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Dances with Wolves (1990)

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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)
965 ( 408)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »



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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:




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Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danza con lobos  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (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
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Did You Know?


The buffalo hunt and several other sequences were filmed on the 55,000-acre Triple U Ranch owned by Roy Houck, who had served as South Dakota's lieutenant governor in the 1950s; he gave the filmmakers considerable assistance in managing the logistics of the sequence. See more »


During the hunt scene, the Lakota are repeatedly shown immediately bringing down the stampeding buffalo with single arrow shots. Bowhunting does not work that way. In reality, the hunters would have to track the wounded animals, sometimes for miles, until they bled out. 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 L.A. Law: Dances with Sharks (1991) See more »


Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spectacular epic and one of the greatest 90's movie classics
19 November 2003 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

This is the type of a film that's never boring no matter how often you watch it. It deserved every single award it got. It's touching, it's timeless and it's downright beautiful. I'm not a huge friend of extended versions because there's usually a perfectly good reason to take something out of the film and none whatsoever to put it back again, if pleasing hardcore fans isn't a good reason - that's totally a matter of opinion. However, "Dances with wolves" is certainly an exception.

The nearly four hour version is the only one to be. Sure it sounds like it's too much but when you watch the movie it doesn't look a minute overlong and cutting even a second out of it would seem like a horrible crime. The original theater version was 52 minutes shorter which sound too cruel to be true. I mean really, what's there to cut? If you haven't seen "Dances with wolves" yet you have missed one of the greatest motion picture experiences of the 90's and you should do something about it instantly.

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