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Dances with Wolves (1990)

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Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.



(screenplay), (novel)
965 ( 408)
Won 7 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Jimmy Herman ...
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ...
Jason R. Lone Hill ...
Tony Pierce ...
Doris Leader Charge ...
Pretty Shield


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


Inside everyone is a frontier waiting to be discovered. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danza con lobos  »

Box Office


$22,000,000 (estimated)


$184,208,848 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (director's cut) | (DVD special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


That is Rodney A. Grant's real long, flowing hair. He does not wear a wig in the film. See more »


After Dunbar and Stands With A Fist are married, they enter their teepee and close the door which is hinged on the right. A few "days" later, Kicking Bird calls for Dunbar to come out and ride with him. The door is now hinged on the left. See more »


John Dunbar: [at the celebration of the buffalo feast, noticing a big Sioux man has his Lieutenant's hat] That's my hat... that's my hat!
Big Warrior: [in Lakota, as all becomes quiet in the tent] I found it on the prarie. It's mine.
Wind In His Hair: [stands up, in Lakota] The hat belongs to Lieutenant.
Big Warrior: He left it on the prarie. He didn't want it.
Wind In His Hair: Well, you can see he wants it now. We all know it's a soldier hat. We all know who wears it. If you want to keep it, that's fine. But give something for it.
See more »


Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

26 August 2003 | by (Nottingham, England) – See all my reviews

I like to watch lots of films, pretty much any film in fact, therefore I can tell you i have seen a fair few duds. I have also seen some spectacularly brilliant films. Dances With Wolves is one of them. For me to have the patience to watch a film more than a couple of times then the film needs to make me want to watch it over and over. Let me tell you I have seen this film more than a few times. I think you know when a film is special to you when you watch it and you keep thinking to yourself "oh this scene coming up is great", if you can say that continually whilst watching a film then you know you are watching a great film.

As for the film itself, cinematography has never been bettered, Costners acting is OK but it his presence rather than his acting that has brought gravitas to his movies, you certainly cant argue with his directing, which along with Orson Wells, Tarantino and a few select others must rank alongside as one of the best directorial debuts. The supporting cast is excellent especially Graeme Greene who is the wonderful Kicking Bird and of course Rodney A Grant.

I shamefully dont know too much about the history of the Indian population in America, so I dont know whether the events or portrayals in the film are accurate, however artistic license is surely allowed when making what is first and foremost a piece of entertainment. Being British I have seen many an American film with British stereotypes, not once have I been offended or appalled, as I see them as interpretations, God knows British filmmakers are just as guilty of such generalisations when it comes to "foreign" characters.

Marvel at the wonderful film-making in this film not political inaccuracies after all this is a story, and a damn fine one at that, remember King Kong didnt really climb up the Empire State Building and you dont here gorillas complaining about being misrepresented. This is a point of view expressed in a great film.

Personally films dont get much better than this.

99 of 137 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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