Dances with Wolves (1990) Poster

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  • Major Fambrough the senior officer, throughout the entire scene, demonstrates his lack of sanity. In the next scene just before he commits suicide, he again speaks with another officer as if he was one of his royal subjects. It's assumed that because he is the "king", nobody can stop him from doing what he wants. He is saying to Dunbar, I am totally in charge of you. I can even piss in my pants and you or nobody else can do anything about it. It shows the effect of having to live on the frontier, as it would generally have been the incompetent or the more lowly officers who would have been "exiled" to frontier posts rather than have them in a more active duty, and the loneliness and distance from what they would consider civilization eventually drove them mad. This is reinforced by the abandonment of Sedgwick by its previous occupants and their bizarre behaviour, the killing of the deer, using them to poison the pond, and the fact that they were living in caves rather than the fort itself, and also the questioning of Dunbar as to why he volunteered for the duty when he was a decorated Lieutenant. Edit

  • The US army was in a "soft war" with the natives. They weren't sending many troops, because they were also on the called civil war, but they had these outposts to make their presence known. Also, as depicted in the movie, they used to send infrequent armies to fight the natives to retrieve stolen goods and hostages.

    When Lt. Dunbar leaves his post and joins the Sioux, he's seen as a traitor. His rescue and killing of all guards would obviously be seen as an unforgettable taunt and a real threat.

    Among this real reason to send an even bigger army to fight them, this would also be the opportunity needed for anybody wanting to actively fight the natives, or wanting to lead an army and increase in ranks.

    Kowing all that, Dunbar decided to leave the tribe, surrender, and use that to talk about a truce and how good people the natives are, to anybody that would listen to it. In this action, he both removes the motivation to raid them, and creates the chance to make european people learn about them.

    Stands with a Fist, as his wife, goes with him. It's not depicted if she had second thoughts but surely she wasn't forced to go. Edit

  • The men were in caves because he had provided no (or totally inadequate) leadership after having been abandoned/forgotten by the Army and because they no longer felt safe in the fort, fearing Indian attacks at any time. Edit

  • All in all, the Extended Version offers changes at 64 points of the movie (compared to the theatrical version). The most common change is the insertion of new scenes or the extension of scenes that were already included in the theatrical version. However, there are also a lot of title cards and alterations regarding the arrangement of scenes. In total more than 50 minutes of new footage have been added. Edit

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