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Son of the Morning Star 

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 »


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Complete series cast summary:
...  George Armstrong Custer 2 episodes, 1991
...  Libby Custer 2 episodes, 1991
...  Ulysses S. Grant 2 episodes, 1991
Edward Blatchford ...  Lt. Cooke 2 episodes, 1991
George Dickerson ...  Gen. Sherman 2 episodes, 1991
...  Crazy Horse 2 episodes, 1991
...  Charlie Reynolds 2 episodes, 1991
...  Gen. Alfred Terry 2 episodes, 1991
...  Red Cloud 2 episodes, 1991
...  Tom Custer 2 episodes, 1991
...  Capt. Weir 2 episodes, 1991
...  Capt. William F. Benteen 2 episodes, 1991
...  Kate Bighead 2 episodes, 1991
...  Gen. Philip Sheridan 2 episodes, 1991
Bryce Chamberlain ...  Parsons 2 episodes, 1991
Peter Leitner ...  Dr. Coates 2 episodes, 1991
George K. Sullivan ...  Gen. Hancock 2 episodes, 1991
Demina Becker ...  Young Kate Bighead 2 episodes, 1991
George American Horse ...  Stone Forehead 2 episodes, 1991
...  Sioux Interpreter 2 episodes, 1991
...  Bloody Knife 2 episodes, 1991
...  Major Marcus Reno 2 episodes, 1991
Mike Casey ...  Lt. Varnum 2 episodes, 1991
Sav Farrow ...  Pvt. Martini 2 episodes, 1991
Wendy Feder ...  Maggie Calhoun 2 episodes, 1991
Patrick Johnston ...  Boston Custer 2 episodes, 1991
Eric Lawson ...  Fred Gerard 2 episodes, 1991
Jay Bernard ...  Congressman 2 episodes, 1991
...  Kate Bighead 2 episodes, 1991
Russ Walks ...  Autie Reed 2 episodes, 1991
...  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 »




Release Date:

1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aamutähden poika  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The project was developed at NBC in the mid-1980s. Kevin Costner was considered to play George Armstrong Custer, but the network thought he was not well-known enough to carry the show. Ultimately, the network thought it would be too expensive to make, leading to ABC picking up the project. Costner would eventually become a movie star, and had enough clout to get the thematically-similar Dances with Wolves (1990) made; that film was released a few months before "Son of the Morning Star" debuted. 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: We Cheyenne called him, Hi-Es-Tsie, Long Hair. The Arikara called him, Creeping Panther, who comes in the night. The Crow called him, Son of the Morning Star, who attacks at dawn. I remember him. I saw him die.
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Featured in Legends of the West (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

A Sprawling Epic
22 September 1998 | by See all my reviews

"Son Of The Morning Star" is by all accounts and definitions an epic. With a period backdrop, compelling characters, a cast of thousands and a span of ten years, "Morning Star" fits the mold of almost every made-for-tv-mini series. Yet you can't help but feel it's being confined on the small screen like a belt that's too tight on you. It has the look and feel of a theatrical feature, and would seem so much bigger on the big screen. But Mike Robe's gigantic effort is no movie of the week basic network fodder. It's the post-Civil War story of General George Armstrong Custer, his lovely and loyal wife Libbie, and Custer's Indian equivalent Crazy Horse, and the interesting chain of events that lead the two warriors to the gentle slopes of the Little Big Horn, or, more popularly, Custer's Last Stand. But, as the Indian female narrator Kate Bighead tells us, "it was not [Custer's] last stand...it was ours". The first half of the film seems somewhat confused of its real direction, and it's pretty much the movies only flaw. We meet the characters, soak in the rich setting of the western plains of our country, and are led through such happenings as Custer's court martialing for his harsh treatment on deserters, the training of his 7th cavalry, the somewhat flawed presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, who, apparently, is quite the anti-Custer, and to a lesser extent to all of this, the early days of the Cheyenne warrior Crazy Horse, played by underrated Native American actor Rodney A. Grant (Wind In His Hair from "Dances With Wolves", which is what I believe ultimatly helped greenlight this production). But besides that jumbled storyline, which really isn't all that jumbled, there are first rate acting scenes displayed by Gary Cole as our arrogant blond hero, who seems to really know his stuff when it comes to first person impressions. Rosanna Arquette is just going through the motions, and so is Dean Stockwell as Custer's superior in Washington, General Sheridan. But the real reward for sticking through this movie is the heart-wrenching climax of all movie climaxes, the Battle of Little Big Horn. Custer's actual Last Stand isn't until the final half hour, but boy is it worth the wait. Mike Robe really deserves some, heck, A LOT of credit for this logistical nightmare of a production. He takes us through Custer's final moments with true skill and utter authority. Combined with the poetic and professional lens job done by director of photography Kees Van Oostrum, and a lush orchestral score by Craig Safan, "Son Of The Morning Star" is a real piece of work, and should be considered a genuine cinematic triumph in the annals of western and dramatic film. Kudos, guys.

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