6.8/10
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88 user 17 critic

Thunderheart (1992)

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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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Jack Milton
...
Sheila Tousey ...
Ted Thin Elk ...
Grandpa Sam Reaches (as Chief Ted Thin Elk)
...
Julius Drum ...
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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

3 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Coeur de tonnerre  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,507,425, 5 April 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$22,660,758
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter John Fusco became near-fluent in the Lakota language while living at Pine Ridge. See more »

Goofs

As Levoi walks into Grandpa Sam Reaches' trailer, the TV he is watching has very poor reception (static, etc.) In the next shot, the picture is clear and perfect. See more »

Quotes

Ray Levoi: This land is not for sale!
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Connections

Featured in Last Action Hero (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Badlands
Written and Performed by Bruce Springsteen
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Apted's best outing as a director
22 May 2000 | by 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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