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Dances with Wolves (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western  |  21 November 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 175,166 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 372 user | 90 critic | 20 from Metacritic.com

Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Won 7 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ten Bears (as Floyd Red Crow Westerman)
Jimmy Herman ...
Nathan Lee Chasing His Horse ...
Jason R. Lone Hill ...
Tony Pierce ...
Doris Leader Charge ...
Pretty Shield


Lt. John Dunbar is dubbed a hero after he accidentally leads Union troops to a victory during the Civil War. He requests a position on the western frontier, but finds it deserted. He soon finds out he is not alone, but meets a wolf he dubs "Two-socks" and a curious Indian tribe. Dunbar quickly makes friends with the tribe, and discovers a white woman who was raised by the Indians. He gradually earns the respect of these native people, and sheds his white-man's ways. Written by Greg Bole <bole@life.bio.sunysb.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lt. John Dunbar is about to discover the frontier...within himself. See more »


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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Release Date:

21 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Danza con lobos  »

Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


$184,208,848 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (extended) | (director's cut) | (DVD special edition)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


When native children steal Dunbar's horse, one refers to his father's "bow on his back" if he were to find out. Corporal punishment, or punishment of any kind for misbehavior was extremely rare in most Native cultures, especially from parents. See more »


As Dunbar starts his second ride across the Confederate lines, we see him kick his horse with the booted heel of his right foot with no apparent reaction. Yet this is the injured foot where he had to bite on a piece of wood to bear the pain of pulling a boot on only a short while before. See more »


Toughest Pawnee: [speaking Pawnee; subtitled] Only a white man would make a fire for everyone to see.
Pawnee #1: [in Pawnee] Maybe there's more than one.
Pawnee #2: [in Pawnee] There may be three or four.
Toughest Pawnee: [in Pawnee] I know three or four who will not be making the trip home.
See more »


Referenced in On Deadly Ground (1994) See more »


Fire Dance
By Peter Buffett
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spectacular epic and one of the greatest 90's movie classics
19 November 2003 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

This is the type of a film that's never boring no matter how often you watch it. It deserved every single award it got. It's touching, it's timeless and it's downright beautiful. I'm not a huge friend of extended versions because there's usually a perfectly good reason to take something out of the film and none whatsoever to put it back again, if pleasing hardcore fans isn't a good reason - that's totally a matter of opinion. However, "Dances with wolves" is certainly an exception.

The nearly four hour version is the only one to be. Sure it sounds like it's too much but when you watch the movie it doesn't look a minute overlong and cutting even a second out of it would seem like a horrible crime. The original theater version was 52 minutes shorter which sound too cruel to be true. I mean really, what's there to cut? If you haven't seen "Dances with wolves" yet you have missed one of the greatest motion picture experiences of the 90's and you should do something about it instantly.

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