Today, I am introducing the final western movie movie to have won Best Picture at the Oscars. Dances with Wolves was actually second chronologically but it is my favorite so I made it the last one. Tonight the 2021 Oscars will be broadcast and unfortunately there are no westerns in the nominations.
I know some who would argue, myself included, that Tom Hanks' movie, News of the World, should have gotten at least a few Oscar nods. I will be introducing this film in a future blog. there still seems to be a reluctance on the part of many to treat movies made for services like Netflix the same as movies shown in theaters. Personally, this feels like a hoity-toity argument. A lot of dedicated work goes into producing a movie no matter if it is shown on a big screen or a small one. I would think the story, production, and acting should be the only things that matter when judging them, but that is just my humble opinion.
But talking about a movie that exceeds all those categories brings us to today's Best Picture winner, Dances with Wolves. This movie was released in 1990 and is considered an epic western. Dances with Wolves was Kevin Costner's directorial debut, and a pretty incredible start. The film also stars Costner in the title role as Lt. John J. Dunbar/Dances with Wolves. He is joined on the cast by Graham Greene, Mary McDonnell, Rodney A. Grant, Floyd Red Crow, and Tantoo Cardinal just to name a few of the incredibly talented actors in this movie.
Costner produced this film on a budget of $15 and grossed $424.2 million worldwide. In 1990, it was the fourth-highest-grossing film and was credited with being a major influence in revitalizing the western movie genre in Hollywood. The film received nominations for 12 Academy Awards and won seven: Best Picture, Best Director (Costner), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score, and Best Sound Mixing.
Dances with Wolves was based on a book of the same name by Michael Blake published in 1988. The story follows Union Army lieutenant John J. Dunbar (Costner), who requests to be post in the American frontier. He develops a relationship with a local Lakota tribe and is fascinated by their way of life. After Dunbar has been observed playing in a field with a wolf, he is given the name, Dances With Wolves. Dunbar becomes a member of the tribe and leaves his outpost to live with them. He falls in love with a white woman who was raised by the tribe and is also living with them. When Union soldiers come to the area with the intent to take over the land the Lakota call home, Dunbar must decide where his loyalties lie.
If you have not seen this movie, you should definitely put it on your to be watched list. It is more than worth the effort. Know what else is worth the effort? Today's movie snack recipe!
Movie Snack Recipe
Today's movie snack recipe is based on a Navajo recipe that was created in 1864 during the Long Walk (much like the Trail of Tears my Cherokee ancestors were forced to endure) when they were forced from their homes in Arizona and relocated to Bosque, New Mexico. The military gave the Navajos flour, sugar, salt and lard as part of their rations. From those ingredients, fry bread was created.
Since that time, many variations have come about for this recipe and many other native nations began making them as well. This pumpkin variation is attributed to the Seminoles. A Few Shortcuts, have a great simple Pumpkin Fry Bread recipe you really must try at some point. It can be served along with a meal, eaten as a snack, or it even makes a great dessert. You can top it with a variety of things from ice cream to baked or fresh fruit (or both!), or just sprinkle them with cinnamon and sugar. It's incredibly versatile. Mix and match and find your favorites!
So now, you know what time it is, posse. It's time to grab your snacks and settle in for another great western movie!