In Little Big Man, Arthur Penn uses the mode of comic elegy in order to sustain a reverent feeling for the American past without falling into sentimentality
Little Big Man (1970)
Jack Crabb is 121 years old. His eyes are agate chips; senility seeps through the cracks in his voice. But Crabb is not your average superannuated former Indian fighter. He is Little Big Man, sole survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn.
Dan Georgakas argues that even in those films that are more sympathetic to Indians there are fundamental distortions of Native American culture and continuing negative Hollywood stereotypes.