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Little Big Man [VHS]

Dustin Hoffman , Faye Dunaway , Arthur Penn    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Chief Dan George, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan
  • Directors: Arthur Penn
  • Writers: Calder Willingham, Thomas Berger
  • Producers: Gene Lasko, Stuart Millar
  • Language: Castilian
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Fox
  • Run Time: 139 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CJFD
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,877 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

In Arthur Penn's adaptation of Thomas Berger's novel Little Big Man, Dustin Hoffman stars as Jack Crabb, the only white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn. Giving a bravura performance, Hoffman plays Jack from teen years into old age in this picaresque fable of the Old West. Jack's story is a fantastic one: captured by Indians as a boy, reared as an Indian, shuttling back and forth between the white and Indian worlds. In the process, he befriends everyone from Wild Bill Hickock to George Armstrong Custer and is a gunslinger, a snake-oil salesman and an Army scout. This is a solid blend of comedy and tragedy, making a strong statement about America's treatment of Native Americans without sermonising. A terrific cast includes Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam and Richard Mulligan, but this show is all Hoffman's. --Marshall Fine

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
By Calypsopiper VINE VOICE
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
These are the words spoken, after the Battle of the Little Big Horn, by the outstanding Chief Dan George, playing tribal leader Old Lodge Skins. He is referring to the Cheyenne (Human Beings)and the destruction of its people and way of life, by the New American civilisation.
Hoffman is Jack Crabbe, the 121-year-old sole survivor of Custer's Last Stand. Little Big Man is the name given to him by his adoptive Cheyenne family. The film starts with the aged Jack being interviewed in a nursing home, where he begins to recount his amazing life story up to the point of that famous event. The narrative is episodic, detailing his first hand experiences of the Indian and white cultures and their deadly interaction.
This is a powerful and entertaining film, genuinely very funny and chokingly sad in all the right places. It is a more satisfying film than 'Dances With Wolves' and has the majesty and depth of a Native American 'Les Miserables'.
WARNING!!! If you are a General Custer fan, beware of Richard Mulligan's hysterically manic Basil Fawlty style interpretation of the legend - he's more barking than a pack of rabid coyotes.
This is a classic that deserves a place in your DVD library.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad, funny and memorable 23 Mar 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Arthur Penn's long, beautifully shot, episodic western opens in a hospital ward where ancient Jack Crabbe (a barely-recognizable Dustin Hoffman) is interviewed by a reporter (William Hickey) about his experiences with the Cheyenne as an old "Indian fighter". What follows is Jack's life story from the time he was adopted by the Cheyenne ("who call themselves the 'Human Beings'") after the massacre of his parents, to the climactic Battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer's Last Stand). The tone throughout is satirical, sometimes whimsical, and there are many very funny as well as genuinely touching scenes, as the action moves from Jack's youth as a Cheyenne brave; his capture, more cowardly than brave, by the U.S. cavalry; his adoption by a Puritanical preacher and young wife (played with great style and comic sensuousness by Faye Dunaway); and spells as con-man, black-clad gunfighter, store-owner, Indian scout and drunk. Hoffman is excellent, but equal credit goes to Chief Dan George as Jack's adopted Cheyenne grandfather, Old Lodge Skins, who is the heart and soul of the story, and the rest of the cast all perform brilliantly. As an indictment of White America's destruction of the native inhabitants, this film is more uncompromising than the book on which it is based, and while the white characters in general are portrayed as vicious, dishonest or contemptible, the character of General Custer is given a thorough mauling (Custer ends the final battle as a raving lunatic). The film may take a few liberties with historical accuracy, but the result is an engrossing, entertaining and moving black-comedy which I could not recommend too highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Recounting how the West was won through the eyes of a white man raised as a Native American, Arthur Penn's 1970 adaptation of Thomas Berger's satirical novel was a comic yet stinging allegory about the bloody results of American imperialism.

