In honor of June 26, we would like to recommend the following historically “accurate” films: Son of the Morning Star, Little Big Man, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, and the American Experience Emmy Award-winning documentary Last Stand at Little Big Horn .
Between June 25 and 26, 1876, a combined Lakota and Northern Cheyenne force led the 7th United States Cavalry into battle near the Little Bighorn River on what was then the eastern edge of Montana Territory. The engagement is known by several names: The Battle of the Greasy Grass, the Battle of Little Big Horn, and the Last Battle of Custer. Perhaps the most famous action of the Indian Wars, it was a remarkable victory for Sitting Bull and his forces. They defeated a column of seven hundred men led by George Armstrong Custer; five of the companies of the Seventh were annihilated and Custer himself died in the engagement along with two of his brothers and a brother-in-law. Known as the battle that left no white survivors, Little Big Horn has inspired more than 1,000 works of art, including more than 40 films. Here are four of the best …
Son of the morning star
Based on Evan S’s best-selling 1984 historical novel, Connell, Son of the morning star it won five Emmy Awards when it first aired in 1991. Focusing on the life and times of General George Armstrong Custer, he takes up Custer’s life near the end of the American Civil War, following him through his participation in the famous Indian Wars and culminates with the Battle of Little Big Horne. I especially like this version because it tries to go beyond stereotypes and introduce you to the real man; provides an excellent introduction to the personalities involved and the events before and after the battle.
Little big man
The 1970 film Little big man Directed by Arthur Penn and starring Dustin Hoffman, it was based on Thomas Berger’s 1964 fictional “historical” novel of the same name. Certainly a tight story, it tells the satirical, fictional and picaresque story of Jack Crabb; A white boy who was orphaned in a Pawnee raid and adopted by a Cheyenne warrior, eventually becomes the only white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn. It is considered a “revisionist western” because Native Americans receive a sympathetic treatment that was rare in western films of previous decades. Revisionist or not, I just adore this wickedly humorous film about the life of a man spinning through the kaleidoscope of cultures that made up America’s “Wild” West, and I highly recommend it.
Bury my heart at Wounded Knee
HBO’s 2007 adaptation of Bury my heart at Wounded Knee A 1970 classic of Native American history by Dee Alexander Brown, recounts the fighting of the Indian wars from the perspective of three people: Charles Eastman, a young Sioux physician who received his medical degree from Boston University in 1889 ; Sitting Bull, who led the combined forces at Little Big Horn and refused to submit to US government policies that stripped his people of their dignity, identity, and sacred land; and Senator Henry Dawes, one of the men responsible for government policy on Indian affairs. The story begins with the American Indians’ victory at Little Big Horn in 1876 and continues until the shameful slaughter of Sioux warriors at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, on December 29, 1890. If the film is flawed, it is trying explain the entire deeply complex fourteen-year struggle in just over two hours. It manages to do an excellent job of providing an entertaining and educational overview for future research.
The American Experience: Last Stand at Little Big Horn
The American Experience: Last Stand at Little Big Horn takes the time to explore this controversial battle from two perspectives: the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Crow who had lived on the Great Plains for generations, and the white settlers who moved west across the continent. Using diaries, oral accounts, Indian ledger drawings, and archival material, James Welch and Paul Stekler combined their talents to create one of the most balanced documentaries on this event ever produced. Their efforts earned them a well-deserved Emmy.