Lieutenant John Dunbar finds himself flying solo at a Union outpost in the Dakota territories during the Civil War. But he's far from alone - with the help of his rations, he soon develops tenuous but satisfying relationships with a cautious wolf and a proud Sioux tribe. Kevin Costner's epic directorial debut took home a truckload of Oscars, and taught millions of moviegoers what "ta-tonka" means.
Trailers + Extras
- Buffalo Hunt
- I Am Your Friend
- Fort Sedgewick
- The Western Frontier A Day in the Life on the Western Frontier: Reasons for...
- Are You Hungry?
- The Creation of an Epic An intro to the film with the cast & crew
- Who's Dances with Wolves
- How Did You Get Your Name?
- Looks Like a Suicide
- Making Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner on Directing the film
- Feeding Two Socks
- You Are Not Welcome Here
Top 10 Fun Facts
- When nature won't cooperate, use paint! The crew painted several trees' leaves varying shades of red and brown to create the appearance of autumn.
- Paint part two: a pair of wolves played the part of Two Socks, but only one of them actually had white front feet. The other one - you guessed it - had its paws painted.
- Paint part three: the swathe of land flattened by buffalo was actually created using paint. That's probably considerably easier than teaching buffalo how to pace back and forth.
- It's also just as tricky to film a buffalo stampede. Well, the stampeding part is easy, but wrangling them back up again can take hours - so the crew was only able to get one "stampede" take per day.
- If you're going to work with buffalo, try a one-on-one approach. The buffalo that charged at young Smiles A Lot was actually charging at a pile of Oreo cookies - its favorite treat (get in line, buffalo).
- Fair weather filmmaking: to take advantage of the seasons, director Kevin Costner opted to shoot most of the film in sequence. The only exceptions were the opening Civil War scenes, which were filmed last.
- Speaking of those opening scenes, here's a little mindbender for you: when Kevin Costner's character is lying on the examining table, you're actually looking at Costner's body double. Costner himself is playing the doctor on the right, with another actor voicing the part.
- The Fort Sedgwick set was built with a movable floor that could be lowered several feet to accommodate low-angle shots. We probably would have opted for a hot tub, but what do we know?
- More is more: Costner shot almost a million feet of film to put together his three-hour opus.
- Wind In His (Real) Hair: actor Rodney A. Grant did not wear a wig to portray the defiant Wind In His Hair - his flowing mane is the real deal.