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)
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Popularity
525 ( 34)
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

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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 Tennessee battle scenes were supposed to take place in the fall but it wasn't possible to film then so with the aid of 10,000 gallons of paint the cornfield was sprayed yellow and the foliage on the trees painted in autumnal colours. See more »

Goofs

When John Dunbar shoots the charging buffalo, it falls to the ground. He asks the young Indian "Are you alright?" and the Buffalo moves. He turns and shoots it twice with out having to reload using the lever-action. See more »

Quotes

Kicking Bird: [after receiving the pipe from Dances with Wolves] How does it smoke?
John Dunbar: I've never smoked it.
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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 »

Connections

Featured in History Buffs: Dances with Wolves (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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User Reviews

 
Way better than Avatar
12 January 2011 | by nebukanezerSee all my reviews

I just can't for the life of me understand why this movie is rated below Avatar...

After having seen this movie again for the first time in years, and after having seen Avatar, it is my opinion that Dances with Wolves is in an entirely different league in terms of story telling. The main ingredients of the story between these two movies is fairly similar - however, the pace and finesse with which Dances with Wolves portrays the development of the relationship between John and the Indians is masterfully done. While Avatar has huge flaws in its story-telling including some scenes with very weak dialogue - it might have gotten away with it as the audience is perhaps distracted by the bombardment of impressive CGI effects!

If you thought Avatar was good and haven't seen Dances with Wolves in a while - I highly recommend it. An excellent move that I think deserves a much better review score - and also should definitely be on IMDBs top 250 list.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

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

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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
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