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The Court Martial Of George Armstrong Custer 1977 Film ?
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May I ask if anyone has seen this film based on the novel about the aftermath of LBH had Custer survived ?

Thanks

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John Young


Joined: 30 Aug 2005
Posts: 926
Location: Lower Sheering, Essex
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Coll,

I saw it years ago, very stagey, studio-shot with the courtroom as the set, with the exception of the opening where they find George A. Custer alive amongst the bodies of his command.

Gwyneth Paltrow's mother, Blythe Danner played Libby Custer.

John Y.
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Thanks John

From what you can remember about the film, considering comparisons being made between LBH and Isandlwana, do you think the same idea would work for the C.O.I. re-creation being discussed on the main forum ?

I feel, with the courtroom being the set and actors portraying the participants involved, there is a better chance of there being more attention to detail - the main characters, uniforms, etc. - in the event of a drama-documentary based on a transcript from the C.O.I. discussion.

I'm really just trying to imagine what it would be like seeing Chelmsford, Durnford, Pulleine, etc., in such a setting. I think it would be great, as there hasn't been something similar in previous AZW documentaries.

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Michael Boyle


Joined: 12 Dec 2005
Posts: 595
Location: Bucks County,PA,US
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Coll, I only vaguely remember seeing it back then, it was a made for TV movie starring Brian Keith (of Disney and sit-com fame), you can learn more about it at imdb. If you're interested in a breakdown of the actual charges and verdicts returned see -

http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/csi/history/custer.asp

His ability to recover from that was truly amazing.

Best

Michael
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Thanks Michael

There are 2 books with similar titles to the above mentioned film -

1. By Douglas Jones - A 'What if ?' based on the aftermath of LBH. (source for the film)

2. By Lawrence Frost - Apparently the real events of Custer's court martial around late 60s

Both titles look very interesting. Seem to be well recommended.

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Rich
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You know there's possibility here with that COI..Wink...There'd be plenty of drama all around and here's the glitch how do you do the ending? Would a bunch of Chelmsford's peers vote guilty or not guilty? How would they relate to the man in the dock under the circumstances? Would they absolve him of all responsibility with Isandhlwana or throw the book at him? Sometimes I wish a fellow like Rod Serling of "Twilight Zone" fame would be around to write the "The Court-Martial of Lord Chelmsford". Well, I find it a dynamic topic even if it is kind of under the historical radar as such. But I figure the people of Britain and Wales with a feel for historycan see a good story and get it all out!
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Rich

"Britain and Wales" ????!!!! Surprised

P
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oh man well I'm a foreigner what can I say???....... Surprised

hey........... I do know Ryan Giggs isn't English... Wink
Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Are you sure? He was certainly qualified to represent them. Which, of course, he did as a youngster, before deciding to switch his allegiance to the Principality for some reason. Certainly England's loss, and probably his too. What with parentage and grand-parentage now being admissable these days as well as birthplace, it has become quite complicated in recent years!

Now your grasp of "footer" is impressive!

P. Wink
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Peter:

From what I could gather, Giggsy's parents and grandparents were all from Wales and he was born in Cardiff. The option to play for England was there at schools level because he was raised in Manchester. But blood looks like it was the thick stuff for him in his international football career, a career that I just read he's retired from..(but he'll play for Manchester United). hey Giggs moving on the wing is as smooth as the Zulus with their assegais maneuvering around the Tahelane Ridge!.... Wink
The Scorer


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 320
Location: Newport
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Ryan Giggs was born in Cardiff, as were his parents and other members of his family.

His father was Danny Wilson (Ryan took the surname Giggs when his parents divorced) who played Rugby Union for Cardiff and Newport. He then "went north" to play Rugby League for (I think) Salford and other clubs in the Manchester area.

The family went with him, and Ryan played all his schools football in Salford. In those days (and it may be true today, although I'm not sure) you had to play representative football for the country in which you were living. As he played for Salford Schools and they were members of the English Schools Football Association, he had to play for England.

As he was actually Welsh, though, when he moved into senior football be opted to play for Wales. He wasn't then and never has been qualified to play for England in senior football as the rules only allowed him to play for Wales. His English International schools caps didn't qualify him to play for England.

Hope this helps ....

Very Happy
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Peter Ewart


Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 1797
Location: Near Canterbury, Kent, England.
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Rich/Scorer

Interesting to see the reasons for his England schoolboy apearances. I had presumed one of his parents or grandparents had been English, and that he had opted for Wales as a full international because, as Rich says, "blood is thicker than water." If, as Scorer says, he never was eligible for England at senior level, then we've all (in England!) been wasting our time gnashing our teeth at his "error" in choosing Wales in the mistaken view that he was "lost" to us!

Perhaps it is because the very position of the permanently awful hole in one team would have been filled perfectly by the one player who has been around for the very same period in the neighbouring side! Something about "coveting our neighbour's goods" and a bit if wishful thinking?

Not sure how we arrived here via Coll's Court Martial of Custer! Smile
Peter
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Very good Peter/Scorer...thanks for all that detail on one of the great Premiership players of all time. And I hope Wales gives Giggs a nice party in Cardiff for all his loyal and exceptional service.
As usual, the book was better!
yankee


Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 17
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The tv-movie of Doug Jones's book starts out well, with troopers of Lt. Bradley's command riding up a slope to find Custer, played by James Olsen of "Andromeda Strain" badly wounded and naked but still alive and lying with two dead troopers of his command across his body. The film shifts to Washington where Sherman and Sheridan briefly agree to try Custer for losing the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The remainder of the film is set in the courtroom on a military post in New York harbor, where Ken Howard plays the proscuting attorney, and Brian Keith, as the attorney for the defense, spar back and forth as the generals on the court martial board and spectators, including Blythe Danner (then Howard's wife) playing Libby Custer, watch. Brian Keith's attorney character has a clubfoot, which he drags back and forth across the floor to obtain sympathy and to annoy Howard's character.

The film follows the book well, with Reno, Benteen, Bradley, Indian scouts Frank Giroud (sic) and Curly etc. giving conflicting evidence, and at the end of the book, Custer takes the stand to give a plausable explanation of how he fought the battle until he was struck in the thigh and then took a glancing bullet to the head which knocked him unconscious, and was later lying stripped found among the dead.

The film has Olson also taking the stand at the last, where unfortunately he answers all questions as to how the battle proceeded by witlessly muttering "command decision, command decision!" and the viewer is left to decide if he is insane or not! At the end of both the book and the film, Custer is found not guilty because of the conflicting orders of General Terry, but his mind is gone, and Libby makes a deal with the Army that he will retire to private life if he is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Except for Olsons' portrayal of a gibbering Custer, the film is an entertaining what-might-have-been had Custer survived the battle.
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Yankee

Thanks for the details about the film.

I really like the idea of Custer surviving the battle and the C.O.I.

I hope to get the book and eventually the video/dvd.

Thanks again

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The Court Martial Of George Armstrong Custer 1977 Film ?
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