Thunderheart (1992)

R   |    |  Crime, Mystery, Thriller


Thunderheart (1992) Poster

A young mixed-blood FBI agent is assigned to work with a cynical veteran investigator on a murder on a poverty-stricken Sioux reservation.


6.8/10
14,494


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  • Val Kilmer and Graham Greene in Thunderheart (1992)
  • Sheila Tousey in Thunderheart (1992)
  • Val Kilmer and John Trudell in Thunderheart (1992)
  • Val Kilmer and Sam Shepard in Thunderheart (1992)
  • Ted Thin Elk in Thunderheart (1992)
  • Julius Drum in Thunderheart (1992)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Michael Apted

Writer:

John Fusco

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


19 February 2007 | badponymedicine
10
| Fair realism
Many have dismissed this film as 'too Hollywood' or fictionalized. Many don't understand just what went on in 'The Incident at Oglala'. Others wonder why it was so under-promoted. The US Government doesn't want anything promoted that shows their VERY dark side. Many US citizens do not know, do not want to know, or refuse to believe that their government does the exact same things that we chastise other governments for. I'm Native American myself (Cherokee/Powhattan), a tribal volunteer, and a Native Activist. The FBI has a file on me. My phone is tapped. This is what happens when you're involved in activities that reveal what your government is really up to. Yes, it is a 'fictionalized' account, but if you're familiar with the story, you know that Fred Ward is former chairman Dick Wilson, who helped the US Government to draw attention away from the fact that he was selling off 1/8 of the Pine Ridge Reservation for uranium mining, without the rest of the people knowing. Jimmy Looks Twice is vaguely based on Leonard Peltier (though I don't think anyone has claimed Leonard could shapeshift), and Maggie Eagle Bear is an excellent description of Anna Mae Aquash, who was murdered--the FBI tried to have her illegally buried under an assumed name, then just as Jane Doe, and because she had distinctive jewelry on her hands that couldn't be removed due to post-mortem swelling, they CUT OFF HER HANDS...sent them off allegedly for 'fingerprinting', and what do you know? They got lost. The book by Peter Mathiessen, "In the Spirit Of Crazy Horse" was kept from publishment for 8 years by the government who did not want the story out. Some of my fave lines? Cooch's "ARM is on it's last legs, Ray..." And Crowhorse's reaction to Ray's threat about withholding information, "So sue (Sioux) me..." And the scenery is so stark and beautiful. I cry every time I watch it. Fast action shoot-em-ups despite a yard full of kids? It happened. That's not Hollywood. The FBI was shooting up an 'encampment' full of women and kids at Oglala. They don't care. The only good Indian is a dead Indian. It's been this way for 500 years, and it continues today.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is actually a thinly veiled account of real events that occurred on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during the early to mid-Seventies. Exploration for Uranium, disease from irradiated water, the American Indian Movement (AIM) and the "Traditional" Natives fight against the Tribal government "Guardians Of the Oglala Nation (GOON's), and the FBI's assistance to the "Goons" by providing weaponry and other assistance are some of the things that are referred to in the movie that were true and documented by Writer/Director Michael Apted when he was a regular visitor to the Reservation during that time.


Quotes

Walter Crow Horse: Raymond Levoi-Little Wiener, Federal Bureau of Interpretation. You snuck up on me like a real city Indian!


Goofs

When Maggie Eagle Bear drives off, another camera crew is reflected in the cars window pane.


Alternate Versions

The version prepared by Tristar for commercial television showing featured 270 separate cuts, removing 22 minutes of footage. To shorter the film even further, the film was time-compressed to gain an additional 4 minutes, and the credits speeded-up to lose another 2 minutes. Director Michael Apted asked to have his name removed from the mutilated TV version, or have a disclaimer shown before the title credits, stating that he disowned that version. After legal litigation, Tristar opted to remove Apted's name and credit the TV version to pseudonymous director Alan Smithee.


Soundtracks

Baby Let's Dance
Written by
Ali Olmo & Germaine Franco
Performed by Ali Olmo

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Crime | Mystery | Thriller

Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,507,425 5 April 1992

Gross USA:

$22,660,758

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$22,660,758

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