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Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western  |  21 November 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 173,444 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 371 user | 89 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

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



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Jimmy Herman ...
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ...
Jason R. Lone Hill ...
Tony Pierce ...
Doris Leader Charge ...
Pretty Shield


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


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


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




| |

Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danza con lobos  »

Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


$184,208,848 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (director's cut) | (DVD special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mary McDonnell was supposedly very nervous about shooting the love scenes with Kevin Costner, and, per her request, the scene was toned down considerably. See more »


After Dunbar and Stands With A Fist are married, they enter their teepee and close the door which is hinged on the right. A few "days" later, Kicking Bird calls for Dunbar to come out and ride with him. The door is now hinged on the left. See more »


John Dunbar: [voice-over] Nothing I have been told about these people is correct. They are not thieves or beggars. They are not the bogeymen they are made out to be. On the contrary, they are polite guests and I enjoy their humor.
See more »


Referenced in On Deadly Ground (1994) See more »


Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Best Native American Film Ever Made
5 December 2003 | by (Shoreline, WA) – See all my reviews

This film is certainly one of the finest films out of Hollywood in recent years. It accuratly shows how "The White People" ran roughshod over the native americans and eventually took everything they had (their land, buffalo, etc.). The end of the film is heartbreaking where it says on screen that the Indians and the Horse culture were "passed into history." I suggest every history teacher show this film in their classes so future generations can see what a proud race of people the native americans are, and what we did to them.

101 of 153 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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