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Little Big Man [Blu-ray]

 PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)   Blu-ray
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Little Big Man [Blu-ray] + The Outlaw Josey Wales / Josey Wales : Hors-la-loi (Bilingual) [Blu-ray Book] + Pale Rider / Le Cavalier Solitaire (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

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Jack Crabb is the only white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn and the centenarian shares his story in this picaresque fable of the Old West. In Arthur Penn's adaptation of Thomas Berger's novel, Dustin Hoffman plays Jack from teen years into old age in a bravura performance. And Jack's story is a fantastic one: captured by Indians as a boy, reared as an Indian, shuttling back and forth between the white and Indian worlds. In the process, he befriends everyone from Wild Bill Hickock to George Armstrong Custer and is a gunslinger, a snake-oil salesman, and an Army scout. This is a solid blend of comedy and tragedy, with a strong statement to make about America's treatment of Native Americans without sermonizing. A terrific cast includes Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, and Richard Mulligan. But this show is all Hoffman's. --Marshall Fine


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Little Big Man is framed as a retrospective narration by Jack Crabb, who at age 120-plus, is the oldest living survivor of Custer's last stand at Little Big Horn, and in the 1960's (?) is being interviewed by a newspaper writer.
As kids, Jack and sister Caroline are the only survivors of an Indian attack, and they are taken to an Indian village and meet "Old Lodge Skins", the chief. Caroline expects to be raped later (and is somewhat disappointed when she is not) and rides away at night. The Cheyenne ("human beings") adopt Jack. Due to his small stature, Jack is named "Little Big Man" after he saves Younger Bear from a Pawnee attack.
In a battle againt the cavalry, just before he is about to be killed, Jack ID's himself as a white man, and is put in the care of Reverend Pendrake, whose wife (Faye Dunaway) takes an interest in Jack. He is taught to to read and write, and takes up religion with Mrs. Pendrake. After he finds Mrs. Pendrake and a soda-shop man in bed, that ends his religion phase.
Jack takes up with Mr. Meriwether, a con-man, and ends up getting tarred and feathered by a group lead by his own sister. Jack moves in with Caroline and she teaches him to shoot ("Go snake-eyed"). Jack becomes a flashy gun-fighter known as the Soda Pop Kid after his drink of choice. He meets Wild Bill Hickok ("Might I ask who I are addressin'?") but gives up gunfighting after Hickok kills a man in a bar. Caroline disowns him, so Jack gets a partner, becomes a store owner, and marries Olga, a large Swedish woman. Jack's partner is a crook, and he goes bankrupt.
General Custer is passing by, takes pity on Jack and advises him to "go west" with his personal guarantee of safety - cut to Indians raiding a stage coach and riding off with Olga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Film May 22 2004
Format:DVD
Little Big Man is one of my all time favorite movies fro many reasons. Dustin Hoffman gives what I believe to be his greatest performance as Jack Crabb. His range here is incredible as he portrays a man torn between two cultures and his life weaves back and forth between the white world and the indian world in which he was raised. His performance is funny when appropriate and yet filled with pathos and emotion when the necessary. An absolute masterful job of acting.
The Cheyenne scenes are moving and Ghief Dan george who plays Crabb's adoptive grandfather provides the film with gravity as he consistently demnonstrates wisdom and dignity despite the increasingly difficult circumstances that his tribe finds themselves in.
I don't know the actor's name who plays Custer but he provides just the right amount of comic bravado to make Custer seem to be a pathetic character who's hubris led to his troops demise. While this may or may not be an historically acurate portrayal it certainly fits the mood of the film.
Other famous western personalities such as Wild Bill Hickock are included in the story as Jack Crabb's life zig-zags it's way through the west. A fabulous ride and a very memorable film to be enjoyed again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Penn's classic film finally appears on DVD Aug. 30 2003
Format:DVD
One of director Arthur Penn's finest films, Little Big Man combines satire with tragedy with a deft, sure hand. The screenplay by the talented Calder Willingham and direction are sharp as nails and actor Dustin Hoffman manages to pull off a coup playing Jack Crabb from teen years (it's actually Hoffman's voice you hear dubbed in as a young teen)to old age (with marvelous make up by Dick Smith). Is Crabb telling tall tales (ironic and appropriate given his small stature and his Indian name)or did much of what he speaks about occur? It doesn't really matter as the telling of the tale is so marvelous.
