Directed by: Arthur Penn
Genre: Western, Action & Adventure
Runtime: 140 Minutes
On the huge journey the film sets you on, you get a glimpse into the history of native Indians and the war of Little Big Horn. Dustin Hoffman plays Little Big Man (also known as Jack Crabb) who journeys from being a white American, to being raised by Indians. Once he reaches his adolescent and adult years, Jack begins to start swapping between the white man’s culture and the Indian’s ways. That is probably the fascinating and epic appeal to the film because of how this man has been apart of both ethnicities during his time before the battle.
With Jack narrating as a 121 year-old sole white survivor of ‘Little Big Horn’, his life experiences leading up to the battle are extraordinary and quite adventurous. Crabb meets many people. Marriages, friends and enemies come and go throughout as Jack follows the two groups- the Indians and the white men. He meets many people, loses many and bumps into people from the past. Jack’s sister Caroline leaves when Jack is just 10 years old and later they bump into one another. One of the most re-occurring people in the film is Old Lodge Skins the philosophical chief whose whimsy has us all enthused.
The performances were brilliant, and that goes for Dustin Hoffman especially. Aside Hoffman was Faye Dunaway and Chief Dan George, both of which being long-time characters in the film. With Dan George being Chief Lodge Skins, his whimsical sayings and premonitions makes him an excellent supporting character. Dunaway playing Miss Pendrake was another fine role. The seemingly innocent Pendrake is also seen in many parts of the film and plays as another great supporting character.
The direction was marvellous from Arthur Penn and the film unfolds like a magnificent historical film. I may not be an expert on history, but I know a thing or two about the battle of little big horn. A few of the things that lead up to this battle show the corruption and the bloody results of American Imperialism. This review could be longer but I will simply say the story is extraordinary, well directed and has a philosophical magic that holds your attention from beginning to end.
My Rating: 8/10