As a misguided 20th century historian listens, 121-year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) narrates the story of being the only white survivor of Custer's Last Stand. White orphan Crabb was adopted by the Cheyenne, renamed "Little Big Man," and raised in the ways of the "Human Beings" by paternal mentor Old Lodge Skins (Chief Dan George), accepting non-conformity and living peacefully with nature.

Violently thrust into the white world, Jack meets a righteous preacher (Thayer David) and his wife (Faye Dunaway), tries to be a gunfighter under the tutelage of Wild Bill Hickock (Jeff Corey), and gets married. Returned to the Cheyenne by chance, Jack prefers life as a Human Being.

Three years after the seminal "Bonnie and Clyde," Arthur Penn made the epic and revisionist Western, Little Big Man. Reflecting the times in which the movie was made the anti-Vietnam war era director Penn put white murderousness and racism at the center of his narrative. Politically speaking, the atrocities against the Native Americans were meant to signify those against Vietnam at the time.

For most of the film, the tone is comic and even satirical: all kinds of colorful characters turn up, disappear, and turn up again. Also, the film frequently shifts in tone, from farce to comedy to drama and tragedy - this may upset many viewers, who are not used to such a strategy. But despite that the amazing thing is that this mock epic Western came out as well as it did.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Little Big Man - A great Yarn 10 Mar 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys a good yarn. Ranks up there with Blazing Saddles in the Western comedy genre....
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best 'alternative' Western ever!! 7 Nov 2003
In the 50's and the 60's the screens were overloaded with classical Westerns. And although many of them were very well made - featuring real western icons of the silver screen like John Wayne, Gary Cooper and so many others - they were very classical in the sense of: "the only good 'injun' is a dead 'injun'".

Especially the 70's, but also later, brought us another type of western. A type were the native Americans were shown as the "noble savage" (think about such movies as "A Man called Horse" or "Dances with Wolves").

This alternative western probably has the right of it: neither side was extremely noble and either side could be savage. This picture shows us the west how it could have been, with people lusting for land and money, but also with people trying simply to survive.

In this way it is quite satyrical and Dustin Hoffman brings his performance of a west veteran to an incredible high. All in all probably the best western I've ever seen. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Dustin does great again
Dustin Hoffman is great in this film, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, this a great yet under rated and under appreciated western
Published 2 months ago by G. Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
I bought this simply because it deals with an Indian survivor from the Battle of the Little Bighorn of 1876. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Stephen Bloom
1.0 out of 5 stars I am surprised that this film has so many positive reviews!
Absolute rubbish! I struggled to watch 20 minutes of it. I just kept hoping something would change.
It's an insult to human intelligence!
Published 6 months ago by Caroline B
5.0 out of 5 stars Good old Hoffman Classic.
One of Hoffmans best early movies playing the role of a one hundred and twenty one year old recounting his life through the old wild west. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kirk Birch
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid life adventure as told by a very old man to a reporter.
Dustin Hofman's acting is superb. The story is full of unexpected snippets.
I have watched this video four times now, and still don't tire of it. Brilliant
Published 8 months ago by albert j bottcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Cowboys and Indians!
Another good Western set in the 19th century but more sympathetic to the plight of the American Indian. Good dvd.
Published 9 months ago by A. Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite
This is one of my favourite films ever and after a gap of some 20years when i saw it again it did not disappoint, brilliant
Published 9 months ago by Malcolm Lord
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic!!!
What a fantastically funny, sad, uplifting and emotional film. Dustin is such a good actor. One of the Best, in my view.
Published 12 months ago by Ian M. Hoggan
5.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's time
This is one of the best films ever made, particuarly relevant when compared to any big blockbuster made today. Read more
Published 12 months ago by M. B. Richardson
5.0 out of 5 stars A good film
A good film that I hadn't seen for many years & didn't appear to be doing the rounds on the TV channels
Published 14 months ago by Oldcodger
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