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Thunderheart (1992)

 -  Crime | Mystery | Thriller  -  3 April 1992 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 10,248 users  
Reviews: 81 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)

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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

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

A fictitious Sal Mineo movie, "Arrows on the Prairie" is mentioned. Although the movie is fictional, Mineo did star as a young Sioux warrior in "Tonka" (1958) and later as a Cheyenne warrior in "Cheyenne Autumn" (1964). See more »

Goofs

After Maggie Eagle-Bear's son is shot in the arm, the volume and pattern of blood covers nearly his entire upper arm. In the next camera shot, the volume of blood is significantly less and a different pattern. In the third camera shot, the blood volume returns to the same as the first shot. See more »

Quotes

Bartender: Goddamn prairie niggers!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Hit (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Baby Let's Dance
Written by Ali Olmo & Germaine Franco
Performed by Ali Olmo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Thunderheart : the American Indian lives on in American Soul
10 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watching Val Kilmer execute a brilliant performance is not only entertaining, to say the least, but moving.

Kilmer comes to grips with his 1/4 Sioux background and with the forces of "civilization" as an FBI agent. The forces of civilization are the infamous greed and corruption, or "special interests" as some politicians prefer to use. The Sioux are accused of proud but reckless. They're right about the pride. What is omitted by the forces of civilization is the honor of these people.

Particularly engaging is the mysticism of the Sioux. FBI agent Ray Levoi (Kilmer) is gradually absorbed by this mysticism (as can be the audience), and opens greater insight into the real conflict.

While probably the majority of Americans cannot claim Native American heritage, surely, the land can. And belonging to the land, as Americans, that heritage must be ours as well. This film inspires one to feel such thoughts and feelings, especially if we feel attachment to (and presumably, love for) this land, America.

One most interesting observation about owls: one character says to Levoi, the FBI agent, "the owl is the messenger; it means somebody's going to die." That is a common interpretation in Mexico too, surely brought down by its Indians, the common vision there being that of a barn owl (lechuza, in Spanish).

This mysticism is very powerful in this film. I recommend it for quality acting performances, and high spirituality.


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