The Lakota Tour

Lakota Tours

Native American Film Guide
In order of preference, with best first

Son Of the Morning Star 1991 Republic Pictures

This is the Biopic of General Custer and Crazy Horse, starring Gary Cole, Rodney A. Grant, Roseanne Arquette, Dean Stockwell, Floyd Red Crow Westernman, and Nick Ramus. With the voice of Buffy Sainte Maire. This film traces Crazy Horse's rise to  and his ultimate death, and also traces Custer's ups and down from hi arrival in Kansas till his death at along the Little Big Horn River. A very good film, with only warranted violence.

Dances with Wolves 1990 Majestic Films International

Probably the best film that Kevin Costner will ever be involved in, with a strong story and cast. The story follows Lt. John J. Dunbar, from his heroic acts in the Civil War raging in the east, to the Dakota Territory on the frontier, where he requested to be transferred.
On arriving at his new post he finds himself allow until a band of Lakota make contact. There are strong performances from Mary Mcdonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney A.Grant, and Floyd Red Crow Westermann. There is some sex and violence, but it is part of the story, and isn't too intrusive.

Thunderheart 1992 Tristar Pictures

This film is based on true facts from the Pine Ridge Sioux Rez, with a strong story and cast, including Val Kilmer, as Ray Levoi, a hotshot young FBI agent of Sioux decent. Graham Greene, as Walter Crow Horse, a tribal cop with traditional values. Sam Shepard, as Frank Coutelle, a long in the tooth FBI agent, with ruthless corrupt streak. Fred Ward, as Jack Milton a corrupt tribal official running the Goon Squad.
John Trudell plays Jimmy Looks Twice who is an ARM members and an excuse for trying break ARM. There also room for Dennis Banks and other AIM members, as well as Duane Brewer a real life member of Dick Wilson's Goon Squad.
Levoi is sent to South Dakota to help clear up a murder, and to break up ARM, but it soon becomes clear that the murder was part of a conspiracy to acquire land for Uranium production.
This is a very good film and worth watching, but it does contain violence and strong language.

Cheyenne Autumn 1964

The Biopic of the Cheyenne under Dull Knife and Little Wolf, and their exodus from Oklahoma Territory, and the Fort Robinson Breakout, Starring Sal Minio, Karl Malden as Captain Wessles, and Edward G. Robinson as the Indian agent

Apache 1954 United Artists

Burt Lancaster plays a real-life Apache warrior who refused to be imprisoned and sent to Florida with Geronimo and his fellow captives but escapes and tries to stay in his own lands. By the time the US Army track him down, he has settled into agriculture, and peace. This is one of the better films before the enlightenment of Hollywood. It is worth watching.

The Last of the Mohicans 1992 Morgan Creek

Another good performance from Daniel Day Lewis, as Hawkeye the Adopted son of the last Mohican, Chingachgook. Of course the Mohican tribe never existed, it seems to be a combination of the Mohegan, and the Mahican. The film is based on the novel by James Fenimore Cooper in which his anti hero Magua's plan to avenge the Grey Hair, Munro, was continually foiled by Hawkeye. He managed partial success by the end, but it cost him his own life. Magua is played by Wes Studi, Chingachgook is played by Russell Means, an AIM member, Another AIM member, Dennis Banks, gets a comeo role. Eric Schweig plays Chingachgook's son, And Madeleine Stowe plays Cora Munro, daughter of the ill fated Colonel Munro.
This is a good film and well worth watching, but the violence, although not in large amounts, given the genre, it is graphic.

Flaming Star 1960

One of Elvis Presley's better films, in which he plays a Lakota half breed, trapped between two colliding cultures, and expected to choose sides. Pacer, Elvis's character dies at the end, along with his white father and Lakota mother.

Little Big Man 1970

Dustin Hoffman zigzags from Cheyenne captive, back and forth between settlers life and adopted native, taking in the Washita Massacre, and Custer's last stand. This is the remenices of a Little Big Horn veteran, treated with irony.

Grey Owl 2000 Largo Entertainment

The Story of Archie Delaney, an English man who lived his boyhood dream, to became an Canadian Indian. He changed from a money conscience beaver trapper, to the voice of environmentalism, that the real Native American already understood, taking the message back to Europe. Grey Owl is played by Pierce Brosnan, and wif is played by Annie Galipeau. Good family entertainment. Produced by Richard Attenborough and Jake Eberts

Soldier Blue 1970 Avco Embassy

Based on the Novel of arrow in the Sun, it stars Candice Bergman, Richard Strauss, and Donald Pleasance. There are haunting parallels with the Massacre at Sand Creek. Cresta Lee is a former wife of a Cheyenne Chief. She is white but has learnt much of the Native behaviours, unlike her protecter, Honus Ganz, a prudish young soldier. There is a mixture of humour and truths told in a clean and honest manner.

