MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 10/20/2017 10:52:57 PM
 The Military Media Room    
AuthorMessage
anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5958
http:// 82.44.47.99
Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 4:09:24 AM
I can honestly say I have seen the face of beauty on screen; and not for the first time, and it is in the form of a Western version of "Dances with Wolves", a magical work of art that entrances, touches, inspires, and holds you in its grasp of pure magnificence.

Kevin Costner and his creative team are aragons of modern film-making. Against all odds, they created a challenging, beautiful movie about a dark period in American history.

And the movie, with all its statements overtly apparent, never shifts left or right, for which we can all be truly thankful. It is a story, plain and simple. They would never make a movie so slow today. They would never make a movie with this kind of character and story development today, either.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5306

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 7:17:06 AM
I enjoyed this one too.

Apparently Costner took the reins on this one and insisted upon as much accuracy with respect to the First Nations as possible.

Costumes and face paints were apparently accurate to the period.

The First Nations actors were not all Lakota Sioux but they were speaking that language and Costner hired a FN Sioux language teacher to teach the actors, some of whom spoke other First Nation's languages.

Costner is not a great actor I don't think, but this film suited his personality.


It is interesting to go to First Nations web sites to see their response to the film. Those response vary.

1. Happy to see FN's portrayed as human beings with feelings

2. Anger expressed by Comanche who claim that the story was about them and the Sioux were substituted.

3. The main FN characters actually existed but they were not Sioux.

4. One critic was upset at the final crawl statement:


Quote:
“Thirteen years later, their homes destroyed, their buffalo gone, the last band of free Sioux submitted to white authority at Fort Robinson, Nebraska. The great horse culture of the plains was gone and the American frontier was soon to pass into history.”


Remember this critique was written in a period of Indian activism and the man who criticized this final statement thought that it ignored the imperialistic intent of the US. It also implies that the FN's disappeared from the earth.

He is being a bit picky here.

5. Many were pleased that the Lakota Sioux language was spoken with English sub-titles. Costner could not sell that to Hollywood. That's one of the reasons that he took the project on himself.



There are First Nations people from Canada who are actors and they had significant roles in the film. Their faces are well known in Canada if not in the US.

Graeme Greene is Oneida from the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford in Ontario, Canada. Has been appointed to the Order of Canada.
He was Kicking Bird in the film.




Tantoo Cardinal is from Alberta and she is Métis.





Jimmy Herman from the Cold Lake Reserve in Alberta is Chipewyan and Dene




The cadre of First Nations/Indian actors is rather small, so the casting call for this picture was across North America and so many other First Nations than Lakota Sioux are represented in the film.

George







anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5958
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 8:15:42 AM
Many thanks George for you interest and fulsome report.I have seen this movie many times and it always blows me away-it's like being in the movie-it is so real.

I agree that Costner is not a "great" actor-he is too laconic for that status; but he was so natural in this movie- a loner completely on his own-except for his horse and the lone wolf.

My thanks too for the great photos and thumbnail histories as well as the history of the First Nation people-I do hope that more will see it.

BTW have seen "Open Range"-a Western with Duvall and Costner


Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5306

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 9:16:14 AM
It's not really a military movie but I can also recommend, "Black Robe" as an interesting treatment of the First Nations in New France.

The story centres around a Jesuit priest, a black robe, who travels to the hinterland to attempt to convert the "savages" that he meets.

Those people happen to be Wendat (Huron) though the language that they are speaking in the film is Cree. That's one of the criticisms.
The preference would have been to have the Wendat speak the wyandot language.

My guess is that they couldn't find enough people who spoke Wyandot fluently.

The Iroquois wiped out the Huron in war about 15 years after the time in which the film took place.

There is an attempt to revive the language in Canada and in Oklahoma.

The Iroquois people also criticize the film because they are portrayed as torturers. They were but the truth is that so were the Hurons but both tribes would more commonly adopt prisoners of war and integrate them into the culture.

