Dances with Wolves

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I recently watched the 1990 Dances with Wolves! Being a fan of western movies, I do not know how I have not watched it before. This is one of the best westerns I have seen so far! I would highly recommend watching it.

How I came to watch this movie.

As a family, we like to play games or watch a movie after dinner. Trying to find something new on netflix, I stop to read the description for Dances with Wolves. My fiance and his cousin both say it's a good movie. When I asked what it was about, there was no other option this was the movie we were watching. They could not believe I had never watched it and had to make sure I did. 

About the movie.

Dances with Wolves starts out as a war scene. (Not really my particular type of movie.) The main character John Dunbar was made lieutenant for his act of bravery during the opening scene. Dunbar then requests to be sent to the frontier. This was an unusual request for a lieutenant to be asking, as lower ranked soldiers were usually sent to the frontier. The Major granted Dunbar's request and assigns him a wagon driver to escort him. As he sets off, the Major commits suicide.

Arriving at the post, Dunbar finds it abandoned. Against the drivers judgement he decides to stay. Dunbar sent the driver back to base to send more troops. However, Pawnee indians found the driver and killed him. The only two people that knew Dunbar was at the frontier died, and nobody knew he was there. 

While waiting for troops, Dunbar recorded his findings at the abandoned post and his life there. Unsure why troops have not arrived and reluctant to leave his post, he continued to restore the site. He also had a connection with a nearby wolf. Which he named Two-socks after several encounters. 

The Sioux indians soon realized the post was inhabited. They tried to steal his horse and scare him off. Dunbar became curious about this tribe and set out to talk to them. On his way he finds a white woman who was trying to commit suicide. She is dressed like an indian and speaks indian as well. So he takes her with him to the Sioux camp. He found out he was not welcome at the camp and that communication was going to be difficult as they did not speak english. The tribe however, let Dunbar leave unharmed as he rescued one of their own. 

 The tribe council had a meeting about Dunbar. In this scene the chief Ten Bears agrees with Kicking Bird, who wants to talk to the white man and find out why he is there. Wind In His Hair stands up and states that he is not happy with this conclusion, but he won't dispute it. The chief then sends him and Kicking Bird to establish communication with the white man. 

Dunbar welcomes the indians to his post, and is trying to communicate by a means of playing charades. Though this was difficult, Kicking Bird showed patience and understanding. While Wind In His Hair thought Dunbar was crazy and wanted to give up. After several visits to Dunbar's camp Kicking Bird decides to ask the white woman to help establish communication between them. The woman is reluctant and scared to talk with Dunbar. 

The next scene shows Pawnee indians attacking white people and killing them. A little boy tells a little girl named Christy to run. This little girl was found by Kicking Bird, who took her in and raised her as his own. Though her name is now Stands With A Fist instead of Christy. 

After several encounters the indians have built a repore with Dunbar, and invite him to the camp. While at the Sioux camp, Kicking Bird awaits Stands With A Fist. Dunbar is glad to see that the woman he saved is alive and doing well. Though Stands with a fist is scared she acts as an interpreter for them. This is where they find out each others names and really make a breakthrough. 

Buffalo have been scarce, but one night Dunbar is woken with trembles at his post. When he went to see what was causing the ground to tremble he found a herd of buffalo. Dunbar wasted no time. He jumped on his horse and told the Sioux as they have been searching for buffalo. 

Dunbar and the tribe set out in search for the buffalo. They quickly picked up the path of the herd. However, they came across a vast area of dead buffalo, killed for their tongues and hides. Carcasses left out in the open.This was an appalling scene for everyone as the meat was left wasted. There was no doubt this was the cause of white people hunting as wagon tracks were seen. 

This did not discourage the Sioux as they rested and regained their hope of finding buffalo. The next morning they set out in search for buffalo. They found the heard and had a successful hunt. The tribe celebrated their bountiful hunt and Dunbar. As he was the one that spotted the buffalo.  

 This is when we noticed a change with Wind In His Hair. He traded his chest plate for Dunbar's jacket. During the  celebration of the hunt, Dunbar noticed that another indian was wearing his hat. The indian did not believe he had to give it back as he found it abandoned on the prairie. However Wind In His Hair stood up for Dunbar. Everyone knew the hat was a soldier's hat and that it belonged to Dunbar. Wind In His Hair said if he wouldn't give it back then he needed to make a trade for the hat. Which he had done.

Dunbar volunteers himself to go to war with the Sioux against Pawnee indians. However, Kicking Bird has other intentions. When Kicking Bird visits Dunbar to see why he wants to fight the Sioux fight, he asks Dunbar to stay and watch over his family while he is away. Dunbar also realized that he has been awarded with an indian name. Dances With Wolves!

During this time Dunbar spends a lot of time with Stand With A Fist. He is also getting good at talking Sioux. This is also when he finds out about her dead husband, and that she is in mourning. Since Kicking Bird found Stands With A Fist when she was a little girl, he is the only one that can say when her mourning is over. This is where I realized that Dunbar was falling for Stands With A Fist. In the next scene I realized that Stands with a fist is also falling for Dunbar.

