Little Big Man (1970)

little_big_man

The last survivor of the battle of Little Big Horn reminisces about his life in this offbeat comic western starring Dustin Hoffman.

The film obviously belongs to Hoffman himself as the entire story revolves around he and his life and he makes for an engagingly bemused anti-hero as he witnesses the atrocities and hypocrisies of the changing face of the old west; but what gives it real character is the supporting cast of oddballs who flit in and out of his sphere. These include yet another hilarious and charming performance from Chief Dan George as his adopted grandfather, a smouldering Faye Dunaway as the western equivalent of Mrs. Robinson and Richard Mulligan who plays Custer as a self-obsessed, pompous boob. It’s very much a film of its time, sharing much of the flavour of anti-establishment fiction of the era and employs sly wit and gentle humour rather than the sentimentality and melodrama of the likes of Dances With Wolves in its depiction of the appalling mistreatment of the Native American population.

Little Big Man is certainly one of the strangest westerns you’ll ever see, as well as one of the most interesting and fun.

7/10

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