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Dances with Wolves (1990)

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

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 7 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
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Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ...
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Otter
Jason R. Lone Hill ...
Worm
Tony Pierce ...
Spivey
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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danza con lobos  »

Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$598,257 (USA) (11 November 1990)

Gross:

$184,208,848 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Kevin Reynolds received "special thanks" in the credits due to his helping Kevin Costner direct the famous buffalo hunt scene. See more »

Goofs

When Dunbar is shooting the 1860 Henry rifle, the cartridge indicator is seen in its rear-most position - indicating empty - and remains there throughout the entire action sequence. See more »

Quotes

Major Fambrough: [barely audible] Lieutenant John J. Dunbar?
[louder]
Major Fambrough: Lieutenant John J. Dunbar?
John Dunbar: Yes, sir.
Major Fambrough: Yes, sir. Indian fighter, huh?
John Dunbar: Excuse me?
Major Fambrough: [reading orders] Well it says here that you're to be posted on the frontier. The frontier's Indian country. I quickly deduced that you're an Indian fighter. I did not ascend to this position by being stupid.
John Dunbar: No, sir.
Major Fambrough: No, sir. It says here that you've been decorated.
John Dunbar: Yes, sir.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in City Guys: Dances with Malcolm (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best film of all time
28 May 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Many people regard a lot of films as "top class" but I always keep a little shelf in my mind for the films that I regard as the best films of all time - films that are simply timeless masterpieces. Welcome to the top of that shelf! There are certain criteria by which films are judged and greatness is only obtained when all the criteria are satisfied in full. Dances with Wolves is the greatest timeless masterpiece of cinema to date because it satisfies all these criteria: 1) Cinematography: the sweeping landscape photography of the Frontier combined with the subtle night-time photography earns top marks. Aside from Oscars for Cinematography and editing, it also won the ASC award for Outstanding achievement in Cinematography - as well as a host of other industry recognition awards. In short - the cinematography is breathtaking.

2) Sound/Score: the score is one of the best ever written. Again, awards rained from the sky for magical and moving score that combined seamlessly with the film/story.

3) Screenplay: The dialogue and plot is magnificent. The film does not fall into the common plot formulas found in other films that attempt to pass themselves off as epics. The story combines as both of celebration of life and a somber rumination of the history of mankind.

There are comical moments, dramatic moments and tear-jerking moments - that all make their entry (and exit) into the story with flawless timing.

4) The Acting: for all that has been said about Kevin Costner, this was the peak of his career and he played the role of John Dunbar to perfection. A relatively unknown band of actors gave magnificent, heart-felt and down-to-earth performances in support. It was actually refreshing to see an "EPIC" where the producers didn't feel the need to throw famous actors in with cameo roles to improve it marketability. As far as I was concerned, there were no weak links in the chain on the acting side of things. Kevin Costner certainly proved his worthiness as a director by getting the best out of the cast.

5) The ONLY film in history to.... Have an extended (director's cut) version that was better than the original. Due to concerns about the length of the film, Dances with Wolves was stripped back to three hours. Some complained that it was still too long, but I thought that the film was patient - it included good relevant detail but managed to keep the story moving at a good pace. The director's cut added an hour to the cinematic release and was, without a doubt, better than the original. It somehow added more intrigue to the story and included many sobering insights into the destruction of the American Indian race.

Over all, I regard it as the greatest most masterful epic of all time.


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