Little Big Man (film)

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There is an endless supply of white men. There has always been a limited number of human beings.

Little Big Man is a 1970 American Western film about a caucasian raised by the Cheyenne nation during the 19th century, contrasting the lives of American pioneers and Native Americans throughout the progression of his life, with a largely comic presentation of most of the conflicts and tragedies that arise because of various forms of illusion and hypocrisy.

Directed by Arthur Penn. Written by Calder Willingham, based on the 1964 comic novel by Thomas Berger.
Either The Most Neglected Hero In History Or A Liar Of Insane Proportion!

Jack Crabb[edit]

  • [to the historian] I am, beyond a doubt, the last of the old-timers. My name is Jack Crabb, and I am the sole white survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn . . . uh, uh . . . popularly known as Custer's Last Stand.
  • There was no describing how I felt. An enemy had saved my life by the violent murder of one of my best friends. . . . The world was too ridiculous to even bother to live in.

Old Lodge Skins[edit]

  • Today is a good day to die.
    • In a tale told to "Little Big Man" (Jack Crabb) about the legendary "Little Man" (this is actually a famous quotation of the Sioux leader Crazy Horse which has become an expression of absurd willingness and even eagerness to give one's life in the name of one's cause.)
  • There is an endless supply of white men, but there has always been a limited number of human beings.
  • Invisible! I've never been invisible before!
  • Come out and fight! It is a good day to die! Thank you for making me a Human Being! Thank you for helpin' me to become a warrior! Thank you for my victories and for my defeats! Thank you for my vision, and the blindness in which I saw further! You make all things and direct them in their ways, O Grandfather. And now you have decided the Human Beings will soon walk a road that leads nowhere. I am gonna die now, unless death wants to fight. And I ask you for the last time to grant me my old power to make things happen. Take care of my son here. See that he doesn't go crazy.

General George Armstrong Custer[edit]

  • You look like a mule-skinner.
  • Nothing in this world is more surprising than the attack without mercy!
  • Ulysses S. Grant, a man of great glory, holds me on a pedestal and realizes his own flaws because of my greatness.
  • A Custer decision impetuous? Grant called me impetuous, too, the drunkard, sitting there in the White House, calling me impetuous!

Younger Bear[edit]

  • You and I are even at last. I paid you the life I owe you. And the next time we meet, I can kill you without becoming an evil person.


This ain't the Washite River, General, and them ain't helpless women and children waiting for you.
Jack Crabb: You don't know when you're licked!
Allardyce T. Meriweather: Licked? I'm not licked. I'm tarred and feathered, that's all.

Jack Crabb: [trying to be intimidating, as a gunfighter] Might I ask who I are addressin'?
Wild Bill Hickok: I'm Wild Bill Hickok.
Jack Crabb: [suddenly docile] Well, I'm . . . I'm pleased to meet you, I'm sure.

Jack Crabb: What are you so nervous about?
Wild Bill Hickok: Gettin' shot.

Bartender [after Wild Bill Hickok had just shot a man who tried to kill him]: Did you know the man, Bill?
Wild Bill Hickok: Never saw the gent before.
Jack Crabb: Mr, Hickcok, that man is really dead!
Wild Bill Hickok: Got him through the heart and lungs both.

Caroline Crabb: Sold your gunfighter outfit?! Turning in your gun?!
Jack Crabb: Well, sorry, Caroline.
Caroline Crabb: There ain't nothin' in this world more useless than a gunfighter who can't shoot people!

Old Lodge Skins: Don't worry my son, you will be back with us, I dreamed it last night. I saw you with your wives.
Jack Crabb: Wives, Grandfather?
Old Lodge Skins: Yes, there were three . . . or four, it was hard to tell. It was very dark in your teepee and they were under buffalo rugs as you crawled among them. Anyway, it was a great copulation.

Jack Crabb: Do you hate them? Do you hate the White man now?
Old Lodge Skins: Do you see this fine thing? Do you admire the humanity of it? Because the human beings, my son, they believe everything is alive. Not only man and animals, but also water, earth, stone, and also the things from them like that hair. The man from whom this hair came, he's bald on the other side, because I now own his scalp! That is the way things are. But the white man, they believe everything is dead. Stone, earth, animals. And people! Even their own people! If things keep trying to live, white man will rub them out. That is the difference.

Younger Bear: I have a wife. And four horses.
Jack Crabb: I have a horse . . . and four wives.

General Custer: You came up here to kill me, didn't you? And you lost your nerve. Well, I was correct, in a sense, you are a renegade, but you are no Cheyenne Brave.
Jack Crabb: [voice-over] Custer was right. I was a total failure an injun.
General Custer: Do I hang you? I think not Get out of here.
Jack Crabb: You're not going to hang me?
General Custer: Your miserable life is not worth the reversal of a Custer decision.

Louise Pendrake: Well, Jack. Now you know. This is a house of ill fame. And I'm a fallen flower.
Jack Crabb: [voice-over] That widow hadn't lost her style one bit. A fallen flower. Chokes me up to think about it.
Lousie Pendrake: This life is not only wicked and sinful. It isn't even any fun.

Jack Crabb: General, you go down there.
General Custer: You're advising me to go into the Coulee?
Jack Crabb: Yes, sir.
General Custer: There are no Indians there, I suppose.
Jack Crabb: I didn't say that. There are thousands of Indians down there. And when they get done with you, there won't be nothing left but a greasy spot. This ain't the Washite River, General, and them ain't helpless women and children waiting for you. They're Cheyenne brave, and Sioux. You go down there if you've got the nerve.
General Custer: Still trying to outsmart me, aren't you, mule-skinner? You want me to think that you don't want me to go down there, but the subtle truth is you really don't want me to go down there!

Old Lodge Skins: Am I still in this world?
Jack Crabb: Yes, Grandfather.
Old Lodge Skins: [groans] I was afraid of that. Well, sometimes the magic works. Sometimes, it doesn't.


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