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They Died with Their Boots On Reviews

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Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2012
History (as specious as that is) records that U.S. President Ullysses S.Grant publically disparaged the tactics of George Armstrong Custer after the Little Big Horn and that, in reply, his wife, Elizabeth, devoted the rest of her life defending her husband. The truth is buried at the site, but Warner Bros., with Raoul Walsh at the directing helm, sides with Mrs. Custer's version of events. No matter the truth here still is exciting, stirring entertainment, and the last pairing also of the Flynn/DeHavilland team-up, one of the screen's best romantic couples.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 23, 2009
I love this classic war film, even if it is a little inaccurate. At least they didn't totally rewrite history like most Disney/Mel Gibson films!
jjnxn
jjnxn

Super Reviewer

August 6, 2007
Historical hogwash, Errol is dashing and Olivia looks lovely but that's not enough for the overlong running time
Ken S

Super Reviewer

January 22, 2008
Really interesting film based (loosely) on the life of George Armstrong Custer. It's certainly guilty of a little hero worship, but a whole lot of fun.

Trivia Tidbit: Flynn and DeHavilland's last film together.
February 2, 2011
This is a solidly written if anachronistic studio film of the golden age. It's never dull, the acting is good (Havilland is one of my favorite old actresses), and there are several great scenes of dialogue and a few touches of comedy. It looks at Custer in a very humane way, treating him as a highly noble person. I'm sure he was at least somewhat noble, though certain historical records indicate he was not very bright. If this movie was made today, I'm pretty sure Custer would be treated as an imbecile. They probably would have made him a domineering, idiotic, morally bankrupt alcoholic or something. Today's movies tend to tear historical figures down, especially if they are white men, but this one does not do so. The dated-ness of the film is completely stand-able and even modern viewers who usually hate oldies will probably enjoy it. The negatives of the film are the historical inaccuracies, most of which you will be able to guess as you watch the movie and don't really detract much from the real point of the film, and the clearly rushed and poorly done battle scene at the end. Sadly because that battle scene is the climax it does do damage to one's perception of the film. This might be my favorite Flynn picture, though I have not seen them all.
jam233
June 27, 2009
The best of the Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn pairings, after the Adventures of Robin Hood of course. Great supporting cast, rousing, fun, romantic, action...it has it all. Flynn is, of course dashing and great. A classic.
mtoothman
February 28, 2007
Errol Flynn, Olivis DeHaviland--the Custer myth in full array. It didn't happen that way, but so what?
August 3, 2014
The story of George Armstrong Custer, with a lot of Hollywood fiction thrown in, starring the great Errol Flynn (who incredibly never got an oscar), in his last movie (of 7) that he starred in with the great Olivia DeHavilland. Great action, a witty script, highly entertaining, and a great love story. With Sydney Greenstreet, and a fantastic musical score.
KevinRobbins
April 1, 2014
You always were a great one for glory.

George Armstrong Custer is a rebellious teen with delusions of grandeur. He attends Westpoint where he remains on the brink of getting kicked out. A huge war breaks out over the plains between the white man and the Indians and captains are in short supply. Out of an act of desperation, Custer is anointed Captain of a key regimen in the mid west. The story of Custer and his affairs with the Indians historically unfolds.

"You little, fat, pipsqueak!"

Raoul Walsh, director of Objective Burma, High Sierra, White Heat, The Roaring Twenties, They Drive by Night, and Band of Angels, delivers They Died with their Boots On. The storyline for this picture is just okay. The character development and subplots are pretty good and I enjoyed the acting, but the overall film felt kind of average to me. The cast includes Errol Flynn, Arthur Kennedy, Olivia de Havilland, Charley Grapewin, Anthony Quinn, and Gene Lockheart.

"No white man will set foot on sacred soil."

I grabbed this movie off Turner Classic Movies (TCM) when I discovered it starred Errol Flynn. I generally enjoy his classics but I found this to be just okay. Custer was presented in a very interesting and compelling way but the overall direction of the picture is kind of bland. Overall, I'd see this once but wouldn't go out of my way to see this picture.

