Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.Lieutenant John Dunbar, assigned to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.
2) Sound/Score: the score is one of the best ever written. Again, awards rained from the sky for magical and moving score that combined seamlessly with the film/story.
3) Screenplay: The dialogue and plot is magnificent. The film does not fall into the common plot formulas found in other films that attempt to pass themselves off as epics. The story combines as both of celebration of life and a somber rumination of the history of mankind.
There are comical moments, dramatic moments and tear-jerking moments - that all make their entry (and exit) into the story with flawless timing.
4) The Acting: for all that has been said about Kevin Costner, this was the peak of his career and he played the role of John Dunbar to perfection. A relatively unknown band of actors gave magnificent, heart-felt and down-to-earth performances in support. It was actually refreshing to see an "EPIC" where the producers didn't feel the need to throw famous actors in with cameo roles to improve it marketability. As far as I was concerned, there were no weak links in the chain on the acting side of things. Kevin Costner certainly proved his worthiness as a director by getting the best out of the cast.
5) The ONLY film in history to.... Have an extended (director's cut) version that was better than the original. Due to concerns about the length of the film, Dances with Wolves was stripped back to three hours. Some complained that it was still too long, but I thought that the film was patient - it included good relevant detail but managed to keep the story moving at a good pace. The director's cut added an hour to the cinematic release and was, without a doubt, better than the original. It somehow added more intrigue to the story and included many sobering insights into the destruction of the American Indian race.
Over all, I regard it as the greatest most masterful epic of all time.
- May 28, 2006