The rugged scenery is worth a look on its own, much different than the plains of Dances With Wolves.

And I find the story line to be more plausible than in Dances With Wolves. The Jesuits did indeed live with the Huron in an attempt to convert them to Roman Catholicism. Several paid with their lives in the attempt.

Cheers,

George



morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1189

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 10:10:58 AM
George`s post is good to point out the very fine actors from Canada who made up the Lakota Sioux cast.

The most important aspect of Dances With Wolves is the humanistic, and the accurate portrayal of the Sioux. Other films have sought to show history from the American Indian perspective...Soldier Blue, Little Big Man...but the way that the Plains Indian is shown...funny, grieving, intelligent..all the qualities that are human qualities...and the actual language being spoken..was an important aspect of the films import.

An example is when Kicking Bird shares his irritation that Stands With A Fist is not wanting to translate the talk of the white soldier...and says "she`s being difficult." And his wife indignantly reply's "I think some one else is the one being difficult!" And walks away in a huff to comfort a torn Stands With A Fist. It translate to any culture.

However....as much as I loved the movie, it does suffer from the "Hollywood Syndrome' of making things too black and white anyway. The Sioux are all virtuous, almost all the White Men are scoundrels and rather disgusting jerks...and the Pawnee are made into the "bloodthirsty savages" or "the boogeyman" that the Lt. laments that Indians have been made out to be.

It does portray the fact that the Plains Indian was not merely some peaceful nomad...but actually did claim territory and land...and fight each other over those claims.

None the less, for so long the American Indian was portrayed in film as a one dimensional entity, and this film shattered that mold.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5958
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 10:28:26 AM
I am most appreciative of your interest and input Morris-I learn something every day about "the peoples across the pond". I do love period pieces that tell a historical story.

A couple of my English favourites are "The Madness of King George" and "The Duchess" and "Culloden"-great stories beautifully portrayed.

I have to agree that Hollywood can and does turn great stories into what they think will draw the crowds; and to hell with the truth.

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2771

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 10:43:31 AM
I also give this movie 2 thumbs up, it's one of my favs for all the reasons stated! (have it in my collection of DVD's!)

[Read More]

Just some of the major scenes broke down!
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5958
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 10:54:19 AM
Thank you Dave- you are a man of the same heart as myself-I do have my favourites.Have you seen "The Cruel Sea"about the Battle of the Atlantic in WW2-a real classic !!

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5306

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 11:52:05 AM

Quote:
I also give this movie 2 thumbs up, it's one of my favs for all the reasons stated! (have it in my collection of DVD's!)

[Read More]

Just some of the major scenes broke down!
MD
--Michigan Dave


That first scene is what Morris was talking about. There was inter-tribal violence among First Nations. There were also alliances and agreements, including trade agreements between them.

But this scene portrays the Pawnee much in the traditional way that Hollywood has treated the First Nations, as blood thirsty savages.

It is one of the criticisms of the film.

EDIT: It is historical fact that the Pawnee, feeling the encroachment of the Europeans did move from the Oklahoma area to the western plains where the Sioux and Cheyenne were the power brokers. So we had too many First Nations competing for land and the dwindling bison.
It is also true that the Pawnee would sign up to be guides for the US army. They weren't the only ones but I can imagine that the Sioux and Cheyenne wouldn't look favourably upon them for that.

George

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1189

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 4:54:05 PM
Yes George...and also the Crow and the Arikara ...or Ree... also were scouts for the US Cavalry.

Bloody Knife, Custer`s favorite scout, was an Arikara who had been raised by the Sioux, but ran away after years of foul treatment as some outcast by them.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

wazza
Sydney , Australia
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 343

Re: Dances With Wolves---1990 Movie
Posted on: 6/25/2017 5:14:15 PM
Enjoy Dances with wolves as an 'arty' style western. I love that it has more Indian/First nations perspective than your usual western.

Really enjoyed Open Range. Wow.

 The Military Media Room    
 Forum Ads from Google