june 14th, 2015
The world lost a truly gifted man on May 4th, 2015 when Michael Blake passed away in Tucson, Arizona after a long illness. When his novel Dances With Wolves was finally published, he received $6500 for it. Little did he know that it would sell more than 3.5 million copies in 22 languages. Or that he would win the 1991 screenwriting Oscar for the film that became the first western to win the best picture Academy Award since Cimarron in 1931. In his lifetime, he advocated for causes related to Native Americans, mountain lions, and the disappearing wild horses of the West.
He told interviewers that his fascination with 19th century Native Americans started when he read Dee Brown's 1971 history, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and that he was intrigued by military historian Wilbur Sturtevant Nye's Plains Indian Raiders. Michael Blake wrote on his website: "In it, an anecdote told about a wagon driver who had driven out on the frontier to supply an outpost in western Kansas. But when he arrived, he saw that no one was there; the only signs of life was a piece of canvas flapping in the breeze."
He went on to say "That image somehow moved me, and I started thinking about it, filling it in with other images. I asked myself, what if I was on that wagon, and that was going to be my new post, what would happen then? The seed was planted for Dances With Wolves. I became Lt. John Dunbar and through him, I had the experiences that I wanted so much to have." source: Steve Chawkins - LA Times
For us, his fans, we have lost a giant... a hero... a friend. If not for him, we would never have had the experience of reading his novel, of watching his dream unfold on the big screen, of being carried away by an unforgettable story. He will be missed but we will smile when we think of him because he shared so much of himself with us and we are truly grateful for having been able to experience his dream right along with him.
From me to you - December 2006
It doesn't seem enough to just say thanks. I run 10 sites, 6 of them fanlistings. And not one of the others gives me as much pleasure to run or has the special fans that this one does. Every single person who has signed the guestbook is very dear to me... you've not only expressed your feelings for and love of this movie, but you've warmed my heart and made me so very happy that I opened this site. Dances With Wolves will always be my favorite movie, and although Kevin Costner has made many movies since, I think it will be what he is remembered for.
I used to be an avid book reader before I found life online, and I used to have my favorite authors as well. But even though I would read every single book from them, there was always one that stood out... one that was their best. I think everything combined together at just the right time for Dances to be made. It will live long after you and I are gone... it is that special.
I don't know if Kevin Costner, Michael Blake, or all the others that were involved even realize the impact this movie has had on its fans. Maybe someday they will. This was the very first fanlisting I ever created and it has a very special place in my heart... it always will. It's the best tribute I could think of 4 years ago. I guess it still is.
So once again, thank you to all of you who visit these pages and join or sign the guestbook... this is my only fanlisting where the fans have made me cry. *hugs* to you all for doing so!
Thanks so much for visiting... Kevin Costner said that the movie was his love letter to the past... this site is my love letter to the movie and the incredible man who made it!
Kevin Costner's quote on the right is from his Introduction ©1990 to "Dances With Wolves, The Illustrated Story of the Epic Film" by Kevin Costner, Michael Blake, and Jim Wilson.