Meeting at the river they finally see the attraction they have for each other. They try to hide it as she has not been told that she is done mourning her husband's death. Later that night Stand With A  Fist exposes herself to Dunbar. During intercourse, there was commotion outside.

 Pawnee indians were spotted not far from their home. They are getting ready to go to war! This is where Dunbar steps up and offers his guns he has stashed back at his camp. The chief allows him to take one person to help him get these rifiels. 

Successfully getting back in time before the Pawnee tribe attacked. With guns in hand by nearly every Sioux and kids getting involved with their bow and arrows, they won the war. Though they did had one casualty. Their land, woman, and children were safe! That is what really mattered. They celebrated through the night. When Kicking Bird went to bed his wife told him that she thinks Stands With A Fist should be done grieving, and that she has found another love.

The next morning, Kicking Bird goes to his daughter and tells her she is done mourning. The next scene jumps right to the wedding of Stands With A Fist and Dances With Wolves. The ceremony consisted of Kicking Bird telling Dunbar what is expected of him. Then with the whole tripe there, the newly wed couple were sent to a teepee to consummate their marriage.

While Dunbar was spending time with Kicking Bird, he told him that he believed that many white people would be coming. When they told Chief Ten Bears, he was not concerned. He did however tell them that they would e taking down camp and moving to their winter camp the next day.

Dunbar realized that he left his journal at his post and had to go back for it. Upon arrival at the post he realized that soldiers were heavily inhabited at the camp. Some of the soldiers noticed him as an indian and shot at him, only killing his horse. Then one of the soldiers knocked Dunbar out with the butt of his riffel. This is when Kicking Bird got worried and sent 3 soldiers back to check on Dunbar.

In the meantime we see Dunbar being held captive and charged with being a traitor. The soldiers wanted Dunbar to show them where all the indians were. Not wanting to turn on his new found family, Dunbar starts talking in Sioux. He tells them he is Dances With Wolves and he has nothing to say to them. That they are not worth talking to. When they take Dunbar to the river to wash the blood off, we see the indians. Staying back they can see that Dances With Wolves is being held captive. They went back for reinforcements.

 As  the soldiers were taking dunbar back to base, Dunbar awakens to gunshots. He notices that they are shooting at Two Socks (the wolf he had made friends with). Dunbar attacks one of the soldiers that were shooting at Two Socks. Another soldier knocks Dunbar out with the butt of his gun. The soldiers keep shooting till they hit the wolf. Some of the soldiers went to get the wolf. Thankfully they were ordered back to the wagon, as there was Sioux indians right on the other side of the hill. 

 After crossing a low part of a river, the Sioux indians attacked the soldiers. Dunbar, while cuffed and shackled assisted in fighting the soldiers. One soldier tried to get away however, he ran into Smiles A Lot whom was watching the horses. The soldier tries to shoot him, but his gun was out of bullets. So he hit Smiles A Lot over the head with his gun. While the soldier tries stealing a horse, he is distracted by another indian. As he turns to run away, Smiles A Lot puts a hatchet in the soldiers chest. You can tell this was his first kill.

Everyone is excited to see Dunbar come home to the Sioux winter camp. Later while smoking a peace pipe with the council, Chief Ten Bears asks Dances With Wolves if his heart is bad because he has been quiet and not like himself. Dunbar replies saying he was glad to kill those soldiers at the river, but they now think he is a traitor and will be looking for him. He states that he believes they should move their village at once, so they don't find them. However, Dunbar also states that he is leaving them to find someone that will listen to him. This causes much commotion amongst the indians. 

Chief Ten Bears asks to speak to Dances With Wolves alone. Once alone Ten Bears tells Dunbar that he has thought about him a lot. And that he thinks it is an unwise decision to go find someone that will listen. He says that the man they are looking for, this traitor no longer exists. That he only sees in front of him a Sioux man named Dances With Wolves. 

Back at his teepee with Stands with a fist. He asks what his wife thought about his decision. She says that her place is with him that she goes where he goes and that she is not afraid. He then tells her that  he told Ten Bears that they would leave when the snow breaks. Kicking Bird and Dances With Wolves exchange gifts. I don't think either one knew what to say. Kicking bird says "We have came far, you and me."  and Dances With Wolves replies saying "I will not forget you." then they part ways.

We see a quick scene of soldiers putting out a fire as they are searching for Dunbar. As Stand with A Fist and Dances With Wolves are about to leave, Smiles A Lot runs up to them. With tears in his eyes and no words to be said he gives Dunbar a gift then runs off. Opening his gift he realizes, it's his journal!

As they set off  an indian on a hill yells down to Dunbar. He repeats over and over, "Dances With Wolves. I am Wind In His Hair. Do you see that I am your friend? Can you see that you will always be my friend?"  As the tribe watches Dances With Wolves and Stands With A Fist leave, we see soldiers working with indians to find the tribe. However, all they found was a campsite left behind.

The movie ends with a wolf howling on a mountain top. then words come across the screen. 


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