They Died with Their Boots On

Synopsis: A highly fictionalized account of the life of George Armstrong Custer from his arrival at West Point in 1857 to his death at the battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876. He has little discipline at the academy but is prepared to stand up to the senior cadet, Ned Sharp, who makes his life miserable. While there he catches the eye of the commandant, Col. (later General) Phil Sheridan and also meets his future bride, Elizabeth Bacon. Graduating early due to the Civil War, it is only through a chance meeting with General Winfield Scott that he finally gets assigned to a cavalry regiment. He served with distinction during the war and when he is promoted to Brigadier General in error, he leads his troops in a decisive victory. He has little to do after the war turning down lucrative positions in private industry and it's his wife who arranges with Gen. Scott for him to be appointed a Lt. Colonel and given command of the 7th Cavalry. He is depicted as a friend of the Indians who will fight for
Director(s): Raoul Walsh
Rotten Tomatoes:
140 min

We're new cadets, sir.

You're not cadets, and I'm not "sir."

Pull in your chin!

Stand at attention when you speak

to a noncommissioned officer!

- Brown.

- Yes, sergeant.

March these plebes to the office

for enrollment.

Yes, sergeant.

Detachment, forward march!

Keep those heads up!

Look to your fronts!

Pull in your chin!

Plebes, halt!

- New set of generals, captain?

- They're in the Army now, colonel.

- Fine-looking mess of manhood.

- About face!

Right face!

Right face! Keep those heads up.



Forward and to double time, march!

Get those heads up. Pep it up there!

Pep it up!

Get your heads up!

- You're pretty fresh for a cadet, Sharp.

- Maybe I can afford to be, sergeant.

One day, you're gonna trip up

the wrong lad...

...find yourself on your face.

Your old man's money won't help.

That's the trouble with the Army...

...makes no distinctions.

- No.

You're all alike here.

We don't say, "Welcome to West Point,"

turn out a guard in honor of any cadet.

Here's somebody you'll turn out a guard

for. Must be a brigadier general, at least.

Some foreigner calling

on the commandant.

Turn out the guard. General officer.

- Turn out the guard, general officer!

- Fall in!

Present arms!

Order arms!

Welcome to West Point.

May I direct you to the commandant?

Yes, if he's the proper person

for me to see.

I'm Mr. Custer. George Armstrong Custer

of Monroe, Michigan.

I've been appointed to the academy

as a cadet.

Welcome to West Point.

- Nice work, sarge.

- Dismiss the guard!

- What are you waiting for? Take charge.

- I'll show you to your quarters.

- Will you follow me?

- What about these hounds?

Oh, don't worry about them.

They'll follow me.

Unleash them, boy.

And here's a dollar for yourself.

Thank you, sir.

Well. I've done four hitches in the U.S.

Cavalry. I thought I'd seen everything.

But if that isn't the stra...

- You favor cavalier boots, I see.

- I'm going into the Cavalry.

An infantryman's no better

than a beast of burden.

You have definite ideas, Mr. Custer.

What made you honor the Army

by choosing it?

Glory, Mr. Sharp, glory.

I wanna leave a name behind

the nation will honor.

There's many more statues for soldiers

than civilians.

I'm sure you'll fit right in

with the statues...

...just like part of the horse.

Well, here we are, Mr. Custer.

Orderlies haven't moved Pinchbelly's

things yet.

But don't you worry, Mr. Custer,

we'll fix that right away.

- Will you give me a hand with this junk?

- Oh, certainly, Mr. Sharp.

I trust I'm not inconveniencing anybody.

Oh, no, no. On the contrary,

it's you who have been inconvenienced.

Not at all.

Well, I hope you'll be comfortable here.

- A first-year man, you don't rate a suite.

- No, of course not.

Well, confidentially, Mr. Sharp...

...these quarters are better than those

I'm accustomed to.

Oh, is that so?

My, that's a dashing-looking outfit

you're wearing, Mr. Custer.

Oh, thank you, Mr. Sharp.

Yes, we've nothing

to compare with it here.

No? Had it tailor-made in Monroe.

Wanted the folks to see me in uniform.

- Did you design it yourself, Mr. Custer?

- No, but if you've a moment...

...I'll show you where I got the idea.

- Oh, certainly.


One of the greatest heroes

who ever lived, Mr. Sharp.

Murat, the king of cavalrymen.

He was known as the Thunderbolt,

and his one tactic was:

Ride to the sound of the guns.

I must get myself a tiger skin

as soon as possible.

- Quite a fellow.

- Oh, yes.

Well, I must be running.

I'm sorry, we can't make arrangements

for the dogs until tomorrow.

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Wally Kline


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "They Died with Their Boots On" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 Dec. 2021. <>.

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