Dances with Wolves

Film, Action and adventure

Time Out says

Disenchanted after being wounded in the American Civil War, Lt Dunbar (Costner) is assigned to a frontier outpost. Finding nothing but a deserted fort and left to his own devices, Dunbar gradually gains the friendship and trust of both a wolf and the Sioux Indians. Won over by the native Americans' love of the land, the honourable soldier joins in their buffalo hunt, courts a white woman the tribe adopted in childhood, transfers allegiance from predatory white man to peaceful Indian, and discovers en route his true self. At three hours long, and with a largely Indian cast delivering (subtitled) Lakota dialogue, Costner's debut as a director is a genuinely, impressively epic Western. It may lack complexity and political sophistication - the Sioux are a mite sentimentalised, the US Cavalry too obviously ignorant bigots, and Costner's two-dimensional hero too prone to cute pratfalls - but its sentiments are conspicuously sincere and its dramatic sweep hugely confident. Historical and cultural authenticity is virtually an end in itself, and although the last half-hour founders in repeated farewells, it looks great. Once you're sucked into the leisurely narrative, it's hard to resist.


Release details

180 mins

Cast and crew

Kevin Costner
Michael Blake
Kevin Costner
Mary McDonnell
Graham Greene
Rodney A Grant
Floyd Red Crow Westerman
Tantoo Cardinal
Robert Pastorelli
Maury Chaykin