They Died with Their Boots On Movie Review
Errol Flynn takes one of his most curious roles ever in this big-budget western, playing the ill-fated general from West Point through the Civil War through his inglorious career killing off Indians before they got their payback at Little Big Horn. Custer is here portrayed as a hero but also an extremely impetuous one: Ranking at the bottom of his class in academics and willfully violating orders whenever they're given to him.
And as promised, there's a lot of adventure to behold here, with enormously staged battles on horseback and intricate tactics played out over some of history's most famous and infamous battlefields. Flynn (you'll be amazed how much he looks like Heath Ledger here) comes off far different than in his roles as Robin Hood and Captain Blood -- he's haughty and arrogant, far beyond anything we've come to expect in his earlier work.
Unfortunately, Boots suffers from being too long and meandering too much into the minutiae of Custer's love life, a subplot which serves only to bring Olivia de Havilland into the movie to give it its only taste of estrogen. Civil War buffs will also cringe at the liberties it takes with history. Still, it's worth a look for the war scenes alone.
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