----
* AlasPoorScrappy: The death of the revolting [[{{Jerkass}} Timmons]] is so brutal that it's hard not to feel sorry for him, even though [[SortingAlgorithmOfMortality it wasn't very surprising that he died]].
** He dies pleading with the Pawnee to [[spoiler: not hurt his mules]] even as he lay there suffering and bleeding out. He was a disgusting little troll [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold with a core of pure platinum]].
* {{Anvilicious}} / SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped: Nowadays it comes off as extremely preachy, but at the time of its release it was one of the first positive portrayals of American natives to reach wide acclaim. Not counting [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade the Pawnee]] of course.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Most of the score, but especially the beautiful [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHvKviaeulg John Dunbar Theme]], which was apparently one of Pope John Paul II's favorite pieces of music.
* HarsherInHindsight / HilariousInHindsight: The villainization of the Pawnee in this movie will come across as bitterly ironic to anyone who's seen ''Film/TheRevenant''.
* HoYay: Wind In His Hair calls Dunbar his ''kola'', which in Lakota custom includes sleeping in the same blanket when part of a hunting party and in some cases even sharing wives. This also qualifies as FoeYay since they didn't like each other at first.
* OneSceneWonder: Major Fambrough, the crazy (possibly from either syphilis or lead poisoning) military officer that gives Dunbar his orders, and thinks that it's the time of KingArthur.
--> "[[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Sir knight! I have just pissed in my pants... And there is nothing anybody can do about it]]."
* TearJerker: [[spoiler:The deaths of Two-Socks and Cisco, in rapid succession.]]
* ValuesDissonance: How the film was received then and how some see it now.
* VanityProject: Creator/KevinCostner directed, produced and starred in this film, however, it is [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dances_with_Wolves#Reception regarded as being a well-done]] vanity project that managed to win four awards.
-----