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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.



(screenplay), (novel)
1,014 ( 40)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Black Shawl
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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$598,257, 11 November 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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?


The studio wanted the final cut to be 2 hours 20 minutes. They had to settle for Kevin Costner's cut of 3 hours. See more »


The flag flying at Ft. Sedgwick is the flag with 50 stars rather than the flag used during the Civil War. See more »


John Dunbar: [after Dunbar's suicide attempt at the enemy lines] Don't take off my foot.
General Tide: You rest easy, son. You'll keep your foot. As God is my judge, you'll keep it.
General Tide: [removes his hat in respect and turns to his aide] Bring up my ambulance.
General's Aide: Sir?
General Tide: Bring up my ambulance! And my surgeon with it!
General Tide: [turns back to Dunbar] We got an officer who's worth something lying here.
See more »


Referenced in Les Tuche 2 - Le rêve américain (2016) See more »


Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

26 August 2003 | by See 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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