June 19, 2008

Best South Dakota movies

A writer came up with the best movies (or TV shows) about South Dakota. Two of the five feature Indians.

The Fives:  Move aside AFI, here's a movie list South Dakotans can dig their teeth intoI put together my own list: The five best films made (in part) or featuring South Dakota.

5. "Into the Wild"
4. "Incident at Oglala"

This highly celebrated and controversial movie was one of the catalysts that propelled the Leonard Peltier case into a cause celebre worldwide. Robert Redford's film, which follows the path largely set out by author Peter Matthiessen in "In The Spirit of Crazy Horse" in examining Leonard Peltier's role--or lack, thereof, depending on whom you ask--in the murder of two FBI agents on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during the tumultuous 1970s when Dick Wilson's goons and American Indian Movement sympathizers turned the reservation upside down with violence.

3. "Deadwood"
2. "Dances with Wolves"

If "Deadwood" was a boon to one town, Kevin Costner's "Dances With Wolves" was a boon to the entire state.

Filmed in South Dakota, "Dances With Wolves" epic examination of the post-Civil War westward expansion by the U.S. Army and one man's fictional encounter with Native American culture and his immersion into it was Costner's crowning achievement, both as an actor and as a director. The film was a hit among movie goers and among movie critics.

1. "North by Northwest"
Comment:  I haven't seen Into the Wild or Deadwood, but I'd put Skins and Imprint on this list before Incident at Oglala and North by Northwest. Dances with Wolves and Imprint probably would be my top two.

For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Movies.


writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Small problem -- INTO THE WILD has principal foci on Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and finally Alaska. Maybe 10 minutes of INTO THE WILD happens in South Dakota, the same amount of time that BONNIE & CLYDE takes place in Oklahoma. But writerfella has heard of no one calling B & C an 'Oklahoma' movie. Wow, think of all those 'California' movies! (sigh)...
All Best
Russ Bates

Rob said...

Well, Into the Wild does fit the writer's criterion. But it might've been better if he had limited his list to movies with a substantial part set in South Dakota. Perhaps a third of the film or more?