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Kevin Costner: A Man and His Films
Dances With Wolves-Pt. 1 Lt. John Dunbar
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Narrative, Hosting, Lesser roles, and Cameos
Open Range
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Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Dances With Wolves-Pt. 1 Lt. John Dunbar
Dances With Wolves - Pt. 2 The Sioux, Learning Lakota
Dances With Wolves - Pt 3 Dances With Wolves Loves Stand With A Fist.
Revenge
Other Kevin Websites
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Dances With Wolves - 1990
 
Part 1- Lt. John Dunbar
 
 

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Suicide run on Cisco
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Dunbar & Timmons
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Lt. Dunbar taken with the beauty of the land.
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Dunbar's new post Fort Sedgewick
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Debris everywhere

Sometimes we all have to give into a film that we aren't particularly interested in seeing but our loved one is.  This was the case with Dances With Wolves.  Westerns are not my favorite genre, murder mysteries and romantic comedies are.  I was blown away by this movie, when I found myself cheering for the Indians and booing the white man there was a total appreciation for the movie and story I had just seen.  I was a great joy when Kevin and DWW won 7 Academy Awards out of 9 nominations.  This movie was criticized by Hollywood and by people who supposedly know how to turn out a good movie.  This was Kevin's first attempt at directing and he walked away with Best Director Oscar and Best Motion Picture of 1990 which he also was given the Oscar as producer.  Twelve years later as I write this there are people who don't get how Kevin could have done this great feat.
 
It isn't any easier to write about this film in a condensed version then it was for Kevin to edit it to 3 hrs. 1 min.  But I will try.  This film is suppose to come out on DVD sometime this fall (2002) as the Director's cut which will be 4 hours plus and this is the way that Kevin always wanted everyone to see his film.
 
The movie opens with a gruesome sight of an Army Field Hospital in the Civil War. Our hero Lt. John J. Dunbar has a foot and leg wound that will require him losing his foot at least.  But he won't have any of that, when the surgeons leave him alone for a break, he puts his boot back on and goes to where he thinks the fighting is.  He doesn't want to fight, what he wants is a Johnny Reb to finish the job.  These two armies aren't fighting they are aimed at each other across an open field but no one is firing.  Standing straight up near the fence that is the front line a Rebel bullet doesn't even come close to him.  So he decides that he will give them a moving target.  He mounts a horse and gallops up and back in the field.  Bullets wiz by him but none hit their mark, he sustains only a minor graze wound to his head before he collapses off the horse.  But the one thing he does accomplish is getting the two sides fighting.  A Commanding Officier watches the whole thing from a hilltop and goes to Dunbar's aid.  He gets Dunbar the medical attention he needs and promises him that he will not loose his leg or foot.  Dunbar is awarded his mount and post of his choice for showing such leadership on the battlefield.
 
Dunbar chooses the frontier.  He wants to see it before it is gone.  He rides to Fort Hayes where he is to learn of his next post.  At Fort Hayes he is met with sarcasam and actual mockery by the Fort Hayes Commanding Officier, Major Fambrough.  The man is totally despondent by Dunbar's youth and valiance.  He gives Dunbar a post at what he calls the outer realms of the nation.  Fort Sedgewick.  He also tells him that the mule team wagon supplier will show him the way to Fort Sedgewick.  Major Fambrough then committs suicide leaving only Dunbar and the wagon driver Timmons knowing where Dunbar has been posted.
 
Dunbar keeps a daily journal.  He writes in it one night that he would be having the time of his life if it weren't for his companion Timmons who he says has to be the foulest man he has ever met.
 
Upon arrival to Fort Sedgewick he finds that it is deserted and in shambles.  He doesn't understand what happened to the soldiers that were there.  There are bridles still hanging in the makeshift stable area.  Munition are around and a terrible scattering of debris.  He insists that Timmons leave him there it is his post.
 
Timmons unloads supplies for Fort Sedgewick and heads back to Fort Hayes saying he will tell the Army that he is posted at Fort Sedgewick.  Timmons is killed by Pawnee on his way back to Fort Hayes and now only Lt. John J. Dunbar knows where he is posted.
 
When Dunbar goes to the pond to bring back fresh water he finds a huge debris field just over the ridge from the sod cabin he calls home and post.  There are caves dug into the hillside but are empty.  He doesn't understand what happened to this post and its soldiers.  When he goes to dip his bucket in the pond he sees a deer carcass just lying there in the pond.  Dunbar assigns himself clean up duty and hauls away with Cisco's help loads of debris and burns it.  He then realizes that the smoke will signal any Indians in the area that someone is living at Fort Sedgewick.  Too late it is done.  He notices a wolf as he heads back to the one room cabin.  At first he takes aim and then stops when he notices the wolf makes no attempt at threatening him, Cisco or his food.
 
The next day Dunbar decides it is time for personal clean up and takes a bath and shave in the pond.  While returning to the cabin he sees an Indian in the corral with Cisco.  He isn't armed and he is buck naked.  He yells at the Indian who trips all over himself to get back to his horse and ride away.  Dunbar looks down at himself naked and realizes what a frightening sight that must have been.
 
Kicking Bird returns to the village and gives a report about his encounter with one white man at the soldier's fort.  Wind In His Hair says there are more coming and they should kill this one before the others arrive.  Ten Bears (Chief) says no they should wait and see how many arrive.  Three young boys are under the tent listening to the elders and decide they will impress the elders by stealing the white soldier's horse. 
 
Dunbar is awaken by Cisco and goes out with revolver in hand, he foregot just how low that door jam is on the sod cabin and knocks himself out cold.  The boys do steal Cisco, but Cisco pulls the one that has a rope rein in his hand off his pony.  Boys being boys argue about how their parents will punish them for their adventure that ended up with one being injured and no horse to show for it.  Cisco returns home.
 
The next morning while Dunbar is shaving and putting cold water on his forehead that nows has a cut and  is swollen is alerted by Cisco once again that someone is trying to steal him again.  This time it is Wind In His Hair and he is going to run the white man off by intimidation if he isn't allowed by the elders to kill him.
 
Well Dunbar and Wind In His Hair have a confrontation without either one knowing what is being said because neither ones knows the others language.  Wind In His Hair throws a spear at Dunbar's feet and Dunbar is brandishing his Army revolver, but neither makes any attempt to wound or kill the other.  Wind In His Hair rides away with anger and joins the other four in his party who have riden away with Cisco.  Half way back to joining up with his war party he meets Cisco running back to Fort Sedgwick.  Once again Cisco has pulled the rider off his pony who was stealing him.  Dunbar then collapses on the ground. 

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Dunbar's first sight of an Indian

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Cisco returns home again