Dances with Wolves

In Dances with Wolves, wounded Civil War soldier John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is assigned to his dream post on the remote Western frontier, and soon makes unlikely friends with the local Sioux tribe.  This story doesn’t portray Indians as savages as so many movies do. Gone are the Bad Indians and Wholesome Soldiers stuff you see infesting most movies of this type. The message is a wide-eyed awakening for those of us who grew up thinking (wrongly in retrospect) that the Indians were the bad guys, and the soldiers were the good guys. Doesn’t always turn out that way, does it?  The message of co-existence is so heartfelt and dramatically rendered that it’s difficult not to find yourself completely enthralled.  It’s a great movie for anyone who likes the West.  An amazing re-creation of the American plains circa 1864, complete with stampeding buffalo and wild horses.  I was captivated by the gorgeous scenery and the authentic portrayal of life in the wild. The cinematography is gorgeous, nothing short of stunning.  The movie pulls you so in, you feel like you’re there.  Kevin Costner plays a Civil War soldier who is obviously disturbed by his wartime experiences. He is posted to a remote fort in the Great Plains and arrives to discover that the fort has been abandoned. Being a stickler about duty, he stays anyway. He eventually befriends some local wolves and Indians, and ends up going native. In the solitude of the Great Plains, he slowly recovers from the trauma of war.  Kevin Costner is at his best and fits naturally into the role. The Native Americans are authentic and their performances are all top notch.  As a history buff, I appreciated the depiction of the right Indians with the right gear. Their weapons are accurate, and the military uniforms are spot on.  The Academy Award winning music score one of the best of any movie. I find the music entrancingly beautiful as it carries and pulls me through the story.  It’s long, but it’s not boring. Even when it’s over you’re sad because you could have watched more.  The movie is a sensory treat best enjoyed on the big screen. If you haven’t seen this film, be sure to watch the wide screen version even if you have an older TV set.  You may have already seen the theatrical release. If you loved it, you will want to find a copy of the Directors Cut and see the whole story the way it was meant. Yes, it’s more to an already long film, but it fills in many of the gaps in the film and gives you a better understanding of the entire story. This very long movie will leave you wanting more. This special edition features an extended cut of the film, an audio commentary from Costner, a behind-the-scenes featurette and more.  I would have preferred the original theatrical release. I liked this movie in the theaters, but this version at nearly four hours is way too long! The movie won an Oscar for Best Film Editing! So leave the movie edited as it was originally. In this version, it is way too slow.  This is Costner’s Oscar-winning directorial debut.  Kevin Costner’s best contribution to the movie industry on both sides of the camera. By far the best Costner movie of all time.  Generally I do not care for westerns but Dances with Wolves is an exception. Fantastic story with excellent acting, directing and cinematography.  This movie was great and romantic — with adventures not like most movies you see.  I love this movie sooooo much, but at the end I always find myself crying — it is soo touching.  This is my favorite movie of all time. It well deserves all the Oscars it won.  Despite the 3-hour run time, I wanted it to go on. A great story and touching relationships make this a must-see — if you haven’t seen it yet. Recommended for all adults.  I love this movie — it is such a classic. A true American original.  Impossible to stop watching once it begins, and worth re-watching over and over again. And if you have seen this movie, you already know it’s worthy of another viewing.  If it’s on TV, I will watch this over anything else. Every time that I see this movie, I feel that I am watching it for the very first time.  What an excellent movie!  This has a permanent place on my top 10 favorites of all time. One of the best movies you will ever see!  One of the greatest movies of all time.  The epic qualities of this story will linger in your thoughts for years to come. (If you like this movie, also see Reel Injunand Little Big Man.)  Drama 1990 PG-13 236 minutes.

SEE ALSO:

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Ishi, The Last Yahi

Rabbit-Proof Fence

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