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Thunderheart (1992)

R  |   |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller  |  3 April 1992 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 10,516 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 15 critic

A young mixed-blood FBI agent is assigned to work with a cynical veteran investigator on a murder on a poverty-stricken Sioux reservation.

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Title: Thunderheart (1992)

Thunderheart (1992) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Frank Coutelle
...
...
Jack Milton
...
Sheila Tousey ...
Maggie Eagle Bear
Ted Thin Elk ...
Grandpa Sam Reaches (as Chief Ted Thin Elk)
...
Jimmy Looks Twice
Julius Drum ...
Richard Yellow Hawk
Sarah Brave ...
Maisy Blue Legs
Allan R.J. Joseph ...
Leo Fast Elk
Sylvan Pumpkin Seed ...
Hobart
...
Agent Mackey
...
FBI Agent
Brian A. O'Meara ...
FBI Agent
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Storyline

An FBI man with Sioux background is sent to a reservation to help with a murder investigation, where he has to come to terms with his heritage. Slowly he rejects the intimidating tactics of his fellow FBI agents, who are not so interested in solving the crime as covering up an incriminating situation with the locals, and as he becomes more tuned to his heritage, the locals begin trusting him. Based on actual Reservation occurrences of the '70s. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two men from different worlds. Two cops after the same killer. Together they must uncover the secrets. Together they must discover the truth.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some areas of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coeur de tonnerre  »

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$22,660,758 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie contains several references to the original Wounded Knee incident, which took place on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1890. For instance, the character William Dawes shares a surname with Senator Henry Dawes, of Dawes Act notoriety. The Dawes Act's goal was to assimilate American Indians into white society. Additionally, Frank Coutelle refers to Walter Crow Horse as "Crowfoot". Crowfoot was the name of the first of Sitting Bull's sons to be shot and killed at the original Wounded Knee massacre. See more »

Goofs

FBI agent Ray Levoi is leaving D.C. for South Dakota but when they show his plane take off, LAX's distinctive control tower is clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Ray Levoi: [Rhetorically, looking at the poverty of the reservation] Where the hell did they send us?
Frank Coutelle: A long way from home, Ray.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Rich Hall's Inventing the Indian (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Take Time
Written and Performed by Ali Olmo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Apted's best outing as a director
22 May 2000 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Michael Apted has had a few indifferent movies, but Thunderheart is in my view his best. Apted spotlights the tribal Indian community in Badlands, South Dakota, exploring the mysticism of the Sioux culture and examining the impact of its forced co-existence with the modern American way of life. This juxtaposed mix of two cultures is best exemplified by Val Kilmer, who plays a young, brash and cocky FBI investigator with Sioux blood sent "back home" to investigate a homicide.

The murder investigation proves to be the tip of the iceberg, revealing a greater conspiracy to steal the land away from the Sioux. There is a surreal edge to the movie throughout, balanced well with an engaging and gripping story line. Kilmer is at his best here, aided well by a great supporting cast. The action was thick and fast, surrounded by an aura of mystical magic that was best supplied by James Horner's thumping soundtrack. For two hours I was enthralled. This is an excellent movie.


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