to him by his scouts. Custer hastily made his plan of battle after being informed Indians had taken some lost supplies and, thus, discovered his whereabouts. All of this comes out in the movie, so that we don't just get the standard Hollywood Custer-as-egotistical-glory-seeker story. The real story was far more involved than most people realize, and this film portrays most of those events. The film also shows that Custer's Last Stand was a combination of orderly resistance and chaos, as Indian witnesses contended.

The film also does a good job with some of the other characters; Crazy Horse, Tom Custer, Major Reno, Captain Benteen and Captain Weir. Where the film misses out, in my opinion, is its failure to adequately depict the events involving Reno and Benteen during the battle. The film does an excellent job with Reno's charge, dismount and retreat to the bluffs, and with Weir's attempt to rescue Custer. But it should have gone further. The film has Weir's company merely returning to the reinforced bluffs. What we don't see is that Reno and Benteen actually mounted a slow moving trek following Weir's path, and all were forced to retreat to their original position where they fought valiantly into the night, while some soldiers who were left behind in Reno's retreat rejoined them after some harrowing moments hiding from the Indians. This portion of the battle has never been accurately portrayed on film (although "The Glory Guys" does a reasonably good job of it). And Morningstar squanders a great deal of time on far less interesting scenes instead of devoting time to this portion of the fight.

So, while far from perfect, this is very much the best Custer movie ever made and highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about what really happened. I keep hoping that one more major Custer movie will get made and finally get it all right.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 26 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Son of the Morning Star See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed