Dances With Wolves Movie Review Summary

Actors: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Dances With Wolves

Lt. John Dunbar (Costner), about to have his foot amputated in a Union field hospital in Tennessee, runs away in protest and rides in a suicidal dash toward Confederate lines, accidentally leading a charge and becoming a decorated hero. Asked for whatever posting he wants, he asks to be sent to the Dakota territory. The remote Western outpost turns out to be deserted, but he makes a friend of a lonely wolf he names "Two-Socks," and gradually gets to know the local Sioux tribe, who eventually accept and name him "Dances with Wolves." One of the members of the tribe is a white woman, Stands With a Fist (McDonnell) who was taken in and raised by the Sioux after her parents were killed by the Pawnee. She and Dunbar gradually fall in love, and as the white settlers and Army move into the territory, Dunbar has to make some hard choices. This sweeping, sensitive, nuanced 1990 film, which featured a full third of its dialogue in authentic Lakota Indian dialect, was Costner's directorial debut, and won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture (the first Western so honored since "Cimarron" in 1931!), Best Direction, and Best Screenplay.
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The review of this Movie prepared by David Loftus

After surviving a suicidal ploy to divert Confederate gunfire, Lt. John Dunbar (Costner) is rewarded with the assignment of his choice.

He selects South Dakota to see the unspoiled frontier for himself. Inevitably, he encounters some native Lakota Indians with whom he exchanges coffee and a few grunts (“good trade”).

A curiosity at first, Dunbar learns and appreciates the Lakota customs and language while becoming friendly with one brave in particular, Kicking Bird (Greene). He also becomes attracted to “Stands With a Fist” (McDonnell), a white woman the tribe adopted decades ago whom he eventually marries.

Dunbar earns more and more trust including watching over the young and participating in a spectacular buffalo hunt. But as the confident elders relate their ancestors' many victories, Dunbar warns that the encroaching white man (“as many as the stars,”) poses a far greater threat than any of their past enemies. He convinces the tribe to move into the mountains now.

As Dunbar returns to his post in full Lakota dress, he is met by a cavalry company who realize he's “turned injun, huh?” Insisting to the Captain that, “there are no hostiles here,” he is beaten, then offered the opportunity to betray the Lakota by revealing their campsite and acting as interpreter. If he complies, his “status as a traitor might be re-evaluated.”

The review of this Movie prepared by Angry Jim Magin

Infantry soldier, John Dunbar (Costner) gets transferred to a deserted fort during the civil war and discovers the true reality of how Native American Indians really act. Questioning his own ethnic background, Dunbar finds himself more an more letting go of all he knew as well as falling in love with an adopted indian/white women as well as befriending the entire tribe. Winner of 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture (1990), Dances With Wolves is a classic that will live on forever.
The review of this Movie prepared by Alan

Script Analysis of Dances With Wolves

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1600 to 1899 Ethnic/Regional/Gender story?    -   Yes Ethnic/region/relig    -   American West    -   American Indian

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   infantry soldier Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West Prairie?    -   Yes Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   kissing    -   licking    -   actual description of sex    -   seeing breasts    -   seeing nude male butt Any profanity?    -   Occasional swearing Is this movie based on a    -   book

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