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They Died With Their Boots On
They Died With Their Boots On
Actors: Errol Flynn, Olivia De Havilland, William T. Orr, John Litel, Eleanor Parker
Directors: B. Reeves Eason, Raoul Walsh, Robert Clampett
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War, Animation
NR     2005     2hr 19min

George Armstrong Custer, from West Point to Little Bighorn.


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Movie Details

Actors: Errol Flynn, Olivia De Havilland, William T. Orr, John Litel, Eleanor Parker
Directors: B. Reeves Eason, Raoul Walsh, Robert Clampett
Creators: Lenore J. Coffee, Owen Crump, Wally Kline, Warren Foster, Ăneas MacKenzie
Genres: Action & Adventure, Westerns, Comedy, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War, Animation
Sub-Genres: Errol Flynn, Westerns, Animation, Love & Romance, Classics, Military & War, Animation
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Black and White - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/19/2005
Original Release Date: 01/01/1942
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1942
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 19min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Movie Reviews

How Does One Praise A Fine But Inaccurate Film?
Martin Asiner | jersey city, nj United States | 06/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"No one doubts that THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON with Errol Flynn is a terrific film. It is the last movie that Flynn shares with Olivia de Havilland, and their chemistry shared over a long film marriage is touching and palpable. Flynn's interpretation was to play Custer as a western version of his own hell-raising self, and he dominates each scene in which he appears. He is alternately heroic, funny, sarcastic, haughty, and sacriligious. His co-stars very capably allow Flynn to bounce off them. Against Crazy Horse (Anthony Quinn), Flynn is solemn and candid. Against General Winfield Scott (Sidney Greenstreet), he is properly subservient. Against his Indian hating subordinate officer played by Arthur Kennedy, he is full of righteous fury. The climactic battle at the Little Big Horn is a paean to self-sacrifice and honor. The film does not go wrong internally. Its fault, if one can call it that, is that it bears no relation to historical truth. Every major incident in the film from Custer's days in West Point, to his conduct under battle, to his relationship to his wife, and to his role in the annihilation of him and his troopers at the Little Big Horn are either grossly exaggerated or outrageous lies. Especially disturbing is the movie's suggestion that Custer sacrificed the lives of the men under his command as a means of political expedience. The literal truth was Custer and all his 7th Cavalry were slaughtered only because of his obstinancy in not believing the reports of his Indian guides.
To pass judgment on TDWTBO is to walk a shaky line between lauding a shiny object without questioning too deeply about what makes that object shine. Perhaps a needed corrective would be a disclaimer in the closing credits that what you see is not necessarily what you get. Sort of like life."
I Don't Care
Dennis J. Hermannes | Anchorage, AK USA | 03/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I don't care if the film is historically inaccurate. Errol Flynn may not have been an ideal figure in real life but the movies he was in, well, I was raised with the 30's and 40's films and his films always gave me a hero to look up to and how things should have been done. They inspired me and taught me right from wrong and how to treat people fairly. Along with my Dad's guidelines, I was better for it. That's all I care about, not whether it was historically accurate. Mr. Flynn, even in real life, was a chip off the old block. I love this film. I grew up with it and it still gets an emotional rise out of me when I view it. Its what Custer should have been in my opinion and as a young boy watching this for the first time, influenced me for the rest of my life. Errol Flynn was my hero after I saw this and his WWII Burma movie. Its a shame he's gotten a bad shake from the critics whether now or in the past."
A Very Gracious Thing
laddie5 | 05/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"After "The Adventures of Robin Hood," this is Errol Flynn's best movie. As noted elsewhere, it's worthless as history. But the casting of Flynn as Custer has a resonance that burns up the screen, and behind the romanticism one glimpses a portrait of an unhappy, self-destructive man who is a hero in spite of himself. Flynn's farewell scene with Olivia de Havilland is almost unbearably moving, as if both sensed the real-life parallel and the future awaiting them both. This is a rousing, action-packed movie with just about everything: adventure, comedy and romance... but it's one of the rare ones that also gets under your skin."
TDWTBO Is not History As She Is Spoke -- but it's FUN
Linda D. Terrell | Dunedin, FL USA | 03/01/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I thought TDWTBO was in B&W......

Some of the Hollywood Historians here, while cautioning readers that this film isn't historically accurate, are woefully inaccurate about Custer.

He was NOT an "often inept commander." He was one of the more briilliant commanders of horse to come out of the Civil War. A master of the *flanking* attack. Who was pivotol in holding off the CSA's rear attack on the Union at Gettysburg. Who was pivotal at Appomattox.

While he certainly would not sacrifice himself and his troops, he did put his career on the line in Spring 1876 when he testified before Congress regarding the Indian Bureau's corruption.

He did not ignore his Indian scouts' advice at Little Big Horn -- in fact, he took their advice, which was to attack the village NOW before it broke up and scattered.

Custer was not "arrogant" -- he was supremely confident in himself and his troops. Would you prefer to serve under a commander who thought otherwise? He was Cavalry -- supreme confidence came with the territory.

The most common terms I come across when contemporaries describe Custer, are "Gentleman." And "soft spoken." The only things he really bragged about were his hunting dogs and his own hunting prowess.

Custer had a great sense of humor and was pretty good at deprecating himself. Flynn manages to portray all of this. If Custer had never existed, he would have to have been invented for Flynn to portray in a movie.

THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON is a rip-snorting adventure, full of humor, pathos honor, and gallantry. Which really was what Custer was about."