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Encyclopedia > Cultural depictions of George Armstrong Custer

George Armstrong Custer (1839 – 1876) was a United States Army cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. He was defeated and killed by the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Custer redirects here. ... Combatants Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho United States Commanders Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse George A. Custer â€ , Marcus Reno, Frederick Benteen, James Calhoun â€  Strength 949 lodges (probably 950-1,200 warriors) 31 officers, 566 troopers, 15 armed civilians, ~35-40 scouts Casualties At least 54 killed, ~168 wounded (according to Sitting Bull...

Contents

Films

Custer has been played in motion pictures by Francis Ford (1912 twice), Ned Finley (1916), Dustin Farnum (1926), John Beck (1926), Clay Clement (1933). John Miljan (1936), Frank McGlynn (1936), Paul Kelly (1940), Addison Richards (1940), Ronald Reagan (1940), Errol Flynn (1941), James Millican (1942), Sheb Wooley (1952), Douglas Kennedy (1954), Britt Lomond (1958), Philip Carey (1965), Leslie Nielsen (1966), Robert Shaw (1967), Wayne Maunder (1967 & 1990), Richard Mulligan (1970), Marcello Mastroianni (1974), Ken Howard (1977), James Olson (1977), Gary Cole (1991), Josh Lucas (1993), Peter Horton (1996) and William Shockley (1997). Francis Ford (August 14, 1881 - September 5, 1953) a prolific film actor, writer, and director. ... Born: 27 May 1874 Hampton Beach, New Hampshire-Died 3 July 1929 New York, NY. Career US motion picture actor who made forty-one silent movies in his career. ... John Beck is the name of: Welcome! Over the past 30 years I have traveled all over the United States and Canada researching and buying, acreage, houses and even commercial properties using my “Amazing Profits, Free and Clear” system. ... John Miljan (9 November 1892 – 24 January 1960), was an American actor. ... Paul Kelly may refer to: Paul Kelly (musician), (born 1955) Australian musician Paul Kelly (journalist) (born 1947), Australian journalist Paul Kelly (footballer) (born 1969), Australian footballer Paul Kelly (actor) (1899-1956) Paul Kelly (criminal) (c. ... Addison Richards (20 October 1887 – 22 March 1964), was an American film actor. ... Reagan redirects here. ... Errol Leslie Thomson Flynn (June 20, 1909 – October 14, 1959) was an Australian film actor, most famous for his romantic swashbuckler roles in Hollywood films and his flamboyant lifestyle. ... Shelby F. Sheb Wooley (April 10, 1921 - September 17, 2003) was a character actor and singer, best known for his 1958 novelty hit Purple People Eater. Wooley was born in Erick, Oklahoma and grew up on a farm. ... Robert Douglas Kennedy (June 15, 1916— May 2003) was a politician in Ontario, Canada. ... Phillip Carey, in a still from One Life to Live. ... Leslie William Nielsen OC (born February 11, 1926) is a Canadian born American comedian and actor. ... Robert Shaw may mean: Robert Shaw (footballer) Robert Shaw (actor) This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... Richard Mulligan (November 13, 1932 - September 26, 2000) was an American television and film actor whose career spanned 34 years. ... Marcello Mastroianni in 1958 Marcello Vincenzo Domenico Mastroianni (September 28, 1924 – December 19, 1996) was an Italian film actor. ... For the British artist, see Ken Howard (artist). ... James Olson (born October 8, 1930) is an American actor from Evanston, Illinois and graduate of Northwestern University who did stage work in and around Chicago before his 1956 film debut in From that point, he continued to appear in numerous film and television productions all the way through the... Gary Cole (born September 20, 1956) is an American actor, known for numerous roles, including the television series Fatal Vision, The West Wing, Midnight Caller, American Gothic, Wanted and Crusade, and the films Office Space, In the Line of Fire, Kiss the Sky, Dodgeball, The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very... Lucas on board Naval Air Station North Island July 17, 2005 Josh Lucas (born Joshua Lucas Easy Dent Maurer[1] on 20 June 1971) is an American actor. ... Peter Horton (born August 20, 1953) is an American actor and director. ... William Shockley is an actor and musician from Lawrence, Kansas, USA. Born September 17, 1963, Shockley found his love for music at the age of 7. ...

