8.0/10
236,453
478 user 111 critic

Dances with Wolves (1990)

Trailer
1:31 | Trailer
Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director:

Kevin Costner

Writers:

Michael Blake (screenplay), Michael Blake (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
1,140 ( 53)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 44 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... Lieutenant Dunbar
Mary McDonnell ... Stands With A Fist
Graham Greene ... Kicking Bird
Rodney A. Grant ... Wind In His Hair
Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman ... Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Tantoo Cardinal ... Black Shawl
Robert Pastorelli ... Timmons
Charles Rocket ... Lieutenant Elgin
Maury Chaykin ... Major Fambrough
Jimmy Herman ... Stone Calf
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ... Smiles A Lot
Michael Spears ... Otter
Jason R. Lone Hill Jason R. Lone Hill ... Worm
Tony Pierce Tony Pierce ... Spivey
Doris Leader Charge Doris Leader Charge ... Pretty Shield
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Storyline

Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The journey begins this November. Discover it for yourself. See more »


Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The feasting scene after the buffalo hunt, where Dunbar and Wind in His Hair become friends and exchange their gifts, was actually shot indoors inside a Quonset hut because it was so cold outside. See more »

Goofs

When Dunbar is riding off to the Indian camp he carries a flag on a pole. The bottom of the flag is about at the same level as the top of his hat. When Two Socks sees the flag go by over the crest of a hill, the flag is being held much higher so that Dunbar's hat isn't even seen. See more »

Quotes

John Dunbar: [writing in his diary] If it wasn't for my companion, I believe I'd be having the time of my life.
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Alternate Versions

The 236-minute "extended version" or "Director's Cut" has been released on home video, altering the movie as such:
  • 38 x new scene
  • 15 x extended scene
  • 12 x alternative footage
  • 5 x alternative text
  • 1 x new text
  • 3 x postponed scene
  • 3 x altered arrangement of scenes
  • 3 x shortened scene.
There is also a 233-minute version which cuts out the 3 minute Intermission at around 133 min featuring John Barry music. See more »


Soundtracks

Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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User Reviews

 
Lt. Dunbar's worst fears have come true.
8 July 2003 | by TOMASBBloodhoundSee all my reviews

This film is a sweeping epic that you'll never forget whether you liked it or not. It tells the tale of love, loyalty, friendship, and self-realization in a magnificent setting among a great people, and during a time of strife. This film put Kevin Costner on the map as a Hollywood star. He could use a hit like this one right about now.

The first thing a viewer is struck by is the amazing landscape of western South Dakota. If any of you have never been out that way, do your self a favor and check it out. It will blow you away. The musical score is also very beautiful. The Indians look so authentic that they almost blend into the scenery even as we get to know them as individuals. It's hard to imagine that Plains Indian culture could have been depicted more realistically.

The story deals with Lt. John Dunbar (Costner), a disillusioned Civil War vet who asks to be transferred to a western post so he can see the west "before it's gone". He is then sent to a deserted fort where he finds himself in the precarious position of being the only white man in a land of Indians who seem intent on stealing his horse. He decides to try to get to know the local Sioux tribe and eventually becomes one of them. In finding a place in their society, he finds himself, so to speak.

Dances With Wolves is a very good film. I think it belongs in the top 250 to be sure. It is a little slow at times, but so what? A lot of great films are. Other than Dunbar, there are really no positive white characters. This is understandable considering the subject matter, but the barbarism of some of the soldiers seemed a little over the top. Other than that, no real gripes.

For me, the most memorable scene was when Dunbar and Kicking Bird were discussing the number of whites who would be coming into the territory.

Dunbar: You've often wondered about how many white people will be coming. There will be a

lot, my friend.

Kicking Bird: (in English) How many?

Dunbar: Like the stars. It makes me afraid for all of the Sioux.

Unfortunately, this fear has come true. All one has to do is drive out to White Clay, Neb. and see them sitting there. Along the street. Drunk by mid morning. The descendants of people like Kicking Bird and Wind in His Hair. These men would have been out hunting buffalo or battling with their enemies 150 years ago. Now, there is nothing for them to do. They have two choices: Stay on the reservation and live out a life in poverty while keeping their traditions alive, or try to make it in the cities and cast off their traditional ways. A tough choice to be sure. Watch the movie Thunderheart to get an idea of what these reservations are like. It's not a pretty picture.

The destruction of Indian Culture was not the goal of the United States. It is merely a CONSEQUENCE of the idea of Manifest Destiny. The Sioux are a magnificent people. What has happened to them could be summed up in one word: tragic.

10 of 10 stars

So sayeth the Hound.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English | Sioux | Pawnee

Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dances with Wolves See more »

Filming Locations:

Kansas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$598,257, 11 November 1990

Gross USA:

$184,208,848

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$424,208,848
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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