Penn and his collaborators use Jack as a social mirror reflecting the injustice, brutality and pettiness of the wild west. Staying true to the spirit of Thomas Berger's marvelous novel, the cast and crew manage to distill much of the essence of Berger while sacrificing some of the less important details. The loss is, surprisingly, not really felt for many of those who read the novel. The superb supporting cast includes Martin Balsam, Jeff Corey (in a funny, perceptive cameo as Wild Bill Hiccock), Faye Dunaway (as a religious hypocrite who lusts after her adopted son Jack), Chief Dan George (he has some of the funniest lines in the script)and the late Richard Mulligan playing a vain nearly psychopathic General Custer.
The digital transfer preserves the original aspect ratio of the film and the nearly flawless print shows very little digital compression problems. This disc is enhanced for 16X9 widescreen TVs. The 139 minute production is presented on a dual layer disc for maximum picture quality. I didn't detect any analog artifacts (or at the very least very few). The color is fairly true to the original release as far as I can tell. The sound presented in Dolby Digital 5.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I remember seeing the original theatrical release of Arthur Penn's "Little Big Man" in the early 1970's. Now over thirty years later it has been released in DVD form and it is a film, that is both funny and tragic as ever.In the film, 121 year old Jack Crabb (played humorously by Dustin Hoffman) recounts his life (in narrated backflash) growing up among both the Cheyenne Indians and the white man in the old wild West.We follow the Crabb character as he goes through various phases as a Cheyenne warrior, a medicine show conman, a gunfighter, entrepreneurial business man, drunkard and finally a mule skinner/U.S. Army scout. Crabb is a man trapped between two cultures. He hilariously stumbles through the old west trying to find a place among his own kind, even though his heart is still with the Cheyenne Indians who adopted him. The movie leads up to Crabb's eventual, critical participation in the 'Battle of Little Bighorn', otherwise known as 'Custard's Last Stand'.The film is humorus as it shows how little people change over history. Just as today, people of the historical old West were driven by such things as love, lust, vanity, power and money.Unfortunatly they also were driven by bigiotry, hatred and violence.One of the main themes of "Little Big Man" is the terrible, almost genocidal treatment of the American Indian at the hands of the U.S. government.It's somewhat ironic, that the Cheyenne in the film refer to themselves as 'the human beings', yet the white men seem to treat them as anything but that. Arthur Penn (director of "Bonnie & Clyde") has created a sprawling, well directed, historical tapestry of a film, which makes you want to laugh and cry at the same time.The movie is a star vehicle for the then young, Dustin Hoffman. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
excellent
Published 9 days ago by John Lenhardt
4.0 out of 5 stars Big big flick
Excellent in every way -- an historic excursion into American history, enriched by the rich verbal fire of Thomas Berger, who wrote the original on which the film is based. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bob Cluett
5.0 out of 5 stars Good quality
It was exactly what I wanted and I used it as a gift for my mother and she loves the quality of this item
Published 6 months ago by Leanne Moon
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Big Man
Impossible to find movie. Found it here for that hard to buy for person. Came just as described, he was one happy fellow for Christmas.
Published 8 months ago by Chris Ellis
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely romp.
Dustin Hoffman does a wonderful job. I loved the humor. I've watched it several times and always see something I didn't notice before. Amust for western fans.
Published 20 months ago by Kenny D
5.0 out of 5 stars DEATH OF A NOBLE PEOPLE
At once the goofiest and angriest of all revisionist Westerns, Arthur Penn's Little Big Man (1970) seems today less notable for its formal qualities than for its (counter)cultural... Read more
Published on April 23 2012 by kuktuk
2.0 out of 5 stars ehhh
I've read the book, so I'm definitly biased, but I'd like to think that even if I hadn't read the book I wouldn't like this movie. Read more
Published on July 20 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Be On Top Ten Westerns
All the others on this page have done a wonderful job of reviewing this movie, so I will not continue. Read more
Published on Feb. 11 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars In Your Face, Dances with Wolves
I remember just how disgusted I was watching Costner court the permed up caucasian woman and all I could think was, I wish I were watching Little Big Man again. Read more
Published on Dec 4 2003 by jek67
5.0 out of 5 stars This Western Has It All
Advertised as a comedy when originally released, LITTLE BIG MAN is much, much more than that. Director Arthur Penn's sweeping film depicting the clash of the Indian and white... Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003 by D. Mikels
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