  • They Died with Their Boots On, a 1941 film starring Errol Flynn. Made as World War II was looming, it is a heart-tugging morale-booster that presents frontier history in a sometimes incredibly idealized light.
  • In the 1967 movie Custer of the West, Robert Shaw depicts Custer as an Indian sympathizer, having disagreements with his superiors about fighting the Indians, but duty bound as an officer of the U.S. Cavalry to enforce orders given to him.
  • Custer (played by Richard Mulligan) was a major character in the 1970 film Little Big Man. Dustin Hoffman's character in the film has many encounters with him and in the end, Hoffman's character claims he is responsible for Custer's death at Little Big Horn. Custer is depicted as an insane megalomaniac.
  • Custer was played by Andrew Garringer (in a walk-on role) in the TV miniseries "North & South" (1986).
  • Custer was portrayed by Jonathan Scharfe on the mini-series Into the West (2005).

Fictional Portrayals Errol Flynn portrays George Armstrong Custer in the 1941 Warner Brothers film They Died With Their Boots On. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Time Tunnel is a 1966-1967 U.S. color science fiction TV series. ... Joe Maross (born February 7, 1923 in Barnesboro, Pennsylvania) is an American actor who appeared in movies and made guest appearances on many television series from the 1950s to the 1980s. ... Custer of the West was a 1968 Western film about the life and death of George Armstrong Custer. ... Robert Shaw may mean: Robert Shaw (footballer) Robert Shaw (actor) This is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... Richard Mulligan (November 13, 1932 - September 26, 2000) was an American television and film actor whose career spanned 34 years. ... Little Big Man is a 1970 film directed by Arthur Penn and based on the 1964 novel by Thomas Berger. ... Dustin Lee Hoffman (born August 8, 1937) is a two-time Academy Award-winning, BAFTA-winning, and five-time Golden Globe-winning American method actor. ... Look up megalomania in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Gary Cole (born September 20, 1956) is an American actor, known for numerous roles, including the television series Fatal Vision, The West Wing, Midnight Caller, American Gothic, Wanted and Crusade, and the films Office Space, In the Line of Fire, Kiss the Sky, Dodgeball, The Brady Bunch Movie, A Very... Son of the Morning Star is a 1984 book, a 1991 television film based on the book, and a 2007 feature film also based on the book. ... Into the West Into the West is a 2005 miniseries produced by Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks, with six episodes of two hours each (including commercials). ...


A number of Westerns have featured characters that, while not specifically Custer, are very closely based on his character. Some of the more noteworthy examples:

  • Fort Apache (1948, John Ford) featured Henry Fonda as Colonel Owen Thursday, a West Point-educated cavalryman who provokes a war with the Apache Indian chief Cochise and is killed in a suicidal charge and last stand, a la Custer. Similarities between Thursday and Custer include the following (a)Thursday is presented as having been a heroic Civil War cavalry leader (he is presented as genuinely talented - cf his ambush of the first Apache band, which is effective though takes unacceptable risks with his men's lives - but it is also suggested that his image is partly a matter of chance - being in the right place at the right time, while another officer who was late by chance is falsely accused of cowardice)(b) He is strongly concerned with self-promotion and getting a good press from Eastern newspapers (c) In the run-up to the battle with Cochise's Apaches he suggests dividing his forces to attack the main Indiasn encampment from two sides - as Custer did at Little Big Horn (d)His disastrous final battle features an attack which is repelled by Indian defenders, after which a remnant of the attackers occupies a circular defensive position but is overwhelmed and killed to the last man; a reserve unit survives in a defensive position on a ridge some distance from the main battlefield.
 Significant differences: Thursday is a widower with one daughter, whereas Custer was married but had no children with hsi wife. Thursday has no experience as an Indian fighter whereas Custer had take part in other Indian campaigns before the Little Big Horn. 
  • Major Dundee (1965, Sam Peckinpah) had Charlton Heston playing the main character, a cavalry officer who leads an illegal raid into Mexico in pursuit of a gang of renegade Apaches during the Civil War. The screenwriters - and Heston - based the portrayal of the character on historical accounts of Custer's personality.
  • The Glory Guys (1965, Arnold Laven) saw Andrew Duggan playing General Frederick McCabe, a US cavalry officer who leads his outfit in yet another suicidal campaign against the Apaches.
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002, Kelly Asbury/Lorna Cook), an animated film, features a story told from the perspective of a wild horse living on the American Frontier in the late 19th century. One of the major characters in the film, a U.S. Army officer known only as "the Colonel," is apparently based on Custer.

