Share

Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Little Big Man Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Recounting how the West was won through the eyes of a white man raised as a Native American, Arthur Penn's 1970 adaptation of Thomas Berger's satirical novel was a comic yet stinging allegory about the bloody results of American imperialism. As a misguided 20th-century historian listens, 121-year-old Jack Crabb (Dustin Hoffman) narrates the story of being the only white survivor of Custer's Last Stand. White orphan Crabb was adopted by the Cheyenne, renamed "Little Big Man," and raised in the ways of the "Human Beings" by paternal mentor Old Lodge Skins (Chief Dan George), accepting non-conformity and living peacefully with nature. Violently thrust into the white world, Jack meets a righteous preacher (Thayer David) and his wife (Faye Dunaway), tries to be a gunfighter under the tutelage of Wild Bill Hickock (Jeff Corey), and gets married. Returned to the Cheyenne by chance, Jack prefers life as a Human Being. The carnage wreaked by the white man in the Washita massacre and the lethal fallout from the egomania of General George A. Custer (Richard Mulligan) at Little Big Horn, however, show Crabb the horrific implications of Old Lodge Skins' sage observation, "There is an endless supply of White Men, but there has always been a limited number of Human Beings." ~ Lucia Bozzola, Rovi

  • Release date:December 14, 1970

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
New York Film Critics Circle Chief Dan George Best Supporting Actor 1970 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Chief Dan George Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture 1970 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Chief Dan George Best Supporting Actor 1970 Nominee

Cast

Dustin Hoffman
as Jack Crabb
Faye Dunaway
as Mrs. Pendrake
Martin Balsam
as Merriweather
Richard Mulligan
as Gen. George A. Custer
Chief Dan George
as Old Lodge Skins
Jeff Corey
as Wild Bill Hickok
Carol Androsky
as Caroline
Cal Bellini
as Younger Bear
Ray Dimas
as Young Jack Crabb
Phil Kenneally
as Mr. Kane
Helen Verbit
as Madame
Steve Shemayne
as Burns Red In The Sun
Bert Conway
as Bartender
Jack Mullaney
as Card Player
Aimee Eccles
as Sunshine
Alan Oppenheimer
as Major
M. Emmet Walsh
as Shotgun Guard
William Hickey
as Historian
Don Brodie
as Stage Passenger
Robert Little Star
as Little Horse
Jack Bannon
as Captain
Emily Cho
as Digging Bear
Lou Cutell
as Deacon
Thayer David
as Rev. Silas Pendrake
Ruben Moreno
as Shadow that Comes at Night
Jesse Vint
as Lieutenant

Crew

Arthur Penn
Director
Arthur Penn
Producer
Gene Lasko
Producer
Thomas Berger
Book Author
Calder Willingham
Screenwriter
Harry Stradling, Jr.
Cinematographer
Richard Marks
Editor
Dede Allen
Editor
Dean Tavoularis
Production Designer
Angelo P. Graham
Production Designer
Angelo P. Graham
Art Director
George R. Nelson
Set Designer
Bud Alper
Sound/Sound Designer
Richard Portman
Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Moder
First Assistant Director
Hal Needham
Stunts
Advertisement