Little Big Man

Synopsis: Jack Crabb is 121 years old as the film begins. A collector of oral histories asks him about his past. He recounts being captured and raised by indians, becoming a gunslinger, marrying an indian, watching her killed by General George Armstrong Custer, and becoming a scout for him at Little Big Horn.
Director(s): Arthur Penn
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
139 min

I am, beyond a doubt,

the last of the old-timers.

My name is Jack Crabb.

And I am the sole white survivor

of the Battle

of Little Big Horn...

uh... uh...

popularly known

as Custer's Last Stand.


Mr. Crabb, I'm more interested

in the primitive lifestyle

of the Plains Indian

than I am in the...

tall tales about Custer.

Tall tales?!

Are you calling me a liar?

- No, no...

- Huh?

No, it's just that...

I'm interested

in the way of life

of the Indian rather than,

shall we say, adventure.

You think the Battle of Little

Big Horn was... was a...

...was an adventure?

Oh, shit.

Little Big Horn was not

representative of...

encounters between Whites

and Indians, Mr. Crabb.

You see the...

near genocide of the Indian...

The... the... the near what?!

Near genocide.

It means:

the killing off

of an entire people. "

That's practically

what we did to the Indian.

But of course, I wouldn't expect

an old Indian fighter like you

to agree with me.

Turn that thing on.

I beg your pardon?

I said, turn that thing on

and shut up.

Now you just set there,

and you'll learn something.

I knowed General

George Armstrong Custer

for what he was.

And I also knowed the Indians...

for what they was.

when I was ten years old,

my family...

in crossin' the Great Plains...

was wiped out

by a band of wild Indians.

Everybody was killed or drug off

by them murderin' varmints,

except me

and my sister Caroline.

Good-bye, Jack.

I'll see you in heaven.

Good-bye, Caroline.

We didn't know

the difference then,

but it was a band of Pawnee

what attacked us before.

I ain't had no use for Pawnee

ever since.

But this one wasn't a Pawnee.

He was a Cheyenne brave.

I later got to know him well.

His name was

Shadow That Comes In Sight.

At first sight

of an Indian camp,

what you think is, "I see

their dump, where's the camp?"

He brought us to their chief.

His name was Old Lodge Skins,

who later become my granddaddy.

What do they want, Caroline?

It's as plain as day

what they want, Jack.



To show good manners,

Old Lodge Skins smoked

with our oldest male survivor.

They didn't know I was a woman.

That explains why

they didn't rape me right off.

I don't think they're gonna

bother you, Caroline.

No such luck, Jack.

They'll get me tonight,

for sure.

Poor Caroline never did

have no luck with men.

I reckoned she figured

we both couldn't get away,

and she'd send help back

to rescue me.

Next morning, I found myself

in that Indian camp all alone.

But the Cheyenne, who call

themselves the "Human Beings,"

had no idea to hurt me.

I was an honored guest,

and they gave me a real treat

for breakfast:
Boiled dog.

Dog ain't bad, neither.

Now dog is greasy, I'll admit,

but you'd be surprised

how downright delicate

the flavor is,

especially when you're starving.

You see, the Human Beings

adopted me as one of their own.

Shadow That Comes In Sight

taught me the bow and arrow

and how to stalk game.

Burns Red In The Sun

showed me how to protect

my pale skin from sunburn.

It's a little known fact that

some Indians, like Burns Red,

will sunburn their own selves.

But my real teacher

was my adopted grandpa,

Old Lodge Skins.

He taught me to read a trail,

the Cheyenne language,

and lots of other things.

For a boy,

it was a kind of paradise.

I wasn't just playing Indian,

I was living Indian.

Only one thing bothered me.

I was small for my years.

In fact, a durn near runt.

The Pawnee stole

seven of our ponies.

There's gonna be a war party.

But you can't go.

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Calder Willingham

Calder Baynard Willingham, Jr. (December 23, 1922 – February 19, 1995) was an American novelist and screenwriter. Before the age of thirty, after just three novels and a collection of short stories, The New Yorker was already describing Willingham as having “fathered modern black comedy,” his signature a dry, straight-faced humor, made funnier by its concealed comic intent. His work matured over six more novels, including Eternal Fire (1963), which Newsweek said “deserves a place among the dozen or so novels that must be mentioned if one is to speak of greatness in American fiction.” He had a significant career in cinema, too, with screenplay credits that include Paths of Glory (1957), The Graduate (1967) and Little Big Man (1970). more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Little Big Man" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 19 Apr. 2021. <>.

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