Mentions Fort Apache is a 1948 western film starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford. ... For other persons named John Ford, see John Ford (disambiguation). ... Henry Jaynes Fonda (May 16, 1905 – August 12, 1982) was a highly acclaimed Academy Award-winning American film and stage actor, best known for his roles as plain-speaking idealists. ... For other uses, see Apache (disambiguation). ... Dragoon Mountains where Cochise hid with his warriors Cochise (Kuu-chish = firewood) (c. ... Major Dundee was a 1965 Western film written by Harry Julian Fink and directed by Sam Peckinpah. ... David Samuel Sam Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984) was an American film director who achieved iconic status following the release of his 1969 Western epic The Wild Bunch. ... This article contains a trivia section. ... Levy-Gardner-Laven Productions was an American film production company based in Beverly Hills, California. ... Andrew Duggan (1923-1988) was a tall and authoritative character actor who appeared in 70 movies and over 140 television shows between 1949 and 1987. ... Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron is an animated film released in 2002 by Dreamworks Pictures. ...

  • Custer was also mentioned in We Were Soldiers, the film starring Mel Gibson in which a battalion of the 7th Cavalry (now Air Cavalry) is engaged in a battle with the North Vietnamese.
  • The Searchers has a deleted sequence which featured a Custer-like character leading the raid on the Comanche village where Ethan and Martin discover the body of Look.
  • Custer was mentioned, often in less than elogious terms, by Jane Cannary in HBO's Deadwood.

The Last Samurai is an action/drama film written by John Logan and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz based on a story by Logan. ... We Were Soldiers is a 2002 war film that dramatized the Battle of Ia Drang, the first major engagement of American troops in the Vietnam War. ... Air cavalry are infantry units that use air units like the helicopter for mobility and firepower. ... The Searchers may refer to: The Searchers – a 1956 epic Western movie The Searchers – a 1960s British rock band This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... For other uses, see Comanche (disambiguation). ... Deadwood is an American television drama series that premiered in March 2004 on HBO. The series is a Western set in the 1870s in Deadwood, Dakota Territory. ...

Literature

Flashman and the Redskins is a 1982 novel by George MacDonald Fraser. ... George MacDonald Fraser, OBE (born 2 April 1926 in Carlisle) is a British author of both historical novels and non-fiction books. ... “Flashman” redirects here. ...

Alternate history

The larger than life nature of Custer's life has made him a popular subject for several alternate history stories. Alternate history (fiction) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...

  • In The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer a Novel by Douglas C. Jones is set in an alternate history that takes as its point of departure that George Armstrong Custer did not die at the Battle of Little Bighorn. Suppose that, instead, he was found close to death at the scene of the defeat and was brought to trial for his actions. Blending fact and fiction, The Court-Martial of George Armstrong Custer tells us what might have happened at that trial as it brings to life the most exciting period in the history of the American West. It was made into a TV movie in 1977 with James Olson as Custer and Blythe Danner as his wife Libbie.
  • The short story Custer's Last Jump by Howard Waldrop and Steven Utley is set in an alternate history that takes as its point of departure the use of aircraft in the American Civil War.
  • In Harry Turtledove's Timeline-191 alternate history novels, Custer was not killed at the Little Bighorn, and became a Colonel in Kansas by 1881, chasing Indians and then doing battle with rebel Mormons in Utah Territory and an Anglo-Canadian column invading Montana in the Second Mexican War, becoming a war hero. In World War I, he led a tank offensive that crushed the Confederate States of America, and later became Governor-General of occupied Canada, dying of old age in early 1930.
  • Wes Anderson satirizes such portrayals of Custer-as-survivor in his film The Royal Tenenbaums, in which the character Eli Cash writes a book called “Old Custer".
  • In the collection of short alternate history stories Drakas!, Custer, the famed Yankee general known for "Custer's Last Stand" became persona non grata after refusing to lead troops against apparently overwhelming Indian forces. Drummed out of the military in America, he responded to the invitation of an old associate to go to Africa where the Draka empire was looking for experienced field officers.
  • In Percival Everett's novel God's Country, Custer is portrayed as a cross-dressing homosexual who eats raw meat.

