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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 175,176 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 372 user | 90 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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Won 7 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 31 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:



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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
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Did You Know?


Orion originally planned to release both this film and The Silence of the Lambs (1991) in late 1990, and to promote both films as Oscar contenders. Their financial problems, however, forced them to choose one film over the other, and this one was released first, with Lambs being released in early 1991 instead. Executives could then wait until later in the year to begin their Oscar campaign. This resulted in Orion being able to release only one other major picture in 1991, instead of two. Since Jodie Foster appeared in Lambs, and she was being promoted as a Best Actress nominee, Orion decided to help her chances by releasing her other film Little Man Tate (1991), shelving Blue Sky (1994). Foster won Best Actress, and Blue Sky was not released for three more years, which resulted in Jessica Lange also winning Best Actress. See more »


In the scenes taking place at Ft. Hays, the windmill seen in several shots is too modern. The film takes place in 1863; the windmill shown is a steel, self-oiling model, which was not invented until after 1900. See more »


John Dunbar: [writing in his diary] If it wasn't for my companion, I believe I'd be having the time of my life.
See more »


Referenced in Raimo ei näytä Kevin Costnerilta (2011) See more »


Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the 15 best Movies of all Time
2 July 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Dances with Wolves is a great movie, make no mistake about that, Kevin Costner had lighting in a bottle. Costner has not come close to movie success since wolves. The cast is excellent, Kicking Bird, Stands with Fist, Wind in his Hair and my quiet favorite smiles a lot, smiles a Lot had trouble with growing up and becoming a brave, until it is forced on him, his mood after he has killed the first time is priceless.

Some people say Dances with Wolves was an anti white movie, that is total bull, it tells the true story the way few movies have of the cruelty of the white people. People don't want to admit this movie is a true telling of the way white people treat other races and nature. It is a hard movie to digest.It is a hard movie to admit the truth. The other thought is a lot of movie fans want car chases and explosions. If a movie is thoughtful, it is labeled boring. Dances is one of the top 15 movies of all time. 9 out of 10 stars.

Dances with wolves I am wind in his hair Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?

113 of 185 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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