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Dances with Wolves (1990)

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Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director:

Kevin Costner

Writers:

Michael Blake (screenplay), Michael Blake (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
1,326 ( 506)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 44 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Lieutenant Dunbar
Mary McDonnell ... Stands With A Fist
Graham Greene ... Kicking Bird
Rodney A. Grant ... Wind In His Hair
Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman ... Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Tantoo Cardinal ... Black Shawl
Robert Pastorelli ... Timmons
Charles Rocket ... Lieutenant Elgin
Maury Chaykin ... Major Fambrough
Jimmy Herman ... Stone Calf
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ... Smiles A Lot
Michael Spears ... Otter
Jason R. Lone Hill Jason R. Lone Hill ... Worm
Tony Pierce Tony Pierce ... Spivey
Doris Leader Charge Doris Leader Charge ... Pretty Shield
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Storyline

Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lt. John Dunbar is about to discover the frontier...within himself. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Sioux | Pawnee

Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dances with Wolves See more »

Filming Locations:

Kansas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$598,257, 11 November 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$184,208,848

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$424,200,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut) | (director's cut with intermission)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39:1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene where we see Cisco jumping around in the corral just before the Sioux party steals him was a 'stolen' shot. The horse was just letting off steam, and they caught part of it and slipped it in because it looked so good and fit the scene. See more »

Goofs

When Kicking Bird takes Lt. John Dunbar to the 'Sacred Place', it is there that Dunbar finally confessed that the 'White' people are coming. Kicking Bird's response was in English, "How many?" which was an unfamiliar language for his character. See more »

Quotes

John Dunbar: How come we haven't seen any buffalo?
Timmons: Can't figure the stinking buffalo. Sometimes you don't see them for days, and sometimes they're out there as thick as curls on a whore.
John Dunbar: What about Indians?
Timmons: Indians? Goddamn Indians you'd just as soon not see, unless the bastards are dead. They're nothing but thieves and beggars.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 236-minute "extended version" has been released on DVD, containing the scenes that were missing from most of the previous VHS releases. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Hard Times of RJ Berger: Over the Rainblow (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
magnificent
26 August 2003 | by ChewbaccySee all my reviews

I like to watch lots of films, pretty much any film in fact, therefore I can tell you i have seen a fair few duds. I have also seen some spectacularly brilliant films. Dances With Wolves is one of them. For me to have the patience to watch a film more than a couple of times then the film needs to make me want to watch it over and over. Let me tell you I have seen this film more than a few times. I think you know when a film is special to you when you watch it and you keep thinking to yourself "oh this scene coming up is great", if you can say that continually whilst watching a film then you know you are watching a great film.

As for the film itself, cinematography has never been bettered, Costners acting is OK but it his presence rather than his acting that has brought gravitas to his movies, you certainly cant argue with his directing, which along with Orson Wells, Tarantino and a few select others must rank alongside as one of the best directorial debuts. The supporting cast is excellent especially Graeme Greene who is the wonderful Kicking Bird and of course Rodney A Grant.

I shamefully dont know too much about the history of the Indian population in America, so I dont know whether the events or portrayals in the film are accurate, however artistic license is surely allowed when making what is first and foremost a piece of entertainment. Being British I have seen many an American film with British stereotypes, not once have I been offended or appalled, as I see them as interpretations, God knows British filmmakers are just as guilty of such generalisations when it comes to "foreign" characters.

Marvel at the wonderful film-making in this film not political inaccuracies after all this is a story, and a damn fine one at that, remember King Kong didnt really climb up the Empire State Building and you dont here gorillas complaining about being misrepresented. This is a point of view expressed in a great film.

Personally films dont get much better than this.


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