Ninety per cent of Little Big Horn takes place before Custer's Last Stand; thus, the emphasis is on character and suspense rather than spectacle (just as well, since spectacle was well out of the range of parsimonious Lippert Studios). Lloyd Bridges heads a small band of cavalrymen who desperately try to reach the Little Big Horn in time to warn Custer of a Sioux ambush. One by one, the men are picked off by Indian sharpshooters. The only survivors are Bridges and John Ireland, longtime enemies who may very well knock each other off before ever getting to Custer. Little Big Horn was the first directorial assignment for western-writer Charles Marquis Warren. It was hardly the last: Warren would later be one of the most prolific contributors to the Gunsmoke TV series of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.