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Dances with Wolves

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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 ...
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/22/2006
  • UPC: 027616157270
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Mgm (Video & Dvd)
  • Format: DVD

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
Elise Daniel Christine's Mother
Jason R. Lone Hill Worm
Nick Thompson
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Get newer, Extended edition instead

    Dances With Wolves is incredible as prior reviewers have written, but this is to advise you to purchase the newer, extended version that contains 52 extra minutes that more flesh out the film, though it is more expensive. As is often the case, one should always wait for Special or Collectors' editions, since the director and cast have time to do the movie service, instead of the rush-to-DVD job the film industry tries to initially put out. Even the picture and sound are sometimes improved.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Breathtaking Sweep and Spectacle Does Not Hamper The Human Saga

    'Dances With Wolves' is the epic, revisionist western directed by and starring Kevin Costner. In scope and size, this is one gallant, masterfully directed motion picture and the well-deserving recipient of 9 Academy Awards. After surviving a suicide charge on the battlefield of honor, Major John Dunbar (Costner) travels to the west and establishes a life-long friendship with the Sioux Indians. Originally running nearly four hours, a full hour of footage was excised to keep the already elephantine running time manageable. For years only this theatrical cut had been made available, though Image laserdisc did release the full 3 hr. 58 min. version in a deluxe box set back in the mid-1990's. That fully restored running time is finally given the full digital treatment via a new MGM/UA DVD. MGM has spread the feature film over two sides on the first disc. Since no intermission was ever intended, the cut comes about midway through and is obtrusive to your viewing experience. However, as there is no other way to ensure the integrity of compression artifacts, this cut is, if not forgivable, at least palpable. MGM DVD has done a very nice job of remastering 'Dances With Wolves'. The original DVD from Image Entertainment had deeper contrast and black levels, but adjusting the contrast on one's television corrects the softer levels on this disc. Shadow delineation is beautifully rendered. Colors are vibrant, bold and accurate. Some minor edge enhancement occurs but shimmering and pixelization are at a bare minimum. The audio is 5.1 and pretty much the same mix as the original Image DVD. Extras include an audio commentary, an all-new production featurette, the original featurette and a host of other well-meaning, though rather lack luster extras that have merely been designed to fill up space on disc #2.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Music-Only Track

    There needs to be a Music-Only Track. John Barry did more than a fantasting job on scoring the film. The music is what makes the film live.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Masterpiece of Filmmaking

    Dances With Wolves is a masterpiece of filmmaking from start to finish, thanks to Kevin Costner's inspired direction. With an unfailing eye for detail, a deep understanding of his characters, and obvious dedication to this extraordinary story, he has created a movie that takes its audience on a remarkable journey to another place and time. Visually stunning, with a perfect cast and a beautiful score, Dances With Wolves is an amazing film, emotionally soaring high one moment and free-falling the next. And finally, in the end, it lingers forever in your mind and in your heart. The new expanded version two-disc DVD is outstanding, loaded with extras such as two commentary tracts, behind the scenes features, interviews with cast & crew, etc. This is a definite ''must-have'' for any DVD collection.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    incredible but credibule

    What can i say that hasnt already been written
    This is the best movie ever ...period

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    a terrible movie

    This movie is overrated. It is over-clichéd, in the sense that a white man goes into the wilderness to ‘see the west before it is gone.’ It is way too long, with bogus sub themes, such as a man in isolated in the wilderness ‘finding his inner self.’ Don’t see it.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Don't watch this

    This movie was horrible. There were way too many thematic elements. The story was boring. It was too long, way too long. Also it is overrated. Don't watch this unless you really have nothing else to do.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    powerful and moving

    The story is a powerful and historically sound presentation of the conflict of western expansion. Kevin Costner gives an award winning performance. Dances with wolves will make you laugh and make you cry.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves is among best films of '90s

    The special edition and extended cut of ''Dances With Wolves'' released on DVD in May 2003 is a fitting format for Kevin Costner's wonderful 1990 epic that was awarded seven Academy Awards. As Lt. John Dunbar, Costner's film allows viewers to glimpse the final days of the American frontier and, ultimately, the closing historical moment where the noble Sioux Nation was free. It is a movie that is both entertaining and powerful, and even teaches a few important lessons along the way. The wonderful cast also features Graham Greene and Mary McDonnell.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Made Me ''Dance With Joy''

    Dances with Wolves, which was directed by Kevin Costner, was a wonderful movie. The one thing i would have changed was they cut a few parts from the book out of the movie. I think they would have been good in the movie. But the moive was easier to understand and everything that happens fits together very well. It is very exciting and is great for all ages.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2009

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 37 Customer Reviews