Saturday, Oct 2020
Director: Raoul Walsh
Length: 138 mins.
Released: 1941

they died with their boots onWalsh's film romanticizes the life of George A. Custer. Custer (Errol Flynn) is depicted as precocious even pompous throughout his career. First as a Union "general" during the civil war. And then as an honorable Indian fighter. He is a man of his word who is not afraid to use his fists to resolve problems. He exclaims; "now there's a face I'd like to shake hands with". Flynn's swashbuckling persona easily adapts to the role of Custer. The movie includes several musical numbers as soldiers enjoy their time away from the battlefield. After the war, Custer moves out west to fight the Sioux warrior Crazy Horse (Anthony Quinn). Custer is portrayed as a man of his word who's warnings to respect the Indian treaties are ignored by politicians. At Little Big Horn, Custer knows he is going into a trap but he sacrifices all in effort to save other troops.

The movie plods along at times. But also contains many good scenes. After receiving her Oscar two years earlier for Gone With the Wind, Hattie McDaniel plays the superstitious Callie. A lovable maid at the Custer home who steals every scene in which she appears.

There is wonderful horsemanship and many fine cavalry charges in this movie. Making this a Good Viewer and almost a Must See.

Cast:

  • Errol Flynn...Brig. General George Armstrong Custer
  • Olivia de Havilland.... Elizabeth Bacon(Custer)
  • Arthur Kennedy .... Ned Sharp
  • Charley Grapewin.... California Joe
  • Gene Lockhart.... Samuel Bacon
  • Anthony Quinn.... Chief Crazy Horse
  • Stanley Ridges.... Major/General Romulus Taipe
  • John Litel.... Major General Philip Sheridan
  • Walter Hampden.... William Sharp, Western Railroad & Trading Co.
  • Sydney Greenstreet.... Lieutenant General Winfield Scott
  • Regis Toomey.... Captain Fitzhugh Lee
  • Hattie McDaniel.... Callie, Bacon's Maid
  • G.P. Huntley.... Lieutenant 'Queen's Own' Butler
  • Frank Wilcox....Captain Webb
  • Joe Sawyer.... Sergeant Doolittle
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