Dances with Wolves

Tig Productions and Majestic Films International Released 1990


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Movie Summary

Kevin Costner

Dances with Wolves is the award-winning 1990 western starring and directed by Kevin Costner a Union soldier during the Civil War who, displeased with Army life, finds new hope for himself in the foreign lifestyle of a Sioux tribe. Costner plays Lt. John Dunbar, a man whose career in the Army was supposed to be over after a debilitating leg injury. After an attempt at battlefield suicide turns into a heroic one-man charge, however, he's promoted and given the medical attention necessary to save his leg. His superiors give him the option of choosing his next post, and he chooses to get as far away from the action as possible-the Western frontier. He winds up all alone at a small camp where he befriends the local animals and eventually gets to know a local Sioux tribe. As Dunbar proves to his new Native American friends he's not like other white men, they accept him into their tribe. He finds happiness he never knew with his new friends. He settles down with a wife and helps the Sioux warriors on their hunts. However, the threat of white expansion is never far away, and if the Army learns of Dunbar's new life he'll be hunted down for treason. Dances with Wolves is an inspiring story about honor and freedom on the frontier, and won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture.



Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This movie moves so confidently and looks so good it seems incredible that it's a directorial debut.

  • 90


    Costner's directing style is fresh and assured. A sense of surprise and humor accompany Dunbar's adventures at every turn, twisting the narrative gently this way and that and makin...

  • 40

    The New York Times Vincent Canby

    Mr. Blake's screenplay and Mr. Costner's direction of it are, with the exception of three memorable sequences, commonplace. The film is painstakingly composed of small details of f...

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interracial families, love story, kidnapped child, war hero, breathtaking nature