Movies on American Indian Wars: A List

I recently came across a German website that went through every possible conflict, since the days of the Roman Empire and listed some of the movies depicting these wars. I can tell you, that was a huge list. There were conflicts I had never heard of and loads of movies I had never heard of either. One chapter struck me as being of interest, namely the American Indian wars. I studied cultural anthropology with one of my  specializations being American Indians. Logically I am interested in those movies. I have seen some but not many. I remember Geronimo very well and found it very good. I also remember Dances with Wolves but I think it is by far too long. Rio Grande and Little Big Man are classics, of course. Hidalgo is the one I would like to watch and Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee is one I will watch very soon. You will find a list below. Feel free to comment and add others. I did amend and add as well. Many of those movies are probably labelled western normally.

1. Custer’s Last Stand (1936, USA) by Elmer Clifton, starring Rex Lease, Lona Andre, William Farnum
2. Geronimo (1939, USA) by Paul Sloane,  starring Preston Foster, Gene Lockhart
3. They Died with Their Boots On (1941, USA) by Raoul Walsh, starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Arthur Kennedy, Anthony Quinn, Gene Lockhart
4. Fort Apache (1948, USA) by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple
5. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949, USA) by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
6. Rio Grande (1950, USA), by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Ben Johnson, Victor McLaglen
7. Major Dundee (1965, USA) by Sam Peckinpah, starring Charlton Heston, Richard Harris, James Coburn, Senta Berger
8. Custer of the West (1967, USA) by Robert Siodmak, starring Robert Shaw, Mary Ure, Ty Hardin
9. Little Big Man (1970, USA) by Arthur Penn, starring Dustin Hoffman, Martin Balsam, Faye Dunaway
10. Soldier Blue (1970, USA) by Ralph Nelson, starring Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, Donald Pleasence, Dana Elcar
11. Ulzana’s Raid (1972, USA), by Robert Aldrich, staring Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison, Joaquin Martine
12. Dances with Wolves (1990, USA) , by Kevin Costner, starring Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
13. Son of the Morning Star (1991, USA, TV ) starring Gary Cole, Rosanna Arquette
14. Geronimo: An American Legend (1993, USA) by Walter Hill, starring Jason Patric, Wes Studi, Gene Hackman, Matt Damon
15. Crazy Horse (1996, USA, TV) , by John Irvin, starring mit Michael Greyeyes, Ned Beatty, August Schellenberg
16. Buffalo Soldiers (1997, USA, TV) by Charles Haid, staring Lamont Bentley, Tom Bower, Danny Glover
17. Hidalgo (2004, USA) by Joe Johnston  starring Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson, Omar Sharif
18. Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee (2007, USA, TV), by Yves Simoneau, starring Anna Paquin, Aidan Quinn, August Schellenberg, Adam Beach

Is there any movie anyone can recommend? How are they to be rated?

Added on November 27: see amended list

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7 thoughts on “Movies on American Indian Wars: A List

  1. Novroz says:

    I think I’ve seen geronimo, dances with wolf and hidalgo.

    watching Indian war sometimes makes me sad…poor people, their land is being taken and they are being pushed away as if their existance is not important :(

    They might be savage people at that time, but america belongs to them.

    • It is sad. I started watching Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee. It shows how the Indians were pushed back everywhere their land, theil holy land taken, they were forced to go to reservations. Some went to Canada. I did not know the Canadians let them live the way they wanted. I will have to read some more about this.

  2. warmoviebuff says:

    I have seen all but 1,2,8, and 10 ( I love Westerns). Of the ones I have seen I would say the following are good – 14,15,16,18 very good – 4,5,6,7,11 great – 9,12,13 Hidalgo is not about the Indian Wars.
    The ones that are on the Military History magazine list of 100 Greatest war movies are Ulzana’s Raid (54), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (55), and They Died With Their Boots On (68). Your list does not include the highest rated western/war movie – The Searchers (49).
    I would suggest a personal favorite of mine – Duel at Diablo. Cheyenne Autumn also belongs on the list, as does I Will Fight No More Forever.
    If you go with accuracy as well as entertainment, I would put “Son of the Morning Star” at #1. It is also very balanced.

    • Thank you so much, this is highly appreciated. I knew I can count on you on this one. Hidalgo was on that German list, the missed a few others that I added but I think I will amend it with your suggestions, I hope it is ok. Thanks. I am a total dork when it comes to western. I can say something is good when I see it but am totally lacking knowledge. I think some are better than others because at least they manage to give a decent picture of the Indians.

  3. [...] few days ago I posted a list on movies on the American Indian Wars knowing very well that I was on slippery terrain since I am not an expert. The War Movie Buff has [...]

  4. Carl G. says:

    Add: A Thunder of Drums; Rio Conchos; 100 Rifles; The Glory Guys;

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