In 1994, "Dances With Wolves" originally was released as a Limited Collector's Edition laser discs box set, containing the Extended Cut, together with an autographed book "The Illustrated History", signed by Kevin Costner, Michael Blake (screenplay) and Jim Wilson (producer), together with a CD soundtrack and 6 Full-Colour 11x14" Lobby Cards. The size of this box set was large table-sized, and has the same dimension as the Fantasia Laser Disc box set. In 2008, this movie was released as a 2 dvd-set, with only 181 minutes, but with DTS 5.1 Surround Sound. Now 20th Century Fox and MGM have finally given us the definitive 20th Anniversary Edition of this epic movie on high definition, 234 minutes, 2.35:1, 1080p, a single 50GB dual layer blu ray disc (no changing of disc required) and DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio Sound, with a separate 25 GB disc for Special Features.
Video: This all-new Hi-Def Transfer gave the picture a very pristine and vivid look. The scenery was breathtaking. The grain consistency was film-like. Oscar-winner Dean Semler's gorgeous cinematography was ably on display. Blacks are rock solid. A 2.35:1 picture using an anamorphic lens truly showed off nobly how great and good-looking this epic picture was. (5/5)
Audio: The DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio was equally impressive, with great fidelity and deep bass. The surround was aggressive throughout. Dialogue was clear. John Barry's score was also first class. (5/5)
Trivia: In the opening scene where two doctors were examining John Dunbar, the man on the table was Kevin Costner's stand-in. The two people playing the doctors were actually the film's producer, Jim Wilson on the left and director/star Costner on the right. The voices were dubbed by other actors. And there were two wolves used. But did you know that one had to have the milky white socks painted on him.
Goofs: In the final scenes the US military came upon the recently vacated camp. Many of the soldiers were wearing overcoats with rank stripes and yellow lining. This was set during the civil war (1861 - 1865) Overcoats had no colored lining and no rank stripes. The coats worn in the film did not appear until 1883! Three birds flying over were identified as geese. They were, in fact, cranes. Electric power lines were visible during the buffalo hunt. And a noticeable dorsal stripe on Cisco the horse's back disappeared and reappeared throughout the film. The flag flying at Ft. Sedgwick was the flag with 50 stars rather than the flag used during the Civil War.
"Dances With Wolves" has won 7 Oscars, including Best Picture 1990 (Jim Wilson & Kevin Costner), Best Director (Kevin Costner), Best Cinematography (Dean Semler), Best Music, Original Score (John Barry), Best Film Editing (Neil Travis), Best Screenplay (Michael Blake) and Best Sound. It has grossed $184 million in US and $424 million worldwide (which was quite remarkable for 1990 standard). I think this is one film that Kevin Costner should be remembered for. Both the video and audio are top notched. The Extended Cut of the movie is here, and there is no need to get up to change discs. Considering the high price that I paid for this movie laser disc box set (which I still treasure), this blu ray disc set is truly a bargain and should be considered as the definitive edition of this sweeping epic film. Highly recommended.