Release dateDecember 7, 1956 (1956-12-07) Based onA Horse For Mrs. Custer
1954 short story in New World Writing
by Glendon Swarthout WriterPeter Packer (screenplay), Glendon Swarthout (based on story by) ProducersRandolph Scott, Harry Joe Brown CastRandolph Scott (Capt. Tom Benson), Barbara Hale (Martha Kellogg), Jay C. Flippen (Sgt. Bates), Frank Faylen (Sgt. Kruger), Harry Carey, Jr. (Cpl. Morrison), Denver Pyle (Dixon) Similar moviesThe Great Sioux Massacre (1965)
Absent from Custers Last Stand, an Army captain (Randolph Scott) volunteers for the Little Bighorn burial detail.
7th Cavalry is a 1956 American Western film directed by Joseph H. Lewis based on a story, "A Horse for Mrs. Custer," by Glendon Swarthout set after the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Filmed in Mexico, the picture stars Randolph Scott and Barbara Hale.
An officer accused of cowardice volunteers to bring back General Custers's body after Little Big Horn.
Captain Tom Benson (Randolph Scott) has been granted a furlough to bring his bride-to-be Martha back to Fort Abraham Lincoln and his Regiment, the 7th Cavalry. Benson is mystified when he sees the fort apparently deserted with the colors not flying. Exploring the vacant post he is met by the hysterical Charlotte Reynolds (Jeanette Nolan) whose husband replaced Benson as commander of his "C" Company and was killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Only a small group of misfits and guardhouse prisoners led by an old sergeant remain who have held a wake by drinking themselves into oblivion.
Once the commands of Major Marcus Reno (Frank Wilcox) and Captain Frederick Benteen (Michael Pate) have returned, they and the widows hold Benson in contempt, not only for not being at the battle in command of his men, but what they perceived as George Custers liking for him, Bensons non-West Point background, and his career as a gambler until commissioned into the Regiment.
Marthas father Colonel Kellogg (Russell Hicks) comes to the post to conduct a Board of Inquiry into Custers actions that Benson sees as a smear against a man he admires who can not defend himself.
Held in contempt by his Regiment, when the President of the United States orders the recovery of the slain officers and the burial of the cavalrymen who fell in the battle, Benson takes his misfits and military prisoners into Indian territory to perform the task.
The Indians have made the land sacred ground and do not want to see the enemies they respected taken away from their burial site. A standoff develops as the cavalry insist on leaving the battleground with the dead officers bodies. As the situation becomes tense a cavalryman is shot dead with an arrow whilst trying to escape. Then Custers second horse (Dandy) appears - having been ridden out by a messenger who is unhorsed by an Indian scout away from the action - and is mistaken for Custers dead horse (Vic) by the Indians. The bugler blows the call to charge and the horse gallops towards the cavalrys position. The Indians are said to believe that Custers spirit has returned and allow the cavalry to leave the field. Back at the camp Captain Benson is reconciled with his father-in-law.
Randolph Scott as Capt. Tom Benson
Barbara Hale as Martha Kellogg
Jay C. Flippen as Sgt. Bates
Frank Faylen as Sgt. Kruger
Jeanette Nolan as Charlotte Reynolds
Leo Gordon as Vogel
Denver Pyle as Dixon
Harry Carey Jr. as Cpl. Morrison
Michael Pate as Capt. Benteen
Donald Curtis as Lt. Bob Fitch
Frank Wilcox as Maj. Reno
Pat Hogan as Young Hawk
Russell Hicks as Col. Kellogg
Peter Ortiz as Pollock
The Great Sioux Massacre (1965). Bugles in the Afternoon (1952). Randolph Scott appears in 7th Cavalry and A Lawless Street. They Died with Their Boots On (1941). She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949).
Evans, Alun. Brasseys Guide to War Films. Brasseys, 2000. ISBN 1-57488-263-5 p. 180.