Where Was Dances With Wolves Filmed? Costner’s Western Drama Flick From 1990!!


Do you take time out of your busy life to learn new stuff about other cultures and ethnicities? If you do, then follow this article to know all about the western drama film, Dances With Wolves, which showcases the lives of Native Americans. And also find out where was Dances With Wolves filmed, later in this article.

The American adventure-drama film, Dances with Wolves, released in 1990 was based on the best-selling novel by Michael Blake. The novel with the same name was published two years prior to the film. Kevin Costner, who also directed this awe-inspiring film, apart from playing the male lead role, slightly deviated from the original story. This decision was made to ensure the narrative was concise yet entertaining for the film audience. The basic premise of Dances with Wolves entails the journey of an American army officer, who gets saved by a group of Native Americans, during the civil war.

Dances with Wolves performed brilliantly at the box office, grossing over $424 million in worldwide collections, The narrative of the film was absolutely loved by the critics and audiences, enabling Dances with Wolves to win 7 Oscars.

So, before I acquaint you with the plot of this exciting movie, let’s find out where was Dances With Wolves filmed. So that you can take a closer look at the gorgeous filming locations.

Where Was Dances With Wolves Filmed? Let’s Know This Western Film Closely!

Kevin Costner was no stranger to the sought-after techniques of making a blockbuster film. After spending years learning the craft of filmmaking by meticulously studying the works of other directors, Costner was inspired to make a masterpiece of his own, and so he did. Although right from the beginning, Kevin wanted to present his audience with a western film that would be starkly different from other movies from the same genre.

Thus, to refrain from just filming a bunch of exhilarating action sequences, like most other western-dramas, the director focused on depicting a captivating story. The director then started scouting for idyllic filming locations to match the overall backdrop with the premise.

After discussing with other members of the unit, Kevin arrived at the final conclusion, to shoot the breathtaking sequences of his film, in and around the states of Wyoming and South Dakota. The principal photography began in the summer of 1989 and was completed by the end of December of the same year. So without waiting any longer, let’s discuss where was Dances With Wolves filmed in-depth, and discover more interesting facts about the specific shooting sites.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming | USA

The opening scene of the film, where we see the 2nd battalion of the confederates, heading towards the western frontier, was filmed in the village of Jackson Hole in Wyoming. Outdoor shots were captured near the Town Square and National Elk Refuge, after which the members moved to the next filming location. The shooting lasted for only a couple of weeks, in this village. However, as the sequences required a mountain in the backdrop, this is one of the reasons why the establishing scenes were filmed here.

South Dakota | USA

Where Was Dances With Wolves Filmed? Costner’s Western Drama Flick From 1990!!

The majority of the filming took place in various regions of South Dakota. The production members then arrived in the beautiful location of Badlands National Park and filmed the sequences of the wagon journey from Fort Hays to Fort Sedgewick. Other pivotal outdoor sequences were captured near the Black Hills and Spearfish Canyon.

The filming crew then traveled to the southern region of Stanley County and filmed the ending sequence of the film in Fort Pierre. An unpopulated area, just outside the city of Fort Pierre was used to recreate the sequences of the camps shown in the film. The production members had to set up the camps to depict the lifestyle of the local indigenous tribes. The remaining sequences were then filmed in some parts of Kansas, after which the members returned to California and began working on post-production.

So, if you’ve made plans to visit South Dakota later this year, then you might want to include places like Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, The Mammoth Site, Wind Cave National Park and Crazy Horse Memorial.

Alright guys, now allow me to discuss the plot of Dances with Wolves in brief. So that you can get a better grip on the storyline of this Oscar-winning film. Plus, you can also check out The Devil Wears Prada, Django Unchained and Inglourious Basterds as well.

Plot Of Dances With Wolves | What’s It About

Where Was Dances With Wolves Filmed? Costner’s Western Drama Flick From 1990!!

As mentioned before, the story of Dances with Wolves revolves around the character of Lt. John Dunbar, a high-ranking officer of the Union troops. At the beginning of the film, John loses his way from the other members of the troop, after leading them to a victory during the Civil War.

Later, as the story progresses, John drifts off to a region near the western frontier, where he finds a stray wolf that leads him to the campsite of Native Americans. The lead actor then chooses to spend time with the chief, and later discovers the indigenous way of living. Watch Dances With Wolves to understand, how Dunbar’s outlook towards life changes, after living with a group of nomads.

Final Words

Alright friends, so now that you know where was Dances With Wolves filmed, I hope you enjoyed the read thoroughly. Let us know about your thoughts, in the comments section below, and don’t forget to check out other amazing articles on Viebly.

Who Are The Cast Members Of The Film Dances With Wolves?

The cast of the film Dances with Wolves includes Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene and Rodney Grant along with some others.

Who Is The Cinematographer Of The Film Dances With Wolves?

Dean Semler is the cinematographer of the film  Dances with Wolves.

What Is The Rating Of The Film Dances With Wolves?

The film  Dances with Wolves has a PG-13 rating.

Who Is The Music Director Of The Film Dances With Wolves?

Neil Travis is the music director of the film  Dances with Wolves.

Who Is The Producer Of The Film Dances With Wolves?

Jim Wilson and Kevin Costner were the producers of the film  Dances with Wolves.

What Is The Runtime Of The Film Dances With Wolves?

3h 1m is the runtime of the film  Dances with Wolves.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here