Custer's Last Stand


1936

Brief Synopsis

When some men are attacked by Indians, a survivor obtains an Indian medicine arrow. An Indian tells Blade he has found gold but will not tell him where until he has that arrow. So Blade starts killing the survivors of the attack but fails to get the arrow. One of the men he kills is John Cardigan and Kit Cardigan, a Scout for Custer, now starts looking for the killer of his father.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 2, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Exploitation Pictures, Inc.; Weiss Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Stage and Screen Productions, Inc.; State Rights
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Synopsis

When Indians raid a group of white settlers, the Indians' medicine man is killed, and Major Henry Trent collects the man's arrow, which bears directions to a cave in the Black Hills filled with gold. In Black Pool, casino owner Tom "Keen" Blade, who secretly sells liquor to the Indians, befriends Young Wolf, who needs the magic arrow for its healing powers. Blade then kills three of the four white survivors of the skirmish, including John Cardigan, who was in search of the arrow. A year later, Trent, his daughter Barbara, and grandson Bobby come to Fort Henry just as General George A. Custer arrives and restores sobriety to the 7th U.S. Cavalry headquarters. Meanwhile, Sioux and Cheyenne Indian chiefs plan their attack on the white man to stop the gold prospectors and settlers who are encroaching on their sacred grounds. At the powwow, Crazy Horse, leader of the Cheyenne, marks Little Big Horn as the communal village which will serve as their fortress. The Trents are then ambushed by Young Wolf's men, but they survive, and the arrow remains intact. While Custer and Chief Brown Fox have a powwow concerning three braves captured at Black Pool for trading "fire-water" for pelts, Blade kills the Indian who is about to reveal Blade's guilt, and Indians raid the fort. The Indians eventually retreat, but the incident propels the Sioux and Cheyenne to Little Big Horn. Next, Blade schemes with the crooked Judge Hooker to arrest the Trents for inciting a riot with the Indians, and a jury sentences them to die in an hour. Ex-lieutenant Roberts, who testified against the Trents, has a change of heart, however, and rescues them. Custer's head scout, Kit Cardigan, then kills Hooker in a duel, and Roberts acknowledges Blade's guilt in Kit's father's murder. After Bobby finds the arrow, Young Wolf attacks him, but Kit saves him and gives the arrow to his Indian friend, Red Fawn. He then proposes to Barbara as the war begins. At Little Big Horn, the Indians massacre Custer and his men, including Roberts, and the American flag falls. After finally killing Blade in a duel, Kit gets his discharge from the army and unites with Barbara.

Film Details

Release Date
Apr 2, 1936
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Exploitation Pictures, Inc.; Weiss Productions, Inc.
Distribution Company
Stage and Screen Productions, Inc.; State Rights
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
9 reels

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Prior to the feature release, Stage and Screen Productions released a serial version of Custer's Last Stand through state rights exchanges starting January 2, 1936; the first episode was five reels and was followed by fourteen two-reel episodes. Hollywood Reporter announced on January 23, 1936 that the serial was to be distributed by RKO in India, and was set for release in fourteen countries. This film was compiled from the first of three Weiss-Mintz serials. The second serial, The Clutching Hand, was also released as a feature, but the third, The Black Coin was released only as a serial. In March 1936, Hollywood Reporter stated that Lloyds of London was involved in a lawsuit filed by Western Costume Company over props and scenery that were stolen while the production was on location at Vasquez Rocks in the Angeles National Forest. No reviews were found for the feature, although Motion Picture Herald reviewed the first three chapters of the serial on November 30, 1935. Modern sources list the following additional cast members for the serial, although some of the actors May not have appeared in the feature: Whitey Sovern, Buddy Fisher, Charles Hunter, William Hunt, White Feather, Walter Gable, Bill Thompson, William Bartlett and Red Star Cody.
       Other films based on General Custer include the 1909 Selig Polyscope film On the Little Big Horn or Custer's Last Fight, starring Paul McCormick, Jr.; the 1916 Vitagraph film Britton of the Seventh directed by Lionel Belmore and starring Darwin Karr and Charles Kent; Custer's Last Fight, a 1925 re-issue of a Thomas Ince film, and the 1926 Universal film The Flaming Frontier, directed by Edward Sedgwick and starring Hoot Gibson and Anne Cornwall (see below) and the 1941 Warner Bros. film They Died with Their Boots On, directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland (see below). There was also a the 1968 U.S.-Spanish co-production Custer of the West, directed by Robert Siodmak and starring Robert Shaw, Mary Ure and Robert Ryan; and the 1991 ABC Television film Son of the Morning Star, directed by Mike Robe and starring Gary Cole, Rosanna Arquette and Dean Stockwell.