Key Passages

-- approximate times given are marked from the beginning of the film not the video tape --

0:02:13—West Point arrival of new cadets. Sgt. to Cpl. Sharp.
“One of these days you're gonna trip up the wrong lad, find yourself flat on your face, and your old man's money won't help you any.”

0:04:03—Custer's dream. Custer to Sharp.
“Glory, Mr. Sharp, glory. I want to leave a name behind me that the nation will honor.”

0:05:22—Custer's hero. Custer to Sharp.
“Murat, the king of cavalrymen. He was known as the thunderbolt, and his one tactic was: ride to the sound of the guns.”

0:07:21—Taipe meets Custer. Taipe to Custer.
“Well, I'm Major Romulus Taipe, quartermaster and commissar of cadets, and this happens to be my quarters, and you're an imbecile.”

0:07:54—Taipe's premonition. Taipe to Custer.
“I don't think your stay will be very long with us, Mr. Custer. I'm recommending you for a mental examination!”

0:10:15—Custer's first stroke of luck.  Col. Sheridan to Custer.
“In that case Custer, we certainly can't fire you from the army, because you are not in the army. You've been pretty lucky.”

0:10:46—Taipe's second premonition. Taipe to Sheridan.
“You ask me, he'll make the worst record of any cadet at West Point since Ulysses S. Grant.”

0:16:23—Custer's early graduation debate. Taipe to Sheridan.
“No Sir, nothing, nothing at all. He has no regard for discipline, organization, nor tactics. And as for his record, George Armstrong Custer has the lowest marks and the highest demerits of any cadet who ever attended this academy, including Ulysses S. Grant.”

0:21:20—Custer meets Ms. Bacon. Custer to Ms. Bacon.
“Well, I can't imagine, ma'am, if I may say so, any pleasanter journey, ma'am, than walking through life with you beside me, ma'am.”

0:24:43—Ms. Bacon professes her love. Ms. Bacon to her father.
“Because he’s the man I'm going to marry!”

0:25:22—Custer in Washington without orders.  Custer.
“I’m sick of hanging around here for weeks waiting to see the aide-de-camp General.  I’ve written him time after time asking for assignment to a regiment, any cavalry regiment.  I don’t get any answer.  Now by Judas, I’m going to see him in person!”

0:31:04—1st meeting with the 2nd U.S. Cavalry.  Custer to Sharp.
“Now there, gentlemen, there’s a face I always like to shake hands with.”

0:31:28—Battle orders.  Custer to 2nd U.S. Cavalry.
“4am, good. We'll have 'em on the run by 4pm! I knew as soon as I got down here things would start moving!”

0:33:20—Knocking Sharp off his horse. Custer.
“That suits me. C'mon, men! Let's take that bridge!!”

0:35:17—Congratulations for disobedience. General Sheridan to Custer.
“Mr. Custer, when an officer deliberately disobeys orders in action, there can be but one of two consequences: a firing squad, or a medal.  You seem to have drawn the medal. This time.”

0:40:00—Ill-advised greeting with Mr. Bacon. Custer to Mr. Bacon.
“You fat little pipsqueak!! This gentleman's a soldier, Sir. He stands up in battle and gets shot at so that sanctimonious little skin-flints like you can run around town in safety doing business as usual!  And if he wants to get drunk while he's on leave, what business is it of yours!!”

0:45:42—Callie’s words of wisdom.  Callie.
“I knows what you love, honey, and it ain't onions.”

0:47:52—Mr. Bacon greets Custer... warmly? Mr. Bacon to Custer.
“If you had a letter from the president of the United States, your presence would be equally offensive!”

0:50:43—Later that night at the Bacon house. Custer to Ms. Bacon.
“Oh Libby, will you marry me?”

0:56:35—Brigadier General Custer meets his troops.
“He's got more gold-braid on him than a French admiral.”

0:57:19—Murat's words from Custer's mouth.
“To the devil with the orders! We'll ride to the sound of the guns!”

0:58:12—Fearful of defeat at Union headquarters. General Winfield Scott to Gen. Taipe.
“We're trapped! All that stands between us and total disaster is the Michigan Brigade, a handful of volunteers.”

0:58:54—Taipe's lack of confidence in Custer's abilities. Taipe to Scott.
“Heaven help us, Sir. The Michigan Brigade is in the hands of the most irresponsible, incompetent, rattle-brained 2nd Lieutenant in the Union army.”

1:02:03—Custer saves the Civil War.
“Ride, you wolverines! 1st Michigan, CHARGE!!”

