Jack Crabb (Hoffman) is a 106-year old white survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn and who has lived in the American West. The movie starts with Jack in old age revealing his life story to an unconvinced historian (Hickey) remembering back to the time when he was orphaned. His parents were killed by Pawnee Indians leaving young Jack and his sister Caroline (Carol Androsky) to fend for themselves. They are quickly found by a compassionate Cheyenne brave and brought back to the tribe. Caroline, nervous about being sexually assaulted, flees in the night abandoning Jack. He is adopted by Old Lodge Skins (George) and brought up in the tribe. Jack learns to be a young warrior, killing a Pawnee warrior, saving the life of his nemesis Younger Bear (Bellini) and earning the tribal name of Little Big Man.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Not much of a fighter, Jack gives himself up to a cavalry officer and admits he is actually a white man. Given over to the care of Rev. Pendrake (Thayer David) and his sexually frustrated wife Louise (Dunaway), Jack witnesses Louise's affair. He sells snake oil with Mr. Merriweather (Balsam), a conman missing a hand and an ear and who is slowly being whittled away losing an eye and later a leg. The two men are tarred and feathered after several townspeople are poisoned by the their bogus elixir. Jack is recognized by his grown up sister Caroline and she teaches him to shoot a gun. Being really good with a gun he becomes the Soda Pop Kid. He meets Wild Bill Hickok (Corey) but he lacks the stomach for killing so he gives up gun slinging for the life of a dry goods merchant.
Jack marries a Swedish woman named Olga (Peters). His partner in the store is a thief and the shop goes under. Olga is kidnapped by Cheyenne as the couple headed west to seek their fortunes. Jack becomes a muleskinner for General Custer (Mulligan) but is disgusted by the slaughter of Indian women and children. Fleeing Jack discovers Sunshine (Eccles), an Indian squaw giving birth to a baby. He is reconnected to his tribe and grandfather on an Indian reservation, where he takes in Sunshine's three sisters as his wives. Olga turns up married to a henpecked Younger Bear. Sunshine gives birth to his son after he has consummated his marriage to the three sisters through the night. When Custer's troops attack the peaceful settlement Little Big Man (Jack) saves Old Lodge Skins.
Jack enlists again with Custer in order to kill him but loses his nerve. Jack, now the town drunk, meets Hickok again only to see him felled by a youthful assassin. Carrying out the dying man's wish to get Ms. Kane out of her life of prostitution, he gives her money from Hickok; she is the former Reverend's wife Mrs. Pendrake now turning tricks. Jack decides to become a hermit and then jump off a cliff to end his miserable life until he sees Custer's army one more time. He re-enlists as a scout but Custer doesn't trust him. Jack tells Custer not to attack the village, as it is a trap, so Custer does the opposite and his men are slaughtered at Little Bighorn. Younger Bear finds Jack injured and brings him back to his grandfather, now having repaid the debt and the beleaguered brave is ecstatic. Jack closes with remarks to the historian about his previous life.
The review of this Movie prepared by David Fletcher