[box cover]

Little Big Man

In one of the most unusual and rousing western adventures yet to hit the screen, Dustin Hoffman stars as 121-year-old Jack Crabb, the last living survivor of Custer's last stand at the Battle of Little Big Horn. Provoked by a condescending journalist, Crabb lucidly recounts his tumultuous life as a white orphan, a Cheyenne adoptee, a con man, a sharp shooter, a drunk, a businessman, a husband of five, and a witness of history. In this way, Crabb is sort of like a cogent Forrest Gump, both helpless at the whim of fate and actively manipulating his opportunities for survival, all the while retaining a great love for the Cheyenne tribe that raised him. Directed by Arthur Penn, Little Big Man matches its epic vision (and stunning locations) with bristling humor and a delicate intimacy, effortlessly twisting with wild swings of mood and tone, from slapstick to tragedy. While it occasionally falls into the common trap of naively idealizing Native American culture, Calder Willingham's adaptation of Thomas Berger's novel is smart, engaging, and full of memorable characters and episodes, and Hoffman's performance is always spot-on. Also with Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Chief Dan George, and Richard Mulligan as a hilariously arrogant Custer. Paramount presents Little Big Man in an excellent anamorphic transfer (2.35:1) with both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround audio tracks. Keep-case.
—Gregory P. Dorr



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