Dances with Wolves

Factual error: The Henry Repeating Rifle seen in 1865 is impossible, because it's 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. Plus the ammo used is the larger, more modern rounds.

Factual error: When Lt. Dunbar is preparing for his meeting with the Indians, you can see the rubber sole of his boot as he is putting it on. There is also a stamped logo on the boot heel. Rubber bottomed boots did not exist during the Civil War.

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Suggested correction: True enough officially, but it often happened during war or in remote areas or in this case Both, unconvential materials would be used in improvised solutions.

dizzyd

Factual error: We see and hear geese flying overhead toward the end of the film, a sure sign that winter is approaching, but the birds in the shot are sandhill cranes, which do not "honk" like Canada geese.

Factual error: In an opening scene Kevin Costner is seen eating a Delicious Apple, a variety not created until after the Civil War.

Factual error: When Lt. Dunbar gets to the Fort, they show a dove in the rafters. It is a domestic Ringed Turtle-Dove or domesticated Barbary (African Collared) Dove. They likely did not have those doves at the Fort, but rather should have been a Mourning Dove. Rock Doves and chickens were common domestic animals brought for food.

Factual error: In a scene where Dunbar is at the fort and a Henry 1860 rifle is lying on a firing port, there appears to be a long cartridge similar to 45/70 or.50 Govt with the rifle. The Henry 1860 rifle at the time used .44 Henry cartridges which were significantly shorter. (00:41:55)

Factual error: 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.

kaevanoff

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

LorgSkyegon

Factual error: When Dunbar saves the native American boy from the charging injured buffalo he jumps off, asks if he's all right then makes two repeated shots from his Henry rifle without cocking the lever. Only special safari guns did that, at a later date.

Revealing mistake: In the extended version of the film during the buffalo hunt, there is a shot of a buffalo making a turn and in the distant horizon, you can briefly see a modern radio tower on top of a hill.

manthabeat Premium member

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: Kevin Costner had a nasty fall from his horse during the buffalo hunt scene, and everyone freaked out, because since he was the director, the star, and the producer, production would have shut down. Fortunately, he was fine.

More trivia for Dances with Wolves

Question: Why did Dunbar's superior kill himself as Dunbar was being taken to his new post?

Answer: He was mentally disturbed and was depressed about being assigned to a "dead end" post with no chance at advancement. Dunbar, the hero, choosing to be assigned to the frontier, just pushed the poor soul over the edge.

Mark English

In a word, the disease syphilis. The urinary tract problems and the Insanity are possible side effects.

What are you basing this on? What in the movie indicates that he has syphilis?

Answer: Dunbar's superior supported the British ("The King is dead... Long live the King" said with a heavy British accent) and was likely a closet-case Redcoat his entire US military career. It was not rare and many suicides were a result of that.

This claim is not supported by the movie. "The King is dead. Long live the King" is a common idiom referring to the passing of power to someone new. It most definitely does not literally refer to the English King. The movie is set in the middle of Queen Victoria's reign. As for your assertion that there were a large number of English loyalists in the Union Army three generations after the Revolutionary War seems highly unlikely. Can you cite evidence of this?

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