"I don't think your stay will be very long with us, Mr. Custer."

Grade: B-
September 9, 2013
I've read Elizabeth Custer's book, and this movie is right in the tradition of her propaganda. It's a brilliant Thru the Looking Glass treatment of Custer's life and history. Strange and compelling. It was too long, but both Flynn and DeHavilland are great. Quinn racks up another ethnic credit, but is in no way memorable - not that there was a lot to his role.

The horse scenes in this movie are fantastic. Does Hollywood still have enough men to get 200 guys on horseback at the same time? Can they move a regiment worth of horses thru their paces together? I love the scene where Custer rides into the ambush and you see the Indians horses riding out of the trees in the background. The timing and staging of the scene is really well done. And the stunts in the finale are amazing. In one of them an Indian rides into the group of soldiers, past a bunch of men laying on the ground, gets shot, falls off his horse, gets his foot caught in the stirrup, the horse wheels and drags him off into the distance. That's just one of dozens of stunts that are happening simultaneously. Very impressive work.
I picked it up because I was researching Garryowen after the scouts at my son's summer camp sang it. This has a very different version of Garryowen, but it's very well done here. The many different versions spread throughout the film really tie all the different scenes together.
I can't give the film more than 3.5 stars due to the shockingly off story, but the film making is really top notch.
July 23, 2013
This movie was a lot of fun and very entertaining. It has a faster more modern pace then a lot of the movies at this time. Errol Flynn does a great job walking the line between insubordinate underachiever who you would follow to the end of the earth for his charm and confidence. When Custer is not leading an charge or fighting for his conviction's he's making us laugh. I am no historical scholar but it seems they took more than a few liberty's with the truth, I am guessing were supposed to look past that and just enjoy is has a half fiction. The epic final stand made the battle at little big horn seem like a courageous strategic sacrifice instead of a military blunder. Great job with the size and scope of the Calvary battles, enough arrows flying and solders falling off horses to satisfy an action fan. This mostly lighthearted movie it gets a little deep at times with Custer in a one man fight vs. the military industrial complex, and a line stating that the Indians were "the only true Americans".
One problem I have with this movie as I do with a lot of older films is there seems to be this recurring theme of a man and woman meeting and deciding after a 2 min conversation that they're going to get married. I guess it's supposed to be romantic, "love at first sight" but I just find it goofy and hard to believe. Having said that I would marry Elizabeth bacon in a second, she's the classic good wife.
The best thing I can say about this movie is that usually when I hear 40's and western I think slow and boring, but this movie kept me entertained the whole time.
February 21, 2013
One of my favorite movies of all time even though the facts are wrong. It caught the spirit of Custer a brave and dashing cavalry officer, but this movie was just a tad off with the truth. General Scott was replaced early in the war and was great supporter of the American Indian. Errol Flynn was great in his role as was Olivia DeHavilland.
December 7, 2012
Although a rousing Western brimming with Errol Flynn's charisma and charm, this film has very little to do with historical accuracy. The best Custer film is still Little Big Man with Dustin Hoffman.
September 14, 2011
Ned Sharp: Where is the regiment riding?
George Armstrong Custer: To hell, Sharp... or to glory. It depends on one's point of view.
May 22, 2011
Certainly not historical in any way but entertaining.
David H.
June 26, 2010
A grandious Western directed by the Master Raoul Walsh about the Life of General Cluster hillarious played by Errol Flynn with great Battles, Intelligent Dialogues, Beautiful Pictures of the Nature, a Love Story with the charming Olivia de Havilland and Anthony Quinn as Indian Chiefhood Crazy Horse
jazza923
October 26, 2005
The best of the Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn pairings, after the Adventures of Robin Hood of course. Great supporting cast, rousing, fun, romantic, action...it has it all. Flynn is, of course dashing and great. A classic.
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