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DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)

Through happenstance, Lt. John Dunbar leads his Union troop to victory in the Civil War. Requesting a position on the Western frontier, Dunbar finds his new post deserted, save for a lone wolf he names "Tow-socks," and a local Indian tribe. Upon befriending the Indians, Dunbar discovers a white woman living among the Natives. In time, Dunbar sheds his "Westernized" ways and begins to live among the Indians as one of their own. By with the Western expansion taking over the frontier, Dunbar will be forced to choose between his ways of old and his new life, which, of course, bears permanent effect on his newfound family.

The cast includes: Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A. Grant, Robert Pastorelli, Charles Rocket, and Maury Chaykin.

#75 on the AFI Top 100. Five Oscar Nominations; two wins (1990's Best Picture and Best Director).

Director Kevin Costner's DANCES WITH WOLVES, is a sweeping tale of white man and Indian relations.

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"The Civil War had ended, but one man's battle with himself was just beginning..."

Best Picture Oscar Winner / Best Picture Index


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The basic story involves a sympathetic Civil war soldier, Lt. John Dunbar, who becomes friends with a Sioux Indian tribe. He ends up becoming part of the tribe, taking part in buffalo hunts and taking a bride.

After accidentally leading Union soldiers to victory in a battle, he is called a hero. Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Kostner) chooses to be sent to a remote Civil War Outpost, which he finds deserted, in the middle of Sioux land. As time passes he and the local Sioux Indians get to know each other, and they call him "Dances with Wolves," after seeing him play with his pet wolf. Mutual respect grows, and he marries a white woman who is living with the Sioux. He gradually gives up his white man ways, becoming integrating into Indian culture. He comes to a crossroads, and must make hard decisions when the army moves into the frontier land, decisions that could affect his adopted Indian tribe, his people.

A favorite sequnce of scenes that show how Lt. Dunbar led the union soldiers to victory, and what led up to this daring moment.

Another favorite scene is the buffalo hunt. It's amazing to see buffaloes racing around as far as the eye can see, with Big Star Costner mixing it up in the thick of things.

Although a little lengthy and slow-paced in parts, audiences really got caught up in this epic look at American Indian life. They seemed to love this sympathetic view of Indians, as seen through the eyes of a white man, who comes to understand and appreciate their society.

The film is a future classic because of its epic sweep and involving characters. The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Screenplay (Michael Blake, from his novel), Original Score (John Barry), Cinematography (Dean Semler), Editing (Neil Travis), and Sound Recording.

The photography, of the South Dakota locations, is stunning. Dean Semler's Cinematography Oscar was well earned.

If you enjoyed DANCES WITH WOLVES, you may like LITTLE BIG MAN, WYATT EARP, and GONE WITH THE WIND.

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