If you haven't seen it, here's my take on it. People who are stuffy, proper, sophisticated, and politically correct in a social sense are not going to care for this movie. On the other hand, if you are laid back, easy going, don't have to have an uplifting and moral story line, and appreciate comedy (often sexy and somewhat raw), you are going to love this movie. The producer and director very obviously made this movie for the simple purpose of providing the audience with a lot of very funny comedy. And they succeeded immensely (if you are laid back, easy going, etc.) The scenes range from funny to hilarious.
Buy or rent the video. I've seen this on network TV and it is very "sanitized".
There are several fine performances. My favorite is that of Raymond Massey as he is very convincing in the thankless role of a cold-hearted governer who towards the end shows a sadistic side and then, at the very end of the movie, shows that there is good in everybody.
Then there is the hurricane itself. Naturally I have not seen every movie ever made, but seeing how this movie predates the computer age the hurricane is surely the greatest special effects in movie history.
I did not see the performances of any of Mary McDonnell's competitors, but was very disappointed that she did not win for Best Supporting Actress. And the nominations for Art - Set Decoration and Costume Design were very well deserved.
Another top achievement was getting to know the Indians very intimately and coming to realize that individually, the Indians of the 1860s are very much like white people today. And it showed, to an extent, how Indian culture of the 1860s differed so vastly from white culture of the same time. It would have been a good idea, I think, to have developed this aspect some more.
That is one of the weaknesses, in my opinion, of this movie. Another is the tendency to portray the Sioux as 100% good and the whites and the Pawnee as close to 100% bad. I have a handful of reputable books that all point out that there were a significant number of whites who were sympathetic to the Indians during this time. Unfortunately for the Indians, there weren't enough of them and most were back east.
Regarding the Pawnee, it is true that they were enemies of the Sioux. But so were the Crow, Shoshone, and some lesser tribes. From what I have read in my books, the various tribes of the Great Plains competed against each other for enough land to support them. They needed water, grass for their horse herds, wild game for food, and buffalo for just about everything. They warred against each other. But that doesn't make one tribe "good" and another tribe "bad".
Finally, there is too much of Kevin Costner in this movie. I don't know if he realizes or agrees, but it seems that he was trying to make himself, not the people of the Sioux village, the centerpiece of the movie. If someone else had done the narration, that would have been a big help. Or if someone else had played the part of Lt. Dunbar, that also would have been a good idea.
When the movie ended, there was total and complete silence in the theater. It lasted for maybe a minute. Then I could make out the sounds of patrons gently getting up out of their seats. Next I could hear the soft footsteps as the people began to slowly walk out of the theater. And I could barely discern people near me talking in low and seemingly reverent tones. It was like everyone in the theater felt that they were in the presence of an awesome power that demanded, and deserved, the utmost respect. Never have I come close to an experience like that. It was as impressive as the movie itself.
Steven Spielberg is a true genius.
This movie is an excellent, no-nonsense portrayal of the short and dramatic life of the legendary German battleship Bismarck.
If you are watching this movie the first time and have not heard how it ends, you will find yourself all caught up in it and wondering if, and how, these men are going to get out of the predicament they're in. And if you have seen it before, it's worth watching just to see the performances of James Stewart and Hardy Kruger in particular, as their stubborn egos repeatedly clash. Other cast members give very solid performances.
The scenery and lighting are very professional. The choreography is very good. The dancers show outstanding athletic ability. The most obvious is flexibility. And they no doubt have excellent muscle tone and aerobic capacity.
The music is what sets this show apart. The songs range from very good to incredibly beautiful; instrumentally and vocally both. When the whole cast cuts loose with an energetic number it is so thrilling to hear.
When mentioning individual singing, let me refer to the final scene. Elaine Paige starts off with a magnificent performance of "Memory". Then follows a beautiful group performance. You wouldn't think it could get any better, but Ken Page delivers an incomparable performance, of several minutes, with a voice that is both beautiful and powerful.
IMDB, you should allow a 5,000 word limit for comments on movies like this one. performers make the very best of an outstanding screenplay.
In closing, my huge thanks to producer/director/writer Kevin Sullivan.
Alas, I have not seen it since it went off the air. In other words I have never seen any reruns; I don't know for sure if there ever have been any reruns. I fear that the reels of film may have been lost. But if they are still available, and if a person with the capability to put this show back on the air as reruns happens to read this, please do so. Thank you.
I want to emphasize the narration. This movie is just one example of Disney's ability to find highly skilled narrators for movies/documentaries in which humans play a minor part; and sometimes no part at all.