5.8/10
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39 user 11 critic

Custer of the West (1967)

George Armstrong Custer's love of the heroic traditions of the Calvary and his distaste with the coming of industrialization leads him to his destiny at the Little Big Horn.

Director:

Robert Siodmak
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Shaw ... Gen. George Armstrong Custer
Mary Ure ... Elizabeth Custer
Ty Hardin ... Maj. Marcus Reno
Jeffrey Hunter ... Capt. Benteen
Lawrence Tierney ... Gen. Philip Sheridan
Marc Lawrence ... Gold Miner
Kieron Moore ... Chief Dull Knife
Charles Stalmaker Charles Stalmaker ... Lt. Howells (as Charles Stalnaker)
Robert Hall Robert Hall ... Sgt. Buckley
Jack Gaskins Jack Gaskins
Jack Taylor
John Clark John Clark ... Fort Doctor
Fred Kohler Jr. ... (as Fred Kohler)
Bill Christmas Bill Christmas
Luis Rivera Luis Rivera ... Indian Scout
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Storyline

The story of U.S. Army commander George Armstrong Custer, a flamboyant hero of the Civil War who later fought and was exterminated with his entire command by warring Sioux and Cheyenne tribes at the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A man too big for legend - A motion picture too big for any screen except CINERAMA [UK theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Spain | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 January 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Custer See more »

Filming Locations:

Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Swedish press at the time of the films TV premiere, the flume ride sequence was filmed in Sweden rather than - as originally considered - Canada. A trip across the Atlantic was too expensive. See more »

Goofs

Custer tells all his men that they are going to do some exercising. When he tells them, every soldier is wearing a yellow scarf around his neck. A second later, the men are running and none is wearing a scarf. See more »

Quotes

Gen. George Armstrong Custer: I'll make it very simple for you. The fact that we seem to be pushing you clear off the earth is not my responsibility. The problem is precisely the same as when you Cheyenne decided to take another tribe's hunting ground. You didn't ask them about their rights. You didn't care if they had been there a thousand years. You just had more men and more horses. You destroyed them in battle. You took what you wanted, and right or wrong, for better or worse, that is the way things seem to get done. ...
[...]
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Alternate Versions

The MGM DVD of "Custer of the West" released in 2004 runs 141 minutes. Older editions of the 86 minute version are now out-of-print. See more »

Connections

Featured in I Am Not Your Negro (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

MAXWELL HOUSE
Music by Bernardo Segall (as Bernardo Segáll
Lyrics by Will Holt
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User Reviews

 
Custer deserves a more colorful script...and a better Custer...
22 January 2007 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Handsome but dull western (courtesy of Spanish landscapes) to depict Custer on a mission to steal land from the Indians. A blond ROBERT SHAW looks convincing enough on horseback but something about his accent seems wrong and charisma is lacking. The Indians look more European than like American Indians and too many of the action scenes are slow paced and repetitive as Custer and his men go on various missions.

MARY URE as his wife, Libby, has little to do but register impatience with being kept in the background between battles with long waits before she shares the screen with real-life hubby, ROBERT SHAW. A more mature looking JEFFREY HUNTER (sporting gray hairs) is Will Benteen, one of Custer's more loyal officers.

The mountainous plains in Spain are no substitute for our standard glimpses of John Ford territory with not a single shot looking as though photographed in the American West. But it's the dull storyline that defeats the movie from ever becoming anything more than a series of handsomely photographed outdoor sequences. A surprise Indian attack by the Cheyennes on an Indepdence Day Celebration is one of the more colorful moments and triggers Custer's determination to fight the redskins, no matter that they greatly outnumber his men.

Nothing in Shaw's performance suggests the color and vigor of Custer's bigger than life personality nor does the screenplay do any real justice to the man or the myth. As storytelling goes, the first half of the film manages to be just plain dull and the film only picks up speed as it nears the climactic fight at Little Big Horn.

Battle skirmishes with Indians are, on the whole, well staged and full of furious gunsmoke and flying arrows--but the big set piece is saved, of course, for the finale which comes too late to save the first half of the film from the doldrums. One is left with the impression that some inventive fictionalizing would have helped (as it did with THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON).

Summing up: A very miscast Shaw plays Custer as a snarling villain who barks orders and the story has a plodding script. Could have been much more impressive if filmed in the U.S. on more realistic locales with more accurate casting. A cameo by ROBERT RYAN is no help at all.


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