Who Dances With Wolves ?

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I noticed no threads about this film.
I must say its one of my alltime favorites.

What other Native-americans films do you like/enjoyed/hate/love/would you compare.

(I have uppermost respect for Michael Mann and Daniel Day-Lewis but I really didnt enjoy Last of the mohicans...)

: )





I have not seen this movie. The main reasons are I haven't heard a lot of people rave about it in comparison to other films that have won best picture like Dances with Wolves did. Second, even if I did want to watch it, wouldn't I have to set aside 3 or 4 hours since the movie is incredibly long?



I noticed no threads about this film.
I must say its one of my alltime favorites.
What other Native-americans films do you like/enjoyed/hate/love/would you compare.

(I have uppermost respect for Michael Mann and Daniel Day-Lewis but I really didnt enjoy Last of the mohicans...)

: )
Caught the last part of Dances with Wolves on TV the other night and discovered I still don't like it any better than the first time I saw it. My major objection (other than Costner's acting and directing) is that after the Civil War battle scene in which he inspires a heroic Union charge and the commanding officer has him taken to his own doctor with the promise not to amputate his leg, every "white" man you see on the screen with the exception of Costner is a low-life scum. (I still don't understand that scene in which the post commander shoots himself after Costner leaves--it makes no sense whatsoever and does nothing to advance the plot.)

Other than that, there are all sorts of holes, inaccuracies, and just plain foul ups in the story line. Mad Magazine did a parody of it, Dunces with Wolves, that was more entertaining than the movie. I did like the woman who played Costner's love interest, however. She looked a lot like a lady I used to date.

Although you didn't like it, Mann's remake of the Last of the Mohicans has several very accurate scenes of the Indians, French, British, and colonists in the French and Indian War. Lots of colorful little bits going on in the background that no one explains or calls attention to. Like the original Randolph Scott script they worked from, both films are much different than the original book, but Mann's soundtrack was interesting and the locations where it was shot were beautiful. I liked that remake much more than the original film and especially more than Dances.

Another pro-Indian film that was accurate in many ways although a spoof is Little Big Man. It portrays the plains Indians very much as they really were. An extremely good film that portrays the early contacts between the French and the tribes of the Northeast is Black Robe. Accurate as to Indian dress and morals and the lodge houses of those tribes.

One film that really captured the deep-seated hatred and warfare between the Comanche-Kiowas and settlers on the Texas frontier in the 19th century is The Unforgiven, a film from the 1960s starring Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn not to be confused with Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven. You also get some of that feeling but not nearly as intense in The Searchers, which I and some others think is probably the best Western ever made. One film that captures a lot of the Indian costumes and lodges seen in some of Catlin's early drawings of the Mandans and some of the behavior documented by many pioneers is A Man Called Horse. Richard Harris is over the top, as always, and his character is out of step at times, but it's entertaining and accurate in a broad sense and some details.

The character of Blue Duck in the Lonesome Dove series is an accurate representation of Indian and half-breed outlaws in the Indian Territory in the late 1800s. Uzana's Raid and Major Dundee capture some of the savageness of Apache raiding parties in the 1800s.



great,thanx for the elaborate response rufnek,greately apreciated.

every "white" man you see on the screen with the exception of Costner is a low-life scum. (I still don't understand that scene in which the post commander shoots himself after Costner leaves--it makes no sense whatsoever and does nothing to advance the plot.)
Well, portraying most white men as low-life scum gives a strong antagonist for the natives and Costners character living amongst them.I believe it also pushes the viewer to have more understanding for the natives,its offcourse an exageration but a powerfull element.
I think the suicide stands for the psychological mind**** a war can be.

there are all sorts of holes, inaccuracies
The "holes" give your imagination some air.
I like the variated paste of the movie and I dont expect a documentary,
Although it IS a plus I admit to have an historical-themed(?) movie to be as accurate as possible.

I did like the woman who played Costner's love interest, however. She looked a lot like a lady I used to date.
mixed feelings,not so good.

