Either The Most Neglected Hero In History Or A Liar Of Insane Proportion!
Jack Crabb, looking back from extreme old age, tells of his life being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer.
139 min, USA:147 min (copyright length)
2.20 : 1
Rated PG-13 for intense battle sequences and some sexual content. (2002 re-rating)
Adventure, Drama, War, Western
Little Big Horn, George Armstrong Custer, Revenge, Sister, Preacher
70 mm 6-Track, Stereo
Revisionist Western, Indian Western, Epic Western
White People Among Indians, Social Injustice, Culture Clash
Earnest, Confrontational, Disturbing, Humorous
Only Human, Triumph of the Spirit
Has Detailed Data (New)
10, 1, 2, 3
Count - Awards
Country Of Origin
121-year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) recounts his colorful life story to a curious historian (William Hickey). Among other things, Crabb had been a captive of the Cheyenne, a gunslinger, an associate of Wild Bill Hickok (Jeff Corey), and a scout for General George Armstrong Custer (Richard Mulligan).
Jack and his older sister Caroline (Carole Androsky) had survived the massacre of their parents by the Pawnee. Jack and his sister are taken back to a Cheyenne village. Caroline manages to escape on horseback, but Jack is reared by good-hearted tribal leader Old Lodge Skins (Chief Dan George). Jack unwittingly makes an enemy of another boy, Younger Bear (Cal Bellini); however, Younger Bear eventually owes his life to Jack. Jack is given the name "Little Big Man" because he's short but very brave. When Jack is 16, he is recaptured by U.S. cavalry troopers and renounces his Native American upbringing in order to save himself. He is put in the care of Reverend Silas Pendrake (Thayer David) and his sexually frustrated wife, Louise (Faye Dunaway), who tries to seduce Jack. Jack eventually leaves the Pendrake household.
Jack becomes the apprentice of the snake-oil salesman Merriweather (Martin Balsam). The two are tarred and feathered when their customers realize that Merriweather's products are fraudulent. One of the angry customers is Jack's sister, Caroline. She attempts to mold her brother into a gunslinger named the Soda Pop Kid. Jack meets Wild Bill Hickok at a saloon, and Hickok takes a liking to the young man. When Hickok is forced to kill a man in self-defense, Jack loses his taste for gunslinging and Caroline deserts him.
Jack next becomes a partner in a general store and marries a Swedish woman named Olga (Kelly Jean Peters). Unfortunately, Jack's business partner turns out to be a thieving scoundrel. The famous cavalry officer George Armstrong Custer suggests the couple restart their lives further west. They set out, but their stagecoach is ambushed by Cheyenne. Olga is abducted and Jack sets out in search for her. He is reunited with Old Lodge Skins. Younger Bear has become a contrary (a warrior who does everything in reverse). Jack makes friends with the hwame Little Horse, but continues on his search for Olga.
He eventually becomes a "muleskinner" in Custer's 7th Cavalry. He takes part in a battle against the Cheyenne, but when the 7th troopers begin killing women and children, Jack turns on them. Nearby, Jack discovers a Cheyenne woman, Sunshine (Aimée Eccles), giving birth. He returns with her to Old Lodge Skins's tribe. Sunshine becomes his wife and bears him a child. Jack again encounters Younger Bear, not a Contrary anymore, who is now the henpecked husband of the long-lost Olga. Olga does not recognize Jack. Sunshine asks Jack to take in her three widowed sisters as wives and to father children with them. He is reluctant at first, but finally agrees.
Custer and the 7th Cavalry make a surprise attack on the Cheyenne camp. A now-blind and el
Little Big Man is a 1970 American Western film directed by Arthur Penn and based on the 1964 comic novel by Thomas Berger. It is a picaresque comedy about a Caucasian boy raised by the Cheyenne nation during the 19th century. The film is largely concerned with contrasting the lives of American pioneers and Native Americans throughout the progression of the boy's life.