Renegades 1989 Morgan Creek

A film set in modern America Starring Keifer Sutherland, Diamond Lou Phillips, Floyd Red Crow Westermann, and Brian Denehey.

Brian Denehey and one of his colleagues are crooked cops in the pocket of a local gangster, Keifer Sutherland is out to get them. He joins a diamond hyste with the gangsters to get them, but it goes wrong, someone is shot, and then so is Keifer. The brother of Lou Phillips is also killed and a Sacred Lance is stolen. Phillips goes after the gangsters to recover the Lance, and along the way he saves Sutherland before they get the baddies and the Lance.
It's a good film, but a little ultra realistic violence in places,
but worth seeing.

Where the River Flows North 1993

An old Vermont logdriver and his Native American wife stubbornly hold onto their land during the Depression as the government tries to buy them out...

Buffalo SoldiersBuffalo Soldiers 1997 Turner Pictures

The Story of a Negro troup of soldier who were assigned to bring the Apaches into the Reservation, Starring Danny Glover.

The Broken Chain 1993 Turner Pictures

Stars Eric Schweig as Joseph Brant, with Pierce Brosnan, Wes Studi, and Floyd Red Crow Westerman in the Biopic of the Iroquious Nations encounters with the Settlers, and the settler's negative impact on the Iroquois confederacy

Tecumseh - The Last WarriorTecumseh - The Last Warrior 1997 Turner Pictures

The Biopic of Tecumseh, Chief of the Shawnee played by Jesse Borrego, and produced by Francis Ford Coppolla

Geronimo 1993 Turner Pictures

Geromino's life from his teens through to his first taste of Reservation life at Turkey Creek. Geronimo is played by Ryan Black, Joseph Runningfox, and Jimmy Herman

Geromino-An American Legend 1993 Columbia Pictures

The story of the relationship between Geronimo played by Wes Studi, and a Captain Rosewood played by Jason Patric , and Geromino's final surrender. Also starring Gene Hackman as General Crook and Rodney A. Grant as Mangas Colorado, Robert Duval, Matt Damon,

Wagons East! 1994 Carolco/Outlaw

White Settlers in the West want to go back east with hilarious consequences, in John Candy's Last Film. Also starring Rodney A. Grant as a young Lakota brave, and Russell Means was the Chief.

Pow Wow HighwayPow Wow Highway 1988 Handmade Films

The story of a corrupt Land deal on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, a trek to New Mexico in a beat up old car named War Pony, and it's two Indian passengers with totally different aspirations, are Gary Farmer and A. Martinez. With lesser roles are Amanda Wyss, Wes Studi, John Trudel, Graham Greene. This is a light hearted look at Native American Culture, and is good clean fun. The film in produced by former Beatle George Harrison

Chato's Land 1994 Rez Films

Chato is played by Charles Bronson. He is an Apache victimised in a saloon, and in self defence he kills a man. Jack Palance goes after him with some hot headed settlers. They find Chato's woman, so they rape and kill her. Until then Chato was just happy to keep out of their way, but after this revenge was the only course left open to him.

Dance Me Outside 1994 Rez Films

The Story of a Murder and Rape on a Canadian Native Reservation of a Native Girl by a White man. Justice is finally handed out but not by the Pro White Authorities. The Violence is not over intrusive, and there are some humourous moments in this film. Starring Ryan Black, Adam Beach, and Lisa Lacroix

A Man called Horse 1970

This is a film starring Richard Harris who joins a band of the Sioux and even sacrifices in a sun dance. The reasons for him doing the sun dance are inconsistent with the Lakota beliefs as many earlier Hollywood film portray, but it is still a good film.

Clear CutClear Cut 1991

This film is about an Canadian Native who has a twisted sense of justice, played by Graham Greene. He takes lawyer Ron Lea, as an unwilling accomplice, with a back drop of white greedy loggers running rough sod over the indigenous population. Also starring Floyd Red Crow Westerman, and Michael Hogan.

On Deadly Ground 1990s

This film is a combination of Steven Segal's usual mindless shooting, an inuit tribe trying to save their environment, and the a ruthless dangerous oil producer(Michael Caine). Steven Segal avenges the wanton violence against the tribe, uncovers an envirement threatening plot, and destroys the Oil plant, along with the boss, before making an environmental appeal at the end of the film.

Crazy Horse 1954

Victor Mature is Crazy Horse in a sanitised inaccurate version of Crazy Horses life.

Black Robe 1990 Majestic Films

The story of a Jesuit Priest in Ontario in 1634. He is sent to a Mission to help teach the natives the Catholic message. A young settler accompanied him in the name of the faith, and were guided and protected by a band of Natives. The young man is soon sympathetic to the Native beliefs, partly due to his interest in a Native maid. The Priest is far more resistant to their ways, but he does adjust his view at least temporarily during his various experiences. Starring Lothaire Bluteau, August Schellenberg, Aden Young, Sandrine Holt, Tantoo Cardinal, Lawrence Bayne
Last of the Dogmen 1995

A band of Cheyenne escape the Native American Houlacaust 100 years ago, and find a hidden valley in the mountains, but Tom Berenger finds the valley, and after making friends, the secret is gone and an expedition is sent to capture to Time locked Band.

