A "truly spectacular" (The New York Times) film that combines action, romance and breathtaking adventure, Dances With Wolves is "a cinematic masterpiece" (American Movie Classics) that is nothing short of "a triumph" (Roger Ebert)!Sent to protect a US outpost on the desolate frontier, Lt. John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) finds himself alone in the vast wilderness. Befriending the very people he's sent to protect the outpost from, the Sioux Indians, Dunbar slowly comes to revere those he once feared. But when the encroaching US Army threatens to overrun the Sioux, he is forced to make a choiceone that will forever change his destiny and that of a proud and defiant nation.
Sadly, the Oscar®-winning cut of Kevin Costner's Western is nowhere to be found on this two-disc set. This "extended version" adds 58 minutes to the three-hour film, most of which was seen in TV airings. The extra hour is unique in the history of new versions of a great film; it neither wastes the viewer's time (JFK
) nor vastly improves the film (Once Upon a Time in America
). There is more character building, but also extends some scenes unnecessarily. Regardless, there's lot more here. The new 81-minute documentary does an excellent job of chronicling the film, from Michael Blake's book to Oscar night with new interviews and vintage behind-the-scenes footage; it's one of the best made-for-DVD retrospectives. There are two commentary tracks, the better one by Costner and producer Jim Wilson, although most of it is from a recording made for the laserdisc. Another nice feature is the presentation of on-set photographs set to John Barry's moving score. --Doug Thomas