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Filming in South Dakota
Key Benefits  |  Filmography  |  Dances With Wolves

Dances With Wolves

Possibly the most famous of all location movies, Orion Pictures' “Dances With Wolves” was shot in South Dakota between June and November 1989. The movie, released in 1990, was nominated for twelve Academy Awards and took home Oscars for Best Cinematography, Director, Film Editing, Original Score, Sound, Original Screenplay and Picture.

Featuring the beauty of the never-ending western South Dakota prairie, one of the largest herds of American Bison in the world, and the famous Lakota Sioux culture, “Dances With Wolves” introduced South Dakota's wonders to the world.

Those who are looking to see actual filming sites or memorabilia from the movie can visit:

At 1880 Town in western South Dakota, visitors will find many props and memorabilia, including a tent, wagons and a replica of a sod house. 1880 Town is 22 miles west of Murdo, directly off Interstate 90 at Exit 170.

Fort Hays Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Music Show, south of Rapid City, is home to a “Dances With Wolves” film set, including original buildings used during the movie. Visitors are able to stand where John J. Dunbar stood when given posting orders, see the supply house and sawmill that were also in the film. This location also includes the South Dakota Film Museum.

Kevin Costner’s own Midnight Star in Deadwood is known as a place where visitors are able to see authentic costumes, props and memorabilia from “Dances With Wolves” and other Costner movies while dining. Exhibits are continuously rotated in and out, and “Dances With Wolves” pieces may not be on display at all times.

Spearfish Canyon is where the film’s final winter scene took place. The site can be found north of Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon in the Black Hills National Forest. It is located on Forest Road 222, about three miles upstream from the Spearfish Canyon Resort. The canyon’s Highway 14A is designated as a National Scenic Byway.

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South Dakota Film Office  |  711 E. Wells Avenue   |  Pierre, SD 57501  |  V: 605.773.3301  |  |  sitemap