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Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves called out for this mistake

A Civil War historian has criticized Kevin Costner's multi Oscar winning Dances with Wolves for inaccuracy surrounding an amputation scene.

Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves

Kevin Costner is currently embroiled with a dispute with Taylor Sheridan’s Yellowstone series, because he is trying to return to the movie world of the best westerns – directing and starring in a new epic, called Horizon. This is the first time that Kevin Costner has directed for a decade, and he’ll be hoping to return to the heady days of his Best Picture winning Dances with Wolves.

Dances with Wolves is a three-hour historical epic set during and after the Civil War. It begins with Costner’s character John Dunbar receiving a wound to his leg and fearing amputation. He chooses death on the battlefield instead, and stages a suicide mission, but he survives and is commended for his bravery. He ends up getting medical treatment which saves his leg.

Dances with Wolves may have won seven Oscars, but Civil War historian Garry Adelman recently criticized the scene that involves Dunbar’s leg almost being amputated