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Kevin Costners epic movie still takes the breath away when you see the incredible nature of the west. This is almost 3 hours but you tend to forget this as the story is also well told.
|Kevin Costner||Lieutenant John Dunbar|
|Mary McDonnell||Stands With A Fist|
|Graham Greene||Kicking Bird|
|Rodney A. Grant||Wind In His Hair|
|Floyd 'Red Crow' Westerman||Ten Bears|
|Tantoo Cardinal||Black Shawl|
|Charles Rocket||Lieutenant Elgin|
|Maury Chaykin||Major Fambrough|
|Jimmy Herman||Stone Calf|
|Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse||Smiles A Lot|
|Jason R. Lone Hill||Worm|
|Doris Leader Charge||Pretty Shield|
|Wes Studi||Toughest Pawnee|
|John Barry||Original Music Composer|
|Dean Semler||Director of Photography|
|Jeffrey Beecroft||Set Designer|
|Lisa Dean||Set Decoration|
|Elsa Zamparelli||Costume Design|
|Michael Blake||Story Contributor|
"Inside everyone is a frontier waiting to be discovered."
"The Civil War had ended, but one man's battle with himself was just beginning..."
"Lt. John Dunbar is about to discover the frontier...within himself."
In 1863, First Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) is wounded in the American Civil War. Rather than having his leg amputated, he takes a horse and rides up to the Confederate front lines, distracting them in the process. The roused Union army then attacks and the battle ends in a Confederate rout. Dunbar survives, is allowed to recover properly, receives a citation for bravery, and is awarded Cisco, the horse who carried him, as well as his choice of posting. Dunbar requests a transfer to the western frontier so he can see its vast terrain before it disappears. Dunbar arrives at his new post, Fort Sedgwick, but finds it abandoned and in disrepair. Despite the threat of nearby Native American tribes, he elects to stay and man the post himself. He begins rebuilding and restocking the fort and prefers the solitude afforded him, recording many of his observations in his journal.
Meanwhile Timmons, the wagon driver who transported Dunbar to Fort Sedgwick, is killed and scalped by Pawnee Indians on his way back to Fort Hayes. Timmons's death and the suicide of Major Fambrough, who sent them there, prevents other soldiers from knowing of Dunbar's assignment to the post, effectively isolating him. Dunbar notes in his journal of how strange it is that no other soldiers accompany him at the post.
Dunbar initially encounters his Sioux neighbors when several attempts are made to steal his horse and intimidate him. In response, Dunbar decides to seek out the Sioux camp in an attempt to establish a dialogue. On his way he comes across Stands With A Fist (Mary McDonnell), who has injured herself in mourning her deceased husband. She is the white adopted daughter of the tribe's medicine man Kicking Bird (Graham Greene), her original family being killed by the aggressive Pawnee tribe when she was young. Dunbar returns her to the Sioux to be treated, which changes their attitude toward him. Eventually, Dunbar establishes a rapport with Kicking Bird and warrior Wind In His Hair (Rodney A. Grant) who equally wish to communicate. Initially the language barrier frustrates them, so Stands With A Fist, though with difficulty remembering her English, acts as translator.
Dunbar finds himself drawn to the lifestyle and customs of the tribe and begins spending most of his time with them. Learning their language, he becomes a hero among the Sioux and is accepted as an honored guest after he locates a migrating herd of buffalo and participates in the hunt. When at Fort Sedgwick, Dunbar also befriends a wolf he dubs "Two Socks" for its white forepaws. When the Sioux observe Dunbar and Two Socks chasing each other, they give him his Sioux name "Dances with Wolves". During this time, Dunbar also forges a romantic relationship with Stands with a Fist and helps defend the village from an attack by the rival Pawnee tribe. Dunbar eventually wins Kicking Bird's approval to marry Stands with a Fist, and abandons Fort Sedgwick.
Because of the growing Pawnee and white threat, Chief Ten Bears (Floyd Red Crow Westerman) decides to move the tribe to its winter camp. Dunbar decides to accompany them but must first retrieve his journal from Fort Sedgwick as he realises that the journal is the blueprint to the army for finding the tribe and that he knows too much about their ways. However, when he arrives he finds it occupied by the U.S. Army. Because of his Sioux clothing, the soldiers see him as a native and a threat and open fire, killing Cisco and capturing Dunbar, arresting him as a traitor. Sgt Bauer (Larry Joshua) with the generals and major, interrogate him, but Dunbar cannot prove his situation, as Corporal Spivey (Tony Pierce) had secretly stolen his journal. As a result, along with Dunbar's refusal to serve as an interpreter to the tribes, he is put on trial for treason and transported back east as a prisoner to be hanged. While travelling in the armed caravan, the soldiers shoot Two Socks when the wolf attempts to follow Dunbar despite Dunbar's attempts to intervene.
Eventually the Sioux track the convoy, killing the soldiers and freeing Dunbar. At the winter camp, Dunbar decides to leave with Stands With A Fist, since his status will put the tribe in danger. As they leave, Wind In His Hair shouts across to Dunbar, reminding him of their friendship. U.S. troops are seen searching the mountains but are unable to locate them, while a lone wolf howls in the distance. An epilogue states that thirteen years later the last remnants of Sioux were subjugated to the American government, ending the conquest of the Western frontier states and the livelihoods of the tribes in the plains.
DVD : 2003-06-17