Buffalo Bill and the Indians 1976

Starring Paul Newman, and Russell Means plays Sitting Bull. This is a good film, and handled in a modern way.

Silent Tongue 1994 Les Studio Canal

Starring Richard Harris, Alan Bates, and River Phoenix in his last film. It is a film about a white boy whose mind is badly effected when his Kiowa wife dies. The wife is one of twins resulting from the rape of their mother by the master of a travelling circus. The boys father seeks the other twin as a replacement to try to bring his son back. Tantoo Cardinal is Silent Tongue. Alan Bates is the disfunctional boss of the travelling circus who own the two Kiowa girls, both played by Sheila Tousey.

Squanto - The last Great Warrior 1995 Disney

Starring Eric Schweig and Adam Beach as a warriors who are captured buy White Settlers and returned to Britain as a curiosity, but he escapes and manages to return to his home.

The Indian in the Cupboard 1995

I have never seen this film, so if I get a chance to, I will watch it, but in the mean time, anyone is free to offer a review.

Drum BeatDrum Beat 1954

Alan Ladd is the star, and he plays opposite Charles Bronson who plays the Modoc Chief Kientpoos, known as Captain Jack, in the Modoc wars. A reasonable film for the period.

Lakota Woman - Siege at Wounded Knee 1994

I haven't seen this film either, but I imagine, being about the Incident in 1973, and the events surrounding it, from an Oglala woman's view point, it will be good.

Christopher Columbus - The Discovery 1992

This is a more honest version of the way the explorers interacted with the New World, and although Columbus wasn't portrayed in the usual hero worshipping Hollywood style of times gone by, he wasn't vilified either. He was a victim of his King's greed, and his crew's ignorance. A good film.

Miracle in the Wilderness 1991 Turner Pictures

Kim Cattral and Kris Kristofferson star in a tale of a couple living in the Mountians are abducted by the Blackfeet as revenge. It happens just before Christmas and the story turns into a Christian lesson. Krisofferson plays a man who must be super human, and the Blackfeet appear weak. The ending is a bit predictable but worth watching. Seldon Peters Wolfchild is the Blackfeet war chief, also starring Steve Reevis, and Rin Thunder as Shoshoni scout, Chief Washaki.

Lakota Moon

This is a recent film and it is made from a Native American perspective. Unfortunately I only saw the second half of the film on a German satellite channel in German, but it starred Rodney A. Grant, and looked like it would have been a good film.

Apparently there is a new native American production of Crazy Horse, and not the Victor Mature version.

Star Trek- "The Paradise Syndrome" episode 1960s

James Kirk and Spook land on a planet with a similar atmosphere to earth, and they find a Native American tribe that had been moved to this planet. It is an interesting episode, but period attitudes show, and there are parrallels with the Film, Man called Horse.

Quantum Leap- "Freedom" episode 1990 Belisarius

The story of an old Shoshoni Indian who is ill and wants to die on the Reservation. The sherriff wants him in the jail he had just escaped for and his daughter wants him to the nursing home. Sam enters the old mans grand son to help him achieve his wish.

Dr Quinn- Medicine Woman

The US series based in Colorado Springs about a female doctor, starring Jane Seymour. I found it an enjoyable series, in which the town often came into contact with the Southern Cheyenne.

Murder She Wrote- "Indian Giver" episode-season 4 1986

An Indian is murdered for his land.

Northern Exposure

Northern Exposure is about a Jewish doctor who is press ganged into service in Cicely, Alaska, where most of the people are Native alaskian, and this is reflected in some of the story lines which vary from native spiritual, to very amusing.

The X-Files-The Unopened File 1995 Ten Thirteen Inc.

A mixture of Alien conspiracy, and true Navajo language coding, guest starring Floyd Red Crow Westerman.

The X-Files-Wolfman 1994 Ten Thirteen

An early episode of the X-Files where Mulder and Scully investigate a murder on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The assailent was a Manitu, an Indian Werewolf. Guest starring Jimmy Herman and Michael Horse.

A film that I don't think has been made, but should be, is the Story of Frank "the Grabber" Grouard as he spent time as a Army scout, time with Sitting Bull, and then with Crazy Horse, and took part in some major engagements with the Lakota, like the 1873 battle at the Yellowstone, the 1876 He Dog Battle, and Rosebud battle. I guess the Dustin Hoffman's Little Big Man is based on this colourful character, but it's not the same thing.

A Sitting Bull movie would be a good idea too.