|Writers||Samuel A. Peeples (creator)
David Weisbart (creator)
|Plot||In 1868, after the Civil War, Custer takes charge of a mix of ex-Confederates and criminals, the 7th Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hays, Kansas. His boss General Terry doesn't like his methods or his long blond hair, but he manages to keep fighting the Sioux (the series ends the year before the Little Big Horn).... search for Custer on IMDb|
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|General George Armstrong Custer has been portrayed as everything from a vain but ultimately honorable hero (Errol Flynn in They Died with Their Boots On) to an insane, pompous incompetent (Richard Mulligan in the biting Little Big Man), but few have attempted an ambitious look at the man in all his contradictions. Robert Siodmak's Custer of the West, his final American production, attempts the task with fine results, portraying the career soldier as a pragmatist, a disciplinarian with a bullying streak, a loner, and ultimately an Old World romantic in the modern age. Robert Shaw gives the role a regal bearing (though his continental accent keeps drifting in) and a sense of dignity, depicting a man who ironically identifies more with the Indians than with the U.S. Army. Jeffrey Hunter and Ty Hardin costar as his battling junior officers and Robert Ryan is memorable in a brief appearance as a gold-mining deserter. Shooting in handsome widescreen and vivid Technicolor, Siodmak makes his outdoor settings come alive and nimbly handles the many action scenes, most notably a chase that sends an escaping soldier whooshing down a log water chute like a Disney ride. Siodmak's sweeping visuals deliver both grand images and ironic counterpoint, but ultimately Custer of the West eschews the heroism of Hollywood adventures for a portrait of the corrupt state of the American military and one man's hopeless fight against it. --Sean Axmaker|
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