Corrected entry: After unloading the supplies at Fort Sedgewick, when Lt. Dunbar hands Timmons a case of supplies just before he leaves, there is only one wagon hitched up. In the following shot Timmons pulls away with two.
Correction: There is a second wagon hitched, but it can only be seen momentarily before Timmons begins riding away. No mistake here.
Corrected entry: After Dunbar tells the tribe about finding the buffalo, he becomes a hero. The next morning as they all head out for the hunt, Dunbar is repeatedly congratulated by young men of the tribe. They do this by riding by and saying,"Lieutenant." But they all mispronounce it as "loo-TENT-ant. It's cute, but a mistake that would only be made from reading the word and not understanding the first T is silent. They don't speak English, so they certainly don't read it.
Correction: The first T is not silent. Neither of the T's are silent in fact. In the US, where this movie is set, the word is pronounced "loo-TEN-ent. This is how Dunbar pronounces it. The Sioux language is a sharper sounding language than English, so the native Sioux speakers speak the word with a Sioux accent, adding the sound of an additional T. Even if they could interpret English letters, reading the word phonetically would result in a pronunciation more like "ly-ut-en-ant. Therefore, literally no part of this submission makes any sense at all and is not a movie mistake.
Corrected entry: In the beginning, a Civil War battle is taking place at the fictional St. David's field in 1863. The General who tends to Dunbar after the victory is a 3 star Lieutenant General. The only Yankee 3 star general during the Civil War was General Grant and he wasn't promoted to Lt. General until 1864.
Correction: There was no Lt. John J. Dunbar either. This general, just like the main character, is a fictional person. This is a drama, not a documentary.
Corrected entry: When Lt. Dunbar goes to bed, Cisco the horse is in the corral, unsaddled. When Dunbar wakes up the next morning and says "bad horse," the horse is waiting at the door to the cabin with his saddle and blanket on.
Correction: Where do you see Cisco unsaddled in the corral on the first night at the fort? I watched these scene several times - Dunbar and Timmons unload the provisions until dusk, Timmons rides off and Dunbar falls onto his bunk, exhausted. We never see Cisco between his arrival at the fort until the next morning, when he awakens Dunbar.
Corrected entry: When Dunbar is riding into the village to talk with Stands With A Fist, Wind In His Hair (appearing immediately to the left of Dunbar) is wearing Dunbar's Lieutenant dress jacket, which Dunbar does not give to Wind In His Hair until well after this scene takes place.
Correction: Wind in His Hair is wearing 'a' soldier's jacket - not necessarily Dunbar's jacket. Native Americans would often take spoils from raids - as trophies - including (and especially) the uniforms of soldiers they had killed.
Corrected entry: When Timmons is shot by the Pawnee, the arrows disappear from his wounds as he crawls around on the ground.
Correction: Timmons is shown staggering around on foot, with arrows visible in him. He is never shown crawling, and the arrows never disappear.
Corrected entry: In one of many 'show the majestic view as they ride' scenes, you can see the cooling tower of a nuclear reactor.
Correction: This film was filmed entirely in South Dakota. There are no nuclear reactors in South Dakota.
Corrected entry: When the Sioux are surrounding the Last Pawnee in the creek, they are in a circle around him and all fire their rifles at the same time. In this situation a few Sioux would have been shot.
Correction: Not necessarily. Most of the Sioux are sitting atop horses and aiming DOWN at the Pawnee warrior.
Corrected entry: Why does Stands With a Fist have shoulder-length, layered hair and bangs? Wouldn't her hair be all long and natural, like every other woman in the tribe?
Correction: It's a Native American custom for someone in mourning to cut his/her hair. Stands With a Fist has recently lost her husband as the movie opens.
Corrected entry: During the buffalo hunt, Dunbar shoots his rifle several times without ever reloading it. When he shoots at the buffalo charging at Smiles A Lot, Dunbar has to cock his rifle between each shot, yet can fire two shots at the downed buffalo without cocking the rifle between shots.
Correction: You dont see Dunbar reloading his rifle when he shoots at the pack, because the indians are filmed between them shots. And in my dvd- version of this movie Dunbar does cock his rifle in between when he takes the two shots at the downed buffalo.
Corrected entry: In the winter scene you can clearly see that the people have no visible breath, despite there being snow all around.
Correction: I live in New Hampshire, and it must be quite cold, around 20 degrees to cause breath to fog instantly. Also, who's not to say that the temperature is above freezing? There are simply too many "ifs" in the situation.
Corrected entry: A skittish wolf like Two Socks would never position himself so close to an Indian scouting party, as is revealed after he is shot by the soldiers.
Correction: I think the point is that his bond with Dunbar is stronger than his natural fear. Not only is he in close proximity to the U.S. soldiers, but even after they shoot at him multiple times he stays where he is, rather than run away. This has to be more frightening than being near a very quiet group of Indians.
Corrected entry: Dunbar washes his face and forehead, (we assume to remove the blood from what appeared to be quit a nasty injury), after being knocked out on the door frame yet, there is no sign of cuts, scrapes or bruising on his forehead.
Correction: If you look closely as Dunbar is sponging his forehead with his washcloth, you can see a horizontal "cut" and "bruising" at the top of his forehead.
Corrected entry: Kevin Costner would not have that many Henry Repeating Rifles in 1865 because a) only a few thousand were supplied to the whole U.S. Army until around 1866 and each rifle cost about $42.00, which was half of a year's salary back then and the bullets for it were about $10.00 per 1,000. b) The rifles used were the "King's Patent Henry Rifle" which wasn't out until 1866. The original Henry had a loading tube under the barrel, not one on the side of the breech. Even if this movie was supposedly in 1866, they still would have not been using those repeating rifles due to lack of supply. c) The ammo used were the larger, more modern rounds.
Correction: The extra rifles that Dunbar has are standard issue US Cavalry rifles. Dunbar owns the only repeating rifle used in the film.
Corrected entry: When Dances with Wolves walks romantically hand in hand with Stands-with-Fist, cottonwood trees are bearing cotton, though the bare limbs clearly show it was shot in autumn. Cottonwood trees pollenate (like every other plant) in spring.
Correction: In fact, as per written in the script by Michael Blake, those are cattails - not cottonwood - which do 'fluff' in the fall, leaving bare limbs that may be mistaken for cottonwood.
Corrected entry: Shortly after Kevin Costner arrives at his deserted post and decides he is tired of waiting for the Indians to come to him, he decides to "ride out and meet them". There is a scene where he is dressing in his uniform to prepare for this visit, where at one point he fastens a roughly 6-inch long (presumably) brass "cover" over the buttons on the front of his uniform. He then uses a rag to shine between the buttons for a moment. This "cover" has disappeared in the next shot when we see Costner fully dressed and walking towards his horse.
Correction: I believe this is actually a plate used to protect the uniform as he shines up the buttons, to be slipped off when the buffing is complete.
Corrected entry: At the beginning of the movie Lt. Dunbar is waiting to have his foot amputated, but later on in the movie when he's taking a bath in the river, both his legs are fine and there are no injuries.
Correction: Dunbar has both feet because the General distinctly ordered his men to "bring up my ambulance and bring my surgeon with it" and told Dunbar to "rest easy, son, you'll keep your foot. As God is my judge you'll keep it."