Although you didn't like it, Mann's remake of the Last of the Mohicans has several very accurate scenes of the Indians, French, British, and colonists in the French and Indian War. Lots of colorful little bits going on in the background that no one explains or calls attention to. Like the original Randolph Scott script they worked from, both films are much different than the original book, but Mann's soundtrack was interesting and the locations where it was shot were beautiful. I liked that remake much more than the original film and especially more than Dances

Too many things that bothered me in that film,all a matter of taste offcourse.
I might give it a second chance though.

Another pro-Indian film that was accurate in many ways although a spoof is Little Big Man. It portrays the plains Indians very much as they really were. An extremely good film that portrays the early contacts between the French and the tribes of the Northeast is Black Robe. Accurate as to Indian dress and morals and the lodge houses of those tribes.
Great,I will def. give that one a go as well as The Unforgiven,A MAn Called Horse and The Searchers.
Thanx for the suggestions rufnek! apreciate it



Well, portraying most white men as low-life scum gives a strong antagonist for the natives and Costners character living amongst them.I believe it also pushes the viewer to have more understanding for the natives,its offcourse an exageration but a powerfull element.
Yeah, I know he was going for the good Indians vs. bad white eyes, but that's just a reverse stereotype of the bad Indians-good cowboys films of an earlier era. No group is all good or all bad--I just don't believe Costner's character was the only decent white man in North America at that time. In real life, a lot of mountain men and others lived with the Indians in earlier times than Costner's character, including Sam Houston before he came to Texas.

More important, Dustin Hoffman in Little Big Man moves easily between the Indian's world and the white world, and has friends and enemies in both. It does a better job in representing the Indian culture, I think, than Costner's kiss-up movie. In A Man Called Horse, Richard Harris has both friends and enemies among the tribe. The white hunting party he's with when the Indians capture him are not so much mean or even bad as drunk and careless.

I think the suicide stands for the psychological mind**** a war can be.
Maybe. But as I recall, the officer was in a rear echelon outfit hundreds of miles behind the combat lines. I don't believe that just moments away from blowing his brains out he'd give the slightest damn about signing Coustner's orders.

The "holes" give your imagination some air.
I like the variated paste of the movie and I dont expect a documentary,
Although it IS a plus I admit to have an historical-themed(?) movie to be as accurate as possible.
I get that "it's not a documentary" stuff from my wife a lot. But what I'm talking about in Costner's film has nothing to do with historic reality.
For instance, there's that long sequence of Costner working his butt off, seemingly for days, digging holes and dragging crates of rifles to toss in and bury. Later the Sioux need rifles to fight off the Pawnee, so Costner and the Indian kid jump on their ponies, ride miles to the old fort site, dig up the rifles, and haul them back to the Indian camp, all in one night. How could they haul boxes of rifles without a wagon to put them in? Otherwise, how many individual rifles could each of them carry on horseback without dropping them? Four? Five each? Even that few would be a good trick while galloping across the prairie. And how many bullets could Costner put in his pockets, since the kid didn't have any?

Then there was the night scene at Costner's cabin before he connected with the Indians. Everything looks peaceful and we see his horse in the corral with its blanket, saddle and bridle hanging on the fence. During the night, Costner hears a noise, runs into his door frame and knocks himself cold. Next morning, he wakes up and there's his horse looking in the front door with its saddle and bridle on. Guess the horse got up, got dressed and came over for morning coffee. That's just sloppy editing of the film.



Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
One thing's for sure. Little kids did not make Dances with Wolves a huge hit. It was adults who were the ones often going back for repeated viewings. Dunbar was not presented as the only decent white man in the movie. If you mean the only decent white man that we see the Natives see in the movie, that limits it to about 10 white men. I agree that Little Big Man is better (check my fave films list) but you really miss the point of that flick if you truly believe that it's just a parody. Anyway, this is all old news around here. Sure, you still get freedom of speech until I tell Obama to clam you up just like you think he may... HA!
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So many good movies, so little time.
Some of my favorites

Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Atanarjuat : The Fast Runner (2001) (Inuits)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Black Robe (1991)
Cabaza de Vaca (1991)
The New World (1995)
Little Big Man (1970)
Ulzana's Raid (1972)
Fort Apache (1948)
Windwalker (1980)
The Searchers (1956)
A Man Called Horse (1970)
Broken Arrow (1950)
I Will Fight No More Forever (1975)
Apocalypto (2006) (Mayans)
Last of the Mohicans (1936)
Rio Grande (1950)
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949)
Apache (1954)
Geronimo : An American Legend (1993)
Devil's Doorway (1950)
Run of the Arrow (1957)
Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)
Distant Drums (1951)
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One thing's for sure. Little kids did not make Dances with Wolves a huge hit. It was adults who were the ones often going back for repeated viewings. Dunbar was not presented as the only decent white man in the movie. If you mean the only decent white man that we see the Natives see in the movie, that limits it to about 10 white men. I agree that Little Big Man is better (check my fave films list) but you really miss the point of that flick if you truly believe that it's just a parody. Anyway, this is all old news around here. Sure, you still get freedom of speech until I tell Obama to clam you up just like you think he may... HA!
Thought for a moment you might be addressing me, Mark--you usually sound that way when you do. But a closer read revealed it had nothing to do with my post.



I am burdened with glorious purpose
Yea, this is a bit of old news, but not to Skip....

Skip, I've often been known on other boards as "Dunbar" and my email address is a variation of Dunbar. I LOVE this movie, and it's nice that there is another fan here at Mofo.

Rufnek and I have gone round and round on his ideas about the film, and I look at the film in a more symbolic way than rufnek does, and I don't nitpick it to death.

I saw it 10 times in the theatre when it came out. This is the film that renewed my love of film after years of my being rather bored. It made me love movies again, like I did when I was a wide-eyed kid. I hate all the revisionism that has taken place -- criticism of Costner, the whole Scorcese was robbed b.s. -- and I find that sad. This film was LOVED. People everywhere were talking about it. The audience I saw it with were enthralled and applauded at the end. It should not have been taken off the AFI 100 Greatest films list. That is just plain idiotic. I don't get it.

I have a friend who is a bit of a movie snob, and he knew how much I loved this film and for a while, he kept saying he'd see it, but didn't. His friends badmouthed it, and he bought into the b.s.... then he saw it. He called me and said: "That is one beautiful film."

Ebert called it a "simple story, magnificently told." That's how I feel about it.



Thank you for contribuing to this thread tramp,apreciated!

Most people I know liked it when they saw it -or they just never saw it.
I personally couldnt say a bad word about it...

Yeah, I know he was going for the good Indians vs. bad white eyes
(@rufnek;I believe you forgot about the Pawnee,major antagonist aswel)
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(@rufnek;I believe you forgot about the Pawnee,major antagonist aswel)
No, I alluded to Costner's character digging up the guns so the Sioux could defend themselves (like they hadn't been fighting other tribes all those years before they had guns). I didn't see him as a "major" antagonist, certainly not one who lasted long; still he was outside the Sioux tribe and a traditional enemy, not much different than an attacking wolf or bear--something to be dealt with by the "good" Indians.

Like I said earlier no group is all good or all bad. Nor would there be just one bad Pawnee and one good "white man."



Rufnek and I have gone round and round on his ideas about the film, and I look at the film in a more symbolic way than rufnek does, and I don't nitpick it to death.
Yeah, you've argued your side well. I'm glad you and others liked it. Wish I could like it more myself--I mean, who am I to disagree with you and Ebert!



Nitpicking can be a verry productive and interesting thing though,really (isnt that what forums are for? )

Like I said earlier no group is all good or all bad. Nor would there be just one bad Pawnee and one good "white man."
I totally agree.

Although I think...for film;portraying each character in a more realistic way would make it harder to build a strong story thats also appealing to a broad public (wich was prob. the intend of this film) You would be restricted in a way,or you might have too much posibilities...
But to again contradict myself the other way;using complex characters and historical accuracy might/should come out as a much stronger story...
And at the end I believe I/one would enjoy this movie more if it were more realistic...

So heres a question,
do variations on movies exist,by the same director producer writer...Im not talking about movies redone because of the first version not being what the original intend was...
more in the likes of
a version for people who rather enjoy fiction that DONT necessarily include historical accuracies
and a version WITH historical accuracy and realisme...

Might start a new thread with this question if not alreaddy.



A system of cells interlinked
My favorites are probably Last of the Mohicans, Little Big Man, and Apocalypto.
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I dance with wolves all the time