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Little Big Man (1970)

1 rating: 3.0
Westerns movie directed by Arthur Penn

Jack Crabb is the only white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn and the centenarian shares his story in this picaresque fable of the Old West. In Arthur Penn's adaptation of Thomas Berger's novel, Dustin Hoffman plays Jack from teen years into … see full wiki

Tags: Movie
Director: Arthur Penn
1 review about Little Big Man (1970)

The West was a small place.

  • Feb 6, 2008
Rating:
+3
Comedy.... Action.... Drama.... War... and Romance is another great combination in a film top with serious issues. "Little Big Man" starts you off in 1970, with a reporter interviewing Mr. Crabb (Dustin Hoffman, in one of his great performances), the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn, a wrinkled visage who is 121 years old at the time of the interview. In the course of his tall tale about the taming of the west, he recounts his career as a Cheyenne Indian, a bible thumper, a snake-oil salesman, a gunfighter, a drunk, and just about everything else one could be in those days. Since he was a white man raised by the Cheyenne, and spoke both languages fluently, he moved back and forth between the two worlds.

His story is great when it is being funny. I laughed at the sight of Dustin Hoffman dressed as a gunfighter. He really was the fastest gun in the West, and also the surest shot. Only one little thing kept him from achieving gunfighter immortality. He didn't like shooting at any living things.

Thankfully this was produced before the forces of political correctness could bowdlerize it. Today this would be watered down to avoid the epithets and stereotypes that add color and authenticity to this wonderful film. It is a obvious precursor to `Dances With Wolves', but also to a movie where the influence is less patent like `Forrest Gump' where famous persons are infused into a historical comic-drama. Numerous interesting characters infuse the picture: the epicene (though lustful) sister, the wise, yet pixilated Indian grandfather (played brilliantly by Chief Dan George), the unconscionable General Custer, the libertine Mrs. Pendrake (Faye Dunaway) and of course Dustin Hoffman's own character.

A funny and sad study of a wild time in history mixed with modern sentiments. A tall tale that resonates with truth.

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"The West was a small place."
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