Dances with Wolves

Dances with Wolves (1990)

20 corrected entries

(21 votes)

Corrected entry: Ten Bears' wife wears an obviously modern day set of dentures. While dentures had been invented by the late 1800's, they certainly weren't that "nice" looking...or available to a plains Indian on the Frontier.

Correction: How is it obvious she's wearing dentures? Maybe she just has naturally straight teeth.

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."

Correction: I can see the mistakes, but this movie has bought me back to it time and time again, and it makes my day just a little bit better! in this day and age (that's a plus!).

Corrected entry: In the scene where Kevin Costner is playing with the wolf on the prairie and the Sioux see him doing so. Costner is on the ground when the wolf runs away and the camera cuts to the Sioux coming toward Costner. In the scene of the Sioux approaching him he is seen in the distance standing. The camera returns to a close-up of Costner and he is on the ground again.

Correction: Having just watched the scene in question, Dunbar is sitting on the ground during every scene change. He only stands after noticing the Sioux watching him. So at least in the extended version, this error is false.

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. This plate is called a "Button Stick" and is made of brass. Still in use in the British Army.

Tiffany Fife

Corrected entry: When the Sioux and Dunbar are leaving for the buffalo hunt, one of the young boys riding a horse is wearing a pair of low-cut black converse Allstar sneakers. You can see it as they are riding away from the camera.

Correction: Watching the scene it appears that the shoes are converse. Stopping and slow motion show they are just dark moccasins with beads going around and across the top. The cut of the shoe is wrong for converse and the material flops as he is riding.

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: 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: The Sioux are on foot in the river as they surround the lone Pawnee warrior who is on horseback. The Sioux shoot up at him, thus avoiding each other.

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. (01:35:10)

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.

Brenda Elzin

Correct - he got it off another soldier.

Correction: When John Dunbar first walks into the abandoned soldiers' fort, a soldier's jacket is hanging. It's possible that other jackets were there and possibly taken as a trophy after the fort was abandoned.

Corrected entry: When Dunbar is leaving for his assignment, the officer holds a gun to his head to commit suicide. He's facing the camera with the gun screen left and a window screen right. If he shoots himself in the head from that position as implied, the bullet would have gone through his head and blown out the window, which the viewer sees intact after the shot when Dunbar looks back at the sound.


Correction: The bullet could easily have ricocheted off either side of his skull and gone another direction.


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.

I just watched this scene, there's a shot following the departing Pawnee that lingers on Timmons' supine (and scalped) body, and the three arrows that had been lodged in his chest and stomach are indeed missing.

The arrows would be missing at this point because the Indian would have retrieved them.

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.

Brenda Elzin

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: 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: 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.


Timmons has 2 wagons back-to-back when they are going through the dry river bed, also as leaving Ft. Sedgwick he is still towing a second wagon behind the first one.

Correction: In earlier scenes as they leave Ft Hayes, come across the skeletal remains, and then make camp for the night, two wagons hitched together pulled by a 6 mule team are seen.

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: I think the point of this mistake was to say this fictitious General would have outranked all the real-life Generals at the time with a rank not then in use, breaking the willing suspension of disbelief.

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: 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: 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: When Sergeant Pepper reloads his musket and talks about settling the whole business with high stakes poker, he pours powder down the muzzle and then proceeds to ram the rod down but without having placed any bullet (buckshot) inside the barrel. The purpose of the rod is to ram the buckshot all the way down to get it seated on the powder. (00:07:05)


Correction: Wouldn't be buckshot, it would be a minie ball. The bullet would be in the paper cartridge. No, he is not out of bullets and just firing blanks.

So he tears the wrapper, pours the powder down the barrel, throws the wrapper containing the bullet away and then rams the powder. He never put anything other than powder in the barrel. But then, this being a movie set, he would only have the supplies to load blank.

Correction: It's possible he's out of bullets and trying to simply scare the Confederates.

Greg Dwyer

Or the bullet was a part of the powder pack.

Continuity mistake: The piece of meat that Dunbar offers the wolf changes shape and size dramatically throughout that scene.

More mistakes in Dances with Wolves

Lt. Elgin: Spivy! You bash that prisoner one more time, I'll put those shackles on you.

More quotes from Dances with Wolves

Trivia: For his portrait of the Indians (which was radically different from all the earlier movies), Costner was made an honorary tribe member of the real-life Sioux.

More trivia for Dances with Wolves

Question: When did the moustache get shaved off in the movie and why?

Answer: He shaved it as he began spending more time with the Lakota. Native American tribes rarely accepted facial hair. As you can see, none of the other Lakota men have any. He also grew his hair longer as an abandonment of his military lifestyle.

More questions & answers from Dances with Wolves

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