Dances with Wolves

Dances with Wolves (1990)

29 mistakes

(20 votes)

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.

Continuity mistake: When Dunbar 1st finds a bloodied Stands with a Fist mourning on the prairie she has long hair extensions. When he carries her back to the tribe her hair is shoulder length.

Continuity mistake: The Civil War battle scene has trees already turning fall colors, and the cornfield is already showing frost damage with dying top leaves. The likely timing for scenery such as this would be about mid to late September. There wouldn't be enough time for Dunbar's leg to heal, then travel 1000 miles west, then establish rapport with the Sioux, then go on a buffalo hunt, then move to winter quarters before snow flies.

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Suggested correction: Maybe he recovered over fall and winter, then traveled west in spring?

dizzyd

Dunbar tells the Army soldiers that have him captured that he arrived at the fort in April.

Continuity mistake: When Timmons is being shot by the Pawnee there is one part where he has 3 arrows in him. The scene switches and quickly goes back to him and now he has 4 arrows. No other shots were taken.

Family5

Revealing mistake: Costner is supposed to be nude after he gets out of the water and is watching Kicking Bird wandering around in his camp; however, a close look in the lower left of the scene will show Costner is wearing skin-colored panty hose. The elastic waist band is quite visible, cropping didn't get it all out. (00:54:20)

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)

Other mistake: At the beginning after Dunbar leaves the surgery area, he walks up to fence where a soldier is lying down. Next to him is an apple with the grocery sticker on it. (04:49:00)

Ultra Fine

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.

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

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Trivia: The wolf in the film was played by two different wolves. Neither knew how to howl, so a third wolf had to be brought in for the howling scene.

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Question: Maybe I just missed something, but what's going on with Dunbar's military superior that he meets at the fort out west? He seems to think he's a king or something, referring to the frontier as the "realm" and Dunbar's travel companion as a "peasant." At the end of the scene he salutes Dunbar very sarcastically and then shoots himself. What does any of that have to do with the story?

Krista

Chosen answer: It shows that the officer was mentally disturbed, and he was the only one in the fort who knew about Dunbar's assignment. It sets the story up so that Dunbar could live with the Indians without the Army interfering with his life (No one expected any communications to or from Dunbar).

Twotall

Answer: So why was his journal so important to him? He knows lots of soldiers and many other whites are coming.

Answer: Because it documented his time at the fort and with the Indians and also what he learned from them during the period when he arrived before the Army did show up - This would have been crucial if there had been any trial which there was not as the Sioux rescued him from the situation.

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