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Little Big Man [DVD]
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Based on Thomas Berger's novel about a Jack Crabb, a 121-year-old lone survivor of Custer's Last Stand who recalls his life as an ad opted Indian boy, his adventures and drinking buddy, Wild Bill Hickok.
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
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that had witnessed 'The Battle of The Little Big Horn' in 1876.
'Jack's' story starts when he was 10 when he and his family travelling West in a Wagon are attacked by 'Pawnee
Indians' during which his parents were killed though his sister 'Caroline' and he survived and were later found and taken
to a 'Cheyenne' camp.
'Caroline' who had expected attention from the Braves rode off disappointed, it would be years before they would meet
again, 'Jack' was to be brought up by the 'Cheyenne' (The Human Bdings)though because of his small stature he could in
their eyes not be considered 'Warrior' material until with an encounter with the enemy of his adopted tribe 'The Pawnee' he
proved his worth following which he was given the name 'Little Big Man'
There would come a time when after a skirmish with 'Soldiers' he is returned the world of his youth 'The White Man'
where he is taken in by a 'Rector' and his lustful and much younger wife 'Mrs Pendrake' (Faye Dunaway)
'Jack's' often unlikely story continues, the old guy could certainly spin a yarn, how much really happened to him would be
a matter of speculation.....after leaving the ''care'' of the 'Pendrake's' he teamed up with a seller of false hope 'Mr Merri-
weather' (Martin Balsam) it was during this spell he re-meets his sister 'Caroline' (Carole Androsky) who teaches him to use
a gun, something he picked up rather well when as a ''gunfighter' he became known as 'The Soda Pop Kid' forming a
friendship at that time with 'Wild Bill Hickok' (Jeff Corey)
However gunfighting wasn't really for him so he got himself married to 'Olga' (Kelly Jean Peters) and start up a business,
again only a short interlude in his life in truth, he followed advice and headed West though on that trip 'Olga' is taken by
Indians during an attack.
When searching for his wife he again meets up with the 'Cheyenne'' he'd been brought up by, he again becomes separated
from them during an attack on their village by the Blue-Coats.
His brief spell serving with 'General Custer' (Richard Mulligan) followed though he would again link up with the 'Cheyenne'
and be accepted again as a son by 'Old Lodge Skins' (Chief Dan George) and become husband to 'Sunshine' (Amy Eccles)
His story though not yet done will lead him to bearing witness to 'Custer's Last Stand'
A tale tinged with much humour though reflecting the horror of the merciless attacks upon defenceless Indian Villages by
the likes of 'General Custer' and his Blue-Coats, life among the Indians, and his tales of when living among the Whites'
Worth a first Watch or indeed a Re-visit.
A good Blu-Ray Upgrade of this 1970 Wild-West Gem.
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