Dances With Wolves (1990)
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Directed by: Kevin Costner
Starring: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
Dances With Wolves ranked # 75 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 epic film which tells the story of a United States cavalry officer in the 1860s who befriends a band of Sioux Indians, sacrificing his career and ties to his own people. The film is unusual in that much of the dialogue is in the Lakota language with English subtitles.
Originally written as a spec screenplay by Michael Blake, it went unsold in the mid 1980's. It was Kevin Costner who, in early 1986 (when he was relatively unknown), encouraged Blake to turn the screenplay into a novel, to improve its chances of being made into a movie.
The novel manuscript of Dances with Wolves was rejected by numerous publishers but finally published in paperback in 1988. As a novel, the rights were purchased by Costner, with an eye to his directing it. Therefore, Blake's "adaption" of the novel existed before the novel itself.
Filming lasted from July 18 to November 23, 1989. Most of the movie was filmed on location in South Dakota, but a few scenes were filmed in Wyoming. Filming locations included the Badlands National Park, the Black Hills, the Sage Creek Wilderness Area, and the Belle Fourche River area. The buffalo hunt scenes were filmed at the Triple U Buffalo Ranch near Pierre, South Dakota.
Because of budget overruns and production delays, and the general perception, after the fiasco of Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, that Westerns weren't commercially viable, Costner's picture was dubbed "Kevin's Gate" by Hollywood wags and pundits during the months prior to its release.
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