The plodding vanity project of star, director, and co-producer Kevin Costner, this three-hour-plus revisionist western, much of it in subtitled Sioux language, shocked movie-industry observers by becoming a huge hit and garnering 12 Oscar nominations, winning seven, including Best
Picture and Best Director. The Sioux gave the film their own rave review by admitting Costner as a full tribal member.
Costner plays Lt. John W. Dunbar, a Union officer during the Civil War who undergoes a conversion experience on the frontier that transforms him into the title character. The film begins with Dunbar wounded, depressed, and suicidal. His suicide attempt is mistaken for ...