6.8/10
13,767
96 user 20 critic

Thunderheart (1992)

Trailer
2:22 | Trailer
A young mixed-blood FBI agent is assigned to work with a cynical veteran investigator on a murder on a poverty-stricken Sioux reservation.

Director:

Michael Apted

Writer:

John Fusco
Reviews
2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Ray Levoi
Sam Shepard ... Frank Coutelle
Graham Greene ... Walter Crow Horse
Fred Ward ... Jack Milton
Fred Thompson ... William Dawes (as Fred Dalton Thompson)
Sheila Tousey ... Maggie Eagle Bear
Ted Thin Elk Ted Thin Elk ... Grandpa Sam Reaches (as Chief Ted Thin Elk)
John Trudell ... Jimmy Looks Twice
Julius Drum Julius Drum ... Richard Yellow Hawk
Sarah Brave Sarah Brave ... Maisy Blue Legs
Allan R.J. Joseph Allan R.J. Joseph ... Leo Fast Elk
Sylvan Pumpkin Seed Sylvan Pumpkin Seed ... Hobart
Patrick Massett ... Agent Mackey
Rex Linn ... FBI Agent
Brian A. O'Meara 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The gravestone is a replica of the real one, with "Thunderheart" replacing the name "Swift Bird." See more »

Goofs

The Wounded Knee memorial stone shown in the movie is a replica of the original, on which the 19th name was changed from "Swift Bird" to "Thunderheart". However, the 11th name was misspelled, on the original monument is "Yellow Robe" while on the replica is "Yellow Rose". See more »

Quotes

William Dawes: [Authoritatively to Levoi] It's a sensitive operation. I want it closed in three days!
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Alternate Versions

The version prepared by Tristar for commercial television showing featured 270 separate cuts, removing 22 minutes of footage. To shorter the film even further, the film was time-compressed to gain an additional 4 minutes, and the credits speeded-up to lose another 2 minutes. Director Michael Apted asked to have his name removed from the mutilated TV version, or have a disclaimer shown before the title credits, stating that he disowned that version. After legal litigation, Tristar opted to remove Apted's name and credit the TV version to pseudonymous director Alan Smithee. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Killing: Keylela (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gonna Take Time
Written and Performed by Ali Olmo
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User Reviews

 
A magnificent movie!
27 March 2003 | by driftrss2See all my reviews

This movie blasted me in the theater! I had heard from friends & relatives how beautiful the Badlands were. The cinematography of this film brought that beauty directly at me. The script was concise & smart. I enjoy scripts that require my attention to there detail.

Most of all, the actors excelled in their parts. Val Kilmer handled the transitions perfectly: from disinterested agent to nonbeliever to skeptic to reluctant believer to full realization without a seam! I really like Fred Ward and hated his character in this movie. Sam Shephard provided his consistent great performance. I think it was the first time I had seen Graham Greene. He turned in a fabulous performance.

This film insures that you question everything you learned from a textbook. It brings you in, shows you another viewpoint, illustrates the other side of the story, and demands that you think before you take a side. I paid to see this film twice in the theater and bought the DVD when it was released. I watch it regularly.

If I had to pick another film that had similar power, it would be "In Pursuit Of Honor" with Don Johnson & Craig Sheffer.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Sioux

Release Date:

3 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thunderheart See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,507,425, 5 April 1992

Gross USA:

$22,660,758

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,660,758
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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