This thunderous cavalry charge of a film takes a look at events leading up to Custer’s last stand, when 251 US troops were slaughtered at Little Big Horn. Philip Carey plays the doomed Colonel whose political ambition proved so costly, in a movie driven through with kinetic action sequences and engaging characterisation.
For most of his illustrious military life, Custer had been sympathetic to the Indians and disgusted at their exploitation by government and ruthless land agents. Indeed, he even travels to Washington to complain, and his outburst against the criminal treatment of the tribes is so forthright that his career is severely damaged.
But conniving Senator Blaine (Don Haggerty) spots a gilt-edged political opportunity in the striking Custer. He persuades the embittered Colonel to get his own back by running for the Presidency himself. In order to gain popularity, however, he must first go back West and start oppressing the Indians, an opinion shared by ambitious wife Libbie (Nancy Kovack). Surprisingly, Custer agrees, and despite the disapproval of his officers, leads a cavalry unit on a murderous mission, the dramatic tales of which are to be extolled in the press by his personal reporter (House Peters Jr). But the Indians, led by Crazy Horse (Iron Eyes Cody) and Sitting Bull (Michael Pate), are up for the fight, and Custer eventually meets his match at Little Big Horn.
The film provides interest as an early effort by Hollywood to reclaim the truth about the shameful motivations behind Custer’s last stand from the traditionally white-washed, history-book legend. The Indian struggle is dealt with sympathetically (especially in Pate’s stoic performance), while attention to detail in the film’s depiction of the Sioux is impressive (thanks largely to Iron Eyes Cody who doubled up as technical adviser).
US | 91 minutes | 1965
Director: Sidney Salkow
Writer: Fred C Dobbs
Joseph Cotten as Major Marcus A. Reno
Darren McGavin as Captain Frederick William Benton
Philip Carey as Colonel George Armstrong Custer
Julie Sommars as Caroline Reno
Nancy Kovack as Libbie Custer
John Matthews as Dakota
Michael Pate as Sitting Bull
Don Haggerty as Senator Blaine
Frank Ferguson as General Alfred Howe Terry
Stacy Harris as Mr. Turner
Iron Eyes Cody as Crazy Horse
House Peters Jr. as Mark Cambridge, a reporter
and this just in
In the Heat of the Night: King’s Ransom (S3EP10 ThisTV Sun 16 Dec 2018)
King’s Ransom: A desperate FBI agent seeks an unorthodox alliance with Chief Gillespie and the Sparta police department after an...
Berlin Station: If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish (S3EP4 EPIX Sun 23 Dec 2018)
If You Swear, You’ll Catch No Fish: CIA officer Daniel Miller is sent to Germany on a secret mission to...
Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Race to Save the Platypus (S1EP9 Animal Planet Sun 23 Dec 2018)
Race to Save the Platypus: A cheetah cub named Mballa arrives at the Australia Zoo from South Africa; Robert embarks...
Outlander: Wilmington (S4EP8 Starz Sun 23 Dec 2018)
Wilmington: Roger finally finds success in his search for Brianna when he discovers her in Wilmington, but their romantic union...
Hometown Holiday (UP Sun 23 Dec 2018, Bradley Hamilton, Kevin McGarry)
In Hometown Holiday Krista is starting this New Year with a new business and a resolution to be more selective...
Vanity Fair Premieres Fri 21 Dec on Amazon
The Prime Original series Vanity Fair (a co-production with the BBC and seen in the UK earlier this year) is...
Jingle Around the Clock (Hallmark Sat 22 Dec 2018, Brooke Nevin, Michael Cassidy)
In festive TV Movie Jingle Around the Clock, when Elle Bennet decides to reunite her college friends for a special...
Christmas Bells Are Ringing (HMC Sat 22 Dec 2018, )
In Christmas Bells Are Ringing Samantha, a freelance photographer, is returning to Cape Cod for the first time since the...
Casino (1995, Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone)
When Martin Scorsese announced his Mob-in-Vegas drama Casino in the mid-’90s, there was a distinct feeling of déjà vu ,...
Bear Island (1979, Donald Sutherland, Vanessa Redgrave)
Donald Sutherland plays a researcher who has joined a NATO expedition to study global warming on an island deemed off...
She Creature (2001, Rufus Sewell, Carla Gugino)
Angus Shaw (Rufus Sewell) is a carnival huckster working in turn-of-the-century Ireland with his girlfriend Lily (Carla Gugino) the key...