Dances with Wolves

  • Directors: Kevin Costner
  • Producers: Jim Wilson, Kevin Costner
  • Writers: Michael Blake
  • Genres: Adventure, Drama, Western
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A Grant

The film opens during the American Civil War. In a United States Army field hospital, First Lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Kevin Costner) learns that his injured leg is to be amputated. Seeing the plight of fellow soldiers with amputated legs, Dunbar leaves the hospital, steals a cavalry horse, and attempts suicide by riding across the no man’s land between the opposing Union and Confederate positions. His action unexpectedly rallies the Union soldiers, who storm the distracted Confederate defenses to win the battle. Impressed by Dunbar’s actions, the commanding general of the Union forces, Lieutenant General Tide (Donald Hotton), summons his personal surgeon to save Dunbar’s leg. Tide declares Dunbar to be a hero and awards him Cisco, the horse who carried him in battle as well as offering Dunbar his choice of posting. Dunbar requests a transfer to the western frontier and soon after his leg heals he arrives at a fort which is a gateway to the west. This is where he begins to record his frontier experiences in a journal read in voice over.

Dunbar meets Major Fambrough (Maury Chaykin). The Major has slipped into alcohol-fueled delusions of grandeur (apparently believing he is a king and Dunbar a medieval knight). Fambrough scribbles out Dunbar’s orders to report to Captain Cargill at Fort Sedgwick and pairs him off with an uncouth drayage teamster named Timmons (Robert Pastorelli), who is to convey him to his post. After they depart, Fambrough shoots himself in the head.

As Dances With Wolves and Stands With A Fist leave the camp, Wind In His Hair cries out that Dances With Wolves will always be his friend. Soon after, a column of US Cavalry and Pawnee army scouts arrive to find the former Sioux camp site empty. Before the end credits, a note explains that a few years later the last remnants of free Sioux were subjugated to the U.S. Government, ending the conquest of the Western frontier states.

Wyatt Earp

  • Directors: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Producers: Kevin Costner, Jim Wilson, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Writers: Dan Gordon, Lawrence Kasdan
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Biography, Romance, Western
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews, Linden Ashby, Jeff Fahey, Joanna Going

The film opens with Wyatt Earp as a teenager living on the family farm. His older brothers, Virgil and James, are away at war serving with the Union Army. Wyatt dreams of war, and packs some belongings, bids his younger siblings goodbye, and attempts to run away, intending to lie about his age and join the Union Army. He doesn’t make it off the farm before his father catches him and forces him to return home. A short while later, both brothers return home at the war’s end, with James gravely wounded. Shortly afterwards, the family moves west. It is during this move that Wyatt first sees a man killed, shot during a gunfight. He gets sick at the sight, and vomits.

Years pass, finding him working out west as a wagon driver. During his time there, he works also as a referee for fights, and finds himself at odds with a bully. Wyatt and the bully eventually come to the point of fighting, with the bully intending to shoot Wyatt. Wyatt disarms him and defeats him, taking his gun as a trophy.

Returning home to Missouri, Wyatt marries a childhood sweetheart, Urilla Sutherland. The two move into their own house, and he begins working as a policeman. Months later, while pregnant, his wife dies from typhus. He stays by her side throughout the illness, becoming deeply depressed afterward. He burns their home and all they own, begins drinking, and drifting from town to town, eventually landing in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He robs a man for money and steals his horse, but is captured only a short time later. Facing certain hanging, his father bails him out of jail, telling him to leave and never return to Arkansas.

Wyatt and his brothers Morgan and Virgil arrest several Cowboys, and Virgil takes over as marshal following the murder of town marshal Fred White. The brothers find themselves at odds with the “Cowboys” often, and tension builds. Wyatt breaks up several altercations involving the “Cowboys”, particularly Ike Clanton, and Doc Holliday swears his loyalty to Wyatt, whom he considers his only real friend. Eventually the Gunfight at the OK Corral occurs, with the brothers being looked upon by much of the population as villains, and the rest as heroes. Virgil is ambushed and wounded, then his brother Morgan is killed. The film then shows only a glimpse of the Vendetta Ride with Wyatt and his friends taking out revenge on the remaining “Cowboys”, then skips to many years later with he and Josie mining for gold in Alaska. While enroute by boat, a young man on the same boat recognizes Wyatt, and recounts a story in which Wyatt had saved the life of the boy’s uncle, “Tommy behind the deuce”. The film ends with Wyatt saying to Josie “A lot of people say it didn’t happen that way”, to which she responds “Never mind them Wyatt. It happened that way”.

The Bodyguard

  • Directors: Mick Jackson
  • Producers: Kevin Costner, Lawrence Kasdan, Jim Wilson
  • Writers: Lawrence Kasdan
  • Genres: Romance, Drama, Thriller, Music
  • Actors: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp, Christopher Birt

In this film debut for Houston, she plays Rachel Marron, a music superstar who is being stalked. Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner), a professional bodyguard and former Secret Service agent, is hired to protect her.

The film then follows Rachel Marron’s life through her career and family. Performances include her singing hits such as I Will Always Love You and I Have Nothing. Frank Farmer successfully protects her from danger and as a result of his protection, Rachel falls in love with Frank. He initially tries to keep the relationship professional, but the two sleep together. However, recognizing that their relationship may compromise his protection of her, Frank breaks off their affair. Rachel must put her trust in Frank ahead of her own desire for success. In the end, Frank’s duty is fulfilled, having successfully protected Rachel, and they part with a kiss. Frank then moves on to his next assignment to protect an archbishop.