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Last Stand (2003)

In the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, a twelve-year-old Lakota boy (Goes Alone) comes upon a wounded cavalry soldier (James) hiding in the grass. When Goes Alone sees James... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Pvt. James Cavanagh
Joseph Saul ...
Goes Alone
...
Sgt. MacMillan
Chad Gordon ...
Pvt. Curtis
...
Pvt. Wilkins (as Darren Reiher)
...
Lowell Raven ...
Lakota Boy #1
Vernon Adolph ...
Lakota Boy #2
...
Colonel
...
Lucy (as Lea Moreno Young)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kevin Broberg ...
Soldier Getting Scalped
Dustin Cornelius ...
Soldier
Christopher J. Francis ...
Firing Squad Soldier (as Chris Francis)
...
Firing Squad Officer
...
Pfc. Anderson
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Storyline

In the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, a twelve-year-old Lakota boy (Goes Alone) comes upon a wounded cavalry soldier (James) hiding in the grass. When Goes Alone sees James about to take his own life rather than be captured, the boy takes pity on him and allows him to escape into a ravine. The next morning, Goes Alone goes looking for James and finds him by a creek, wounded and dying. Over the next two days, Goes Alone and James form a bond that grows into a friendship as Goes Alone tries to help the dying soldier. The price they both pay for the friendship they share is high as their two cultures come into contact again in a startling and emotional conclusion. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On the American frontier, a Lakota boy and a US Cavalry soldier form an unlikely friendship.

Genres:

Drama | Short | Western

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Release Date:

24 April 2003 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Elegant, expansive and richly moving
22 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

I first saw this gem at a festival in Colorado where it swept several major awards, and was hugely impressed at the ambition of the production and how skillfully it was pulled off. This is top-drawer professional work all around, with beautiful 35mm cinematography, lush and immersive sound design and scoring, and art direction that is utterly convincing on an epic scale. The short film format is often thought of as primarily a learning ground for new filmmakers, but here we have the work of seasoned professionals at the top of their game, directed with obvious authority and vision.

At the heart of all this are two wonderful performances, one by a veteran actor and one by a charismatic newcomer. This story of a wounded cavalry soldier and a young Lakota boy is of necessity a very visual one. Unlike so many films that rely on a surplus of dialogue, meanings here must be communicated (both from character to character and from filmmaker to audience) with a glance, a gesture, a telling action. It's a wonderful study in visual storytelling that pays off in a genuinely affecting emotional crescendo.

As others here have indicated, the DVD contains a wealth of information for any aspiring filmmaker. The behind-the-scenes materials are substantial and provide many entertaining anecdotes and insights from the production process. And the film itself is a master class in story structure, shot selection, and pacing. It's worth tracking down.


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