Dances with Wolves

Dances with Wolves

4.5 37

Cast: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant

     
 

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A historical drama about the relationship between a Civil War soldier and a band of Sioux Indians, Kevin Costner's directorial debut was also a surprisingly popular hit, considering its length, period setting, and often somber tone. The film opens on a particularly dark note, as melancholy Union lieutenant John W. Dunbar attempts to kill himself on a suicide mission,… See more details below

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Overview

A historical drama about the relationship between a Civil War soldier and a band of Sioux Indians, Kevin Costner's directorial debut was also a surprisingly popular hit, considering its length, period setting, and often somber tone. The film opens on a particularly dark note, as melancholy Union lieutenant John W. Dunbar attempts to kill himself on a suicide mission, but instead becomes an unintentional hero. His actions lead to his reassignment to a remote post in remote South Dakota, where he encounters the Sioux. Attracted by the natural simplicity of their lifestyle, he chooses to leave his former life behind to join them, taking on the name Dances with Wolves. Soon, Dances with Wolves has become a welcome member of the tribe and fallen in love with a white woman who has been raised amongst the tribe. His peaceful existence is threatened, however, when Union soldiers arrive with designs on the Sioux land. Some detractors have criticized the film's depiction of the tribes as simplistic; such objections did not dissuade audiences or the Hollywood establishment, however, which awarded the film seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Rather than play it safe for his directorial debut, Kevin Costner tackled an epic tale in a moribund genre, playing a U.S. Cavalry soldier who heads West to find himself in Dances With Wolves (1990). Shooting on location in South Dakota, Costner marshaled glorious vistas of open landscapes and a buffalo stampede to capture the mythic purity his Lt. Dunbar hopes to find at the frontier. Harking back to the cycle of revisionist westerns from the 1950s through the 1970s, Dunbar's intimate relationship with the Lakota Sioux tribe reverses Western stereotypes of "savage Indians" and "civilized whites"; Costner's attention to Sioux rituals and subtitled Lakota dialogue mirrors Dunbar's cultural conversion. Rather than becoming a Western hero because he brings civilization to the wild west, Dunbar's heroism lies in his "going native"--but even he is powerless in the face of encroaching white brutality. Overcoming negative publicity and mixed reviews that ranged from comparisons to John Ford to outright disdain, Dances With Wolves became a surprise hit, and received twelve Oscar nominations. With the Academy opting for New Age western myths over Goodfellas' gangster brutality, Costner beat out critical favorite Martin Scorsese for Best Director and Dances With Wolves became one of the few oaters to win Best Picture, spurring on the 1990s revival of the western as a viable Hollywood genre.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/11/2011
UPC:
0883904221784
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
3:54:00
Sales rank:
3,449

Special Features

Disc 1:; Audio commentary with Kevin Costner and producer Jim Wilson; Audio commentary with director of photography Dean Semler and film editor Neil Travis; 2 exclusive blu-ray in-feature experiences:; Military Rank and Social Hierachy Guide and Real History or Movie Make-Believe?; Disc 2:; A Day in the Life on the Western Frontier; Original Making-of Dances With Wolves; The Creation of an Epic: a retrospective documentary; Dances photo montage with introduction by photographer Bill Glass; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kevin Costner Lt. John W. Dunbar
Mary McDonnell Stands With a Fist
Graham Greene Kicking Bird
Rodney A. Grant Wind in His Hair
Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman Chief Ten Bears
Tantoo Cardinal Black Shawl
Robert Pastorelli Timmons
Charles Rocket Lieutenant Elgin
Maury Chaykin Maj. Fambrough
Jimmy Herman Stone Calf
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse Smiles A Lot
Maretta Big Crow Village Mother
Clayton Big Eagle Actor
Elise Daniel Christine's Mother
Jason R. Lone Hill Worm
Nick Thompson Actor
Ryan White Bull Kicking Bird's Eldest Son
Sheldon Peters Wolfchild Sioux Warrior
Michael Spears Otter
Tony Pierce Spivey
Doris Leader Charge Pretty Shield
Tom Everett Sgt. Pepper
Larry Joshua Sgt. Baker
Kirk Baltz Edwards
Wayne Grace Major
Donald Hotton Gen. Tide
Annie Costner Christine
Conor Duffy Willie
Percy White Plume Big Warrior
John Tail Escort Warrior
Steve Reevis Sioux #1/Warrior #1
Wes Studi Toughest Pawnee
Buffalo Child Pawnee #1
Richard Leader Charge Pawnee
Redwing Ted Nez Sioux Warrior
Marvin Holy Sioux Warrior
Raymond Newholy Sioux Courier
David J. Fuller Kicking Bird's Son
Otakuye Conroy Kicking Bird's Daughter
Steve Chambers Guard
Billy Burton General's Aide
Bill W. Curry Confederate Cavalryman
Carter Hanner Confederate Soldier
Kent Hays Wagon Driver
Robert Goldman Union Soldier
Frank P. Costanza Tucker
James Mitchell Ray
R.L. Curtin Ambush Wagon Driver
Chad Dowdell Young Cavalry Soldier (uncredited)

Technical Credits
Kevin Costner Director,Co-producer
Bonnie Arnold Associate Producer
John Barry Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Jeffrey Beecroft Production Designer
Michael Blake Screenwriter
Frank Carrisosa Makeup
Lisa Dean Set Decoration/Design
Jake Eberts Executive Producer
Norman Howell Stunts
William Hoy Editor
Derek Kavanagh Producer
Robbie Knott Special Effects
Elisabeth Leustig Casting
Stephen Potter Editor
Dean Semler Cinematographer
William Ladd Skinner Art Director
Neil Travis Editor
Gregory H. Watkins Sound/Sound Designer
Jim Wilson Producer
Elsa Zamparelli Costumes/Costume Designer

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