6.8/10
12,879
90 user 18 critic

Thunderheart (1992)

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2:25 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A young mixed-blood FBI agent is assigned to work with a cynical veteran investigator on a murder on a poverty-stricken Sioux reservation.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writer:

John Fusco
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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Ray Levoi
Sam Shepard ... Frank Coutelle
Graham Greene ... Walter Crow Horse
Fred Ward ... Jack Milton
Fred Dalton Thompson ... William Dawes
Sheila Tousey ... Maggie Eagle Bear
Ted Thin Elk Ted Thin Elk ... Grandpa Sam Reaches (as Chief Ted Thin Elk)
John Trudell ... Jimmy Looks Twice
Julius Drum Julius Drum ... Richard Yellow Hawk
Sarah Brave Sarah Brave ... Maisy Blue Legs
Allan R.J. Joseph Allan R.J. Joseph ... Leo Fast Elk
Sylvan Pumpkin Seed Sylvan Pumpkin Seed ... Hobart
Patrick Massett Patrick Massett ... Agent Mackey
Rex Linn ... FBI Agent
Brian A. O'Meara Brian A. O'Meara ... FBI Agent
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Storyline

An FBI man with Sioux background is sent to a reservation to help with a murder investigation, where he has to come to terms with his heritage. Slowly he rejects the intimidating tactics of his fellow FBI agents, who are not so interested in solving the crime as covering up an incriminating situation with the locals, and as he becomes more tuned to his heritage, the locals begin trusting him. Based on actual Reservation occurrences of the '70s. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men from different worlds. Two cops after the same killer. Together they must uncover the secrets. Together they must discover the truth.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some areas of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Sony Pictures [UK]

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Sioux

Release Date:

3 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coeur de tonnerre See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,507,425, 5 April 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,660,758
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?


Goofs

The original version shows Val Kilmers character drinking peyote; now that scene has been cut and it makes no sense. Why is he freaking out and having visions in the fire. It destroys the whole point of the movie in that the Val Kilmer character couldn't use logic, etc. to solve the case and had to try something else and learn his 'spiritual' background and get help from the 'spirit world' beyond our normal perceptions... Now it's just some guy acting weird because of a fire... It doesn't explain why he pulls his gun and the Indian sheriff tells him 'I know you're scared'... it was because he was having peyote visions; which are now censored, because all you belong in the soul harvester machine and if you dared take peyote you might learn that truth.. See more »

Quotes

Walter Crow Horse: License and registration?
Ray Levoi: Kiss my ass.
Walter Crow Horse: Hey, this is *my* jurisdiction now. And you were going 59 in a 55 zone.
Ray Levoi: Let me see the radar.
Walter Crow Horse: I don't need no radar, I can tell! I just listen to the wind; it said, "Fifty-nine, nail 'im!"
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Alternate Versions

The version prepared by Tristar for commercial television showing featured 270 separate cuts, removing 22 minutes of footage. To shorter the film even further, the film was time-compressed to gain an additional 4 minutes, and the credits speeded-up to lose another 2 minutes. Director Michael Apted asked to have his name removed from the mutilated TV version, or have a disclaimer shown before the title credits, stating that he disowned that version. After legal litigation, Tristar opted to remove Apted's name and credit the TV version to pseudonymous director Alan Smithee. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Hit (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Let's Dance
Written by Ali Olmo & Germaine Franco
Performed by Ali Olmo
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If you're not in a hurry, a great film.
10 February 1999 | by NovaXIISee all my reviews

I had to go with a 9 for this one, because it is a bit long and sleepy, plus the viewer must pay very close attention to follow it. The first time I saw it, at age 17, I didn't really get it, but I had been impacted by it's honest portrayal of the reservation.

Now that you've been warned, I recommend it. I had immediate respect for the Indians I had always considered worthless. We cannot expect them to succeed in a world they didn't create, nor particularly wish to participate in. The intelligence level of the Indian characters is admirable, complimentary, and believable. I'm going to watch it again tomorrow.

Val Kilmer is superb as usual, and Graham Greene should have gotten an Oscar, but sometimes there aren't enough to go around. The cinematography is just amazing. If you like movies that meet you half way and take energy to watch, you'll be impressed. If you liked Titanic, don't bother.


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