James Olson (born October 8, 1930) is an American actor from Evanston, Illinois and graduate of Northwestern University who did stage work in and around Chicago before his 1956 film debut in From that point, he continued to appear in numerous film and television productions all the way through the... Blythe Katherine Danner (born February 3, 1943) is a prolific two time Emmy-winning American actress who has appeared in numerous stage, screen, and film roles. ... Howard Waldrop (born September 15, 1946) in Houston, Mississippi, and got his degree from the University of Texas. ... Steven Utley (b. ... Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949) is an American historian and prolific novelist who has written historical fiction, fantasy, and science fiction works. ... Timeline-191 is a fan name given to a series of Harry Turtledove alternate history novels. ... The term Mormon is a colloquial name, most-often used to refer to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). ... Official language(s) English Capital Helena Largest city Billings Area  Ranked 4th  - Total 147,165 sq mi (381,156 km²)  - Width 255 miles (410 km)  - Length 630 miles (1,015 km)  - % water 1  - Latitude 44°26N to 49°N  - Longitude 104°2W to 116°2W Population  Ranked... Combatants United States of America Confederate States of America United Kingdom France Mormon Rebels Commanders James G. Blaine William Rosecrans John Pope Theodore Roosevelt George A. Custer Orlando Willcox James Longstreet Stonewall Jackson Jeb Stuart E. Porter Alexander In Harry Turtledoves fictional alternate history book How Few Remain, The... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... Governor-General (or Governor General) is a term used both historically and currently to designate the appointed representative of a head of state or their government for a particular territory, historically in a colonial context, but no longer necessarily in that form. ... Wesley Wales Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American writer, producer, and director of films and commercials. ... 1867 edition of the satirical magazine Punch, a British satirical magazine, ground-breaking on popular literature satire. ... The Royal Tenenbaums is the 2001 dramatic comedy about three genius siblings who experience great success in youth, and even greater disappointment and failure after their eccentric father leaves them in their adolescent years. ... Stephen Michael Stirling is an American science fiction and fantasy author. ... The Draka world in 1942 The Draka world in 1948 The Draka are the main villains/heroes in S. M. Stirlings Domination trilogy (depending on ones point of view). ... Percival Everett (born 1956) is an American writer and Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California. ...

