Dances with Wolves

Kevin Costner's 1990 epic won a bundle of Oscars for a moving, engrossing story of a white soldier (Costner) who singlehandedly mans a post in the 1870 Dakotas, and becomes a part of the Lakota Sioux community who live nearby. The film may not be a masterpiece, but it is far more than the sum of good intentions. The characters are strong, the development of relationships is both ambitious and careful, the love story between Costner and Mary McDonnell's character is captivating. Only the third-act portrait of white intruders as morons feels overbearing, but even that leads to a terribly moving conclusion. Costner's direction is assured, the balance of action and intimacy is perfect--what more could anyone want outside of an unqualified masterpiece? --Tom Keogh

Director(s): Kevin Costner
Production: Orion Pictures
  Won 7 Oscars. Another 43 wins & 37 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.0
Metacritic:
72
Rotten Tomatoes:
82%
PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Year:
1990
185
7,266 Views

Major Fambrough:
[reading orders] Lieutenant John J. Dunbar. [pauses, looks up] Lieutenant John J. Dunbar?

John Dunbar:
Yes, sir.

Major Fambrough:
Yes, sir. [pause] Indian fighter?

John Dunbar:
Excuse me?

Major Fambrough:
You're to be posted on the Frontier. The Frontier is Indian country. I deduced that you're an Indian fighter. I didn't rise to this position by being stupid.

John Dunbar:
No, sir.

Major Fambrough:
No sir. [pause] It says here that you've been decorated.

John Dunbar:
Yes, sir.

Major Fambrough:
And they've sent you here to be posted?

John Dunbar:
I'm here at my own request.

Major Fambrough:
Really? Why?

John Dunbar:
I've always wanted to see the frontier.

Major Fambrough:
See the frontier--

John Dunbar:
Yes, sir. Before it's gone.

Major Fambrough:
[taking a sheet of paper from the desk drawer, the sound of liquor bottles clinking as he does so] Such a smart lad, coming straight to me. [scribbling with a quill pen] Sir...Knight, I am sending you on a knight's errand. You will report to Captain Cargill, at the furthermost outpost of the realm, Fort Sedgewick. My personal seal [scribbling] will assure your safety [scribbling furiously] through many miles of wild and hostile country. [He folds the letter into an impossibly tiny square and hands it to Lt. Dunbar]

John Dunbar:
[taking the note] I was wondering--

Major Fambrough:
Yes?

John Dunbar:
How will I be getting there?

Major Fambrough:
You think I don't know?

John Dunbar:
No, sir, it's just that I don't know--

Major Fambrough:
Hold your tongue. [pause] I happen to be in a generous mood and I will grant you a boon. [gestures to the window] See that peasant out there? He calls himself Timmons. He is going to Fort Sedgwick this very afternoon. You may ride with him. He knows the way. That is all.

[Dunbar turns to leave. When he gets to the door, the Major calls to him]

Major Fambrough:
Sir Knight?

[Dunbar turns as the Major stands, a dark stain on the front of his trousers]

Major Fambrough:
I've just pissed my pants...and no one can do anything about it.

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