1:07:00—Enjoying life after military service.  Custer.
“He who drinks and runs away, lives to drink another day.”

1:09:50—Custer's first stand. Custer to the Sharps.
“But there's one thing I won't gamble with, and that's my good name. Good day, gentlemen.”

1:12:30—Mrs. Custer's attempt to save her husband.  Mrs. Custer to General Scott.
“George will never be himself out of the army. He is not happy, even though he pretends to be.”

1:18:28—California Joe knows Injuns. Joe to Custer.
“To lick an injun, you gotta fight 'em like an injun!”

1:21:51—Arrival at Ft. Lincoln. Custer.
“Look at that guard, filthy as a lot of mountain goats. Why, they don't even know how to stand to attention.”

1:22:37—Custer and Crazy Horse.
“I give word, Crazy Horse. I keep my word.”

1:26:01—Custer lays down the law. Custer.
“I have to admit that what Mr. Sharp says is perfectly correct. I've no legal reason to close this bar, none what so ever, and I won't. Providing Mr. Sharp doesn't mind being taken by the scruff of his neck and slung clear through this mirror every time I find it open. Commencing one minute from now!”

1:26:41—Custer addresses his men as their leader. Custer to his regiment.
“I'm not doing this to be a blue-nose. I know it's tough on you not being able to take a drink. It's tough on me too; huh, maybe it's tougher, but the day I break down and take one, that's the day this bar's going to open again. I don't ask any man to stick to something I can't stick to myself. And that's the way it's gonna be in this regiment.”

1:28:55—Custer's idea of a regiment. Custer to his regiment.
“Men die, but a regiment lives on, because a regiment has an immortal soul of its own. Well, the way to begin is to find it. To find something that belongs to us alone. Something to give us that pride in ourselves that'll make men endure and if necessary die with their boots on.”

1:33:16—Indians peace treaty with Custer.  Crazy Horse to Custer.
“My people want make peace. They lost many braves. Are tired of war. They will give up the plains forever. They will give up their lodges by the running streams. They will give up their hunting grounds where the buffalo graze. They will give all up, but one place.”

1:34:27—Crazy Horse's threat. Crazy Horse to Custer.
“Every living tribe between mountains and great water will gather in one last battle. It will be the end of themselves, their gods, the spirits of their fathers, and of their enemies! Crazy horse spoke.”

1:35:22—Conspiracy brewing. Mr. Sharp to his son, Ned Sharp.
“My boy, we're here because this company's facing bankruptcy on account of this idiotic treaty with the Sioux!”

1:37:09—Plot to get rid of Custer.
“Oh, then we'll have to get rid of Custer as a first measure, eh Taipe?”
1:42:13—Custer strikes Taipe. Custer to Taipe.
“You contemptible parasite!!”

1:44:44—Conspiracy revealed. Custer to Libby.
“There's no gold! It's a conspiracy to break the peace treaty.”

1:44:51—Custer vows revenge. Custer to Libby.
“They had to get rid of me and no wonder. I'd 've hanged them all from the Fort gates, Taipe and all the rest of them. I'd 've burnt the railroad bridges. And I gave my word to Crazy Horse and the the Sioux... the Sioux! Why, Libby, these fools don't know what they've done!”

1:47:07—Custer respects Crazy Horse. Custer to committee.
“If I were an Indian, I'd fight beside Crazy Horse to the last drop of blood.”

1:48:22—Sheridan conferences with Custer.  Sheridan to Custer.
“And let you commit suicide, no, thank you.  You don't owe anybody that.’

1:49:31—The President the soldier.  Custer to Grant.
“I’m not here to see the president of the United States, Grant, I’m here to see a soldier!”

1:54:09—Glory in a bottle.  Custer to Sharp.
“The greater the odds, the greater the glory.  C'mon Sharp, let's drink to glory.”

1:55:14—Glory's time to go. Custer to Sharp.
“You may be right about money, Sharp, quite right, but there's one thing to be said for glory: you can take glory with you when it is time for you to go.”

2:00:53—Loving final good-bye. Custer to Libby.
“Walking through life with you, ma'am, has been a very gracious thing.”

2:06:28—Sacrifice to the Queen's own.  Custer to Butler.
“There's 6000 of them and less than 600 of us. The regiment's being sacrificed, Butler.”

2:16:38—Words from the grave. Sheridan to Taipe.
“Well, Custer's dead, but you're going to hear him speak.”

2:18:34—One last victory.  Sheridan to Libby.
“Come, my dear. Your soldier won his last fight after all.”

Copyright (c) 1999 by Douglas Damian McKerns, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.

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