Music

  • The first and probably best-known Custer pop song was Mister Custer ("Please Mister Custer, I don't wanna go"), a Billboard #1 novelty hit of 1960 for performer Larry Verne, in which "a voice from the rear" of the Seventh Cavalry charge asks "What'm I doing here?" and "Mind if I be excused the rest of the afternoon?" Words and Music by Fred Darian, Al DeLory, and Joe Van Winkle. In the UK, it was successfully covered by Charlie Drake.
  • Custer is prominently featured in Johnny Horton's 1960 song "Jim Bridger": "He spoke with General Custer and said 'Listen Yellow Hair/'The Sioux are a great nation, so treat 'em fair and square/'Sit in on their war council, don't laugh away their pride'/But Custer didn't listen, and at Little Big Horn Custer died."
  • Experimental-pop group Perky Custer derived their name from General George Custer and a generic version of Dr Pepper.
  • Influential American punk/alternative band The Minutemen mocked Custer's defeat and questioned the dignity - or lack thereof - in which he died during the Battle of the Little Bighorn, on the title track of their 1981 LP The Punch Line: "I believe when they found the body of General George A. Custer/Quilled like a porcupine with Indian arrows/He didn't die with any honor, dignity, or valor/I believe when they found the body of George A. Custer/American general, patriot, and Indian fighter/That he died with shit in his pants."
  • In The Arrogant Worms's song, History is Made By Stupid People, he is mocked by the line "General Custer's a national hero, for not knowing when to run."
  • On his 1996 album Cowboy Celtic, Canadian singer David Wilkie sang "Custer Died A-Runnin'".
  • On Johnny Cash's 1964 album 'Bitter Tears', the song 'Custer' had lines such as "General George A.Custer, oh, his yellow hair had lustre, But the General he don't ride well anymore, For now the General's silent he got barbered violent...".
  • A 1991 album, Blazon Stone, by the German Heavy Metal band Running Wild, includes a song about Custer's final battle called Little Big Horn. It starts with the words "Hey Mr. Custer, why did you dare the hand of fate?"
  • In the 1997 song 'Banner Year' ska band Five Iron Frenzy blames the death of Black Kettle, at the Battle of Washita, on Custer. "Where Custer shot and killed Black Kettle."
  • The rapper Nelly mentioned Custer in his song "Heart of a Champion" off his 2004 album Sweat. The exact lyric was: "My last stance be a stance of a General Custer, I hot dog cause I can, I got the cheese and mustard."
  • Custer is one of only two Army officers to be referenced in the army song (the other is George Patton).

This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Charlie Drake (born Charles Edward Springall, on 19 June 1925, in South London) is an English comedian, actor, writer and singer. ... Johnny Horton (April 30, 1925 – November 4, 1960) was an American country music singer who was most famous for his semi-folk, so-called saga songs. With them, he had several major crossover hits, most notably in 1959 with The Battle of New Orleans which won the 1960 Grammy Award... Jim Bridger Jim Bridger (right) is honored along with Pony Express founder Alexander Majors (left) and Kansas City founder John Calvin McCoy at Pioneer Square in Westport in Kansas City. ... For the alcoholic cocktail said to taste the same, see Flaming Dr. Pepper. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... Alternative music redirects here. ... The Minutemen were a punk rock band from San Pedro, California comprising singer/guitarist D. Boon, singer/bassist Mike Watt and drummer George Hurley. ... See also: Musical groups established in 1981 Record labels established in 1981 list of years in music // January 10 - Revival of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Pirates of Penzance opens at Broadways Uris Theatre, starring Linda Ronstadt and Rex Smith February 14 - Billy Idol leaves the band Generation... The Punch Line is the first full-length album and third record release by influential punk/alternative trio The Minutemen, and the fourth-ever release from SST Records. ... This article is about the rodent mammal. ... Traditional target arrow and replica medieval arrow. ... The Arrogant Worms are a Canadian musical comedy trio that parodies many musical genres. ... For the song of the same name, recorded by Tracy Byrd and later by Jason Aldean, see Johnny Cash (song). ... Blazon Stone is a 6th album by German band Running Wild. ... Heavy metals, in chemistry, are chemical elements of a particular range of atomic weights. ... Running Wild is one of a few German heavy metal bands to emerge in the early/mid 1980s (along with Helloween, Gamma Ray, Rage, Blind Guardian, Grave Digger, etc). ... For other uses, see SKA (disambiguation). ... Five Iron Frenzy (also known as Five Iron or FIF) was a ska band formed in Denver, Colorado in 1995 and disbanded in 2003. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Cornell Iral Haynes, Jr. ... SWEAT is an OLN/TSN show hosted by Julie Zwillich that aired in 2003-2004. ... The song was originally written by field artillery First Lieutenant (later Brigadier General) Edmund L. Gruber, while stationed in the Philippines in 1908 as the Caisson Song. ... General George Smith Patton Jr. ...

Video Games

  • A controversial adult video game known as Custer's Revenge was published for the Atari 2600. This game consisted of Custer moving from the left hand side of the screen to the right hand side of the screen through a barrage of arrows emerging from the top of the screen. Once Custer reaches the right hand side of the screen he sexually assaults a Native American woman who is tied to a cactus.
  • In the Age of Empires III: The War Chiefs, Custer makes an appearance, but is seen as a stuborn leader and declares war on the Sioux.

 
 

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