Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer.
There is an endless supply of white men. There has always been a limited number of human beings.
Little Big Man is directed by Arthur Penn and written by Calder Willingham. It stars Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Chief Dan George and Richard Mulligan.
Arthur Penn's Little Big Man is tagged with many filmic sayings, be it revisionist or anti Western etc, it's a picture much cherished for its oddly quirky slyness. Allegorical movies are now in this day and age ten a penny, but back in 1970, with the Vietnam War in vivid focus, that wasn't the case. Marking this out as a provocative and ambitious venture.
Penn has fun debunking and poking fun at the myths of the Old West via an array of pungent characters that Jack Crabb (Hoffman) meets in his lifetime. All of which leads to the question hanging in the air, that of is Jack Crabb the sole white man survivor of Custer's last stand at Little Big Horn?
The portrayal of the Indians, here the Cheyenne, is superlative by way of the fact that they are the sensible spiritual race, the whites on the other hand are emotionally corrupt in comparison. It gets a little heavy handed at times and really half an hour could have been shaved off the running time and still the pic would have had the same effect. But great performances, the quirks and the potent thematics make for a fine piece of film making. 7/10
Cinema Center Films, Stockbridge-Hiller Productions by Arthur Penn, Thomas Berger, Calder Willingham.
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam.
Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Western
Keywords: based on novel or book indian territory fight settler native american orphan cheyenne george armstrong custer 19th century
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