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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Dances with Wolves can be found here.
Major Fambrough the senior officer, throughout the entire scene, demonstrates his lack of sanity. In the next scene just before he commits suicide, he again speaks with another officer as if he was one of his royal subjects. It's assumed that because he is the "king", nobody can stop him from doing what he wants. He is saying to Dunbar, I am totally in charge of you. I can even piss in my pants and you or nobody else can do anything about it. It shows the effect of having to live on the frontier, as it would generally have been the incompetent or the more lowly officers who would have been 'exiled' to frontier posts rather than have them in a more active duty, and the loneliness and distance from what they would consider civilization eventually drove them mad. This is reinforced by the abandonment of Sedgwick by its previous occupants and their bizarre behaviour, the killing of the deer, using them to poison the pond, and the fact that they were living in caves rather than the fort itself, and also the questioning of Dunbar as to why he volunteered for the duty when he was a decorated Lieutenant.
The US army believed Lt. Dunbar was a traitor and that he sided with the Sioux tribe and that his presence in their camp has put the lives of everyone in the tribe in danger. For the greater good, Dunbar decided to leave the tribe and Stands with a Fist, as his wife, knows that she will go with him.
The men were in caves because he had provided no (or totally inadequate) leadership after having been abandoned/forgotten by the Army and because they no longer felt safe in the fort, fearing Indian attacks at any time.
All in all, the Extended Version offers changes at 64 points of the movie (compared to the Theatrical Version). The most common change is the insertion of new scenes or the extension of scenes that were already included in the Theatrical Version. However, there are also a lot of title cards and alterations regarding the arrangement of scenes. In total more than 50 minutes of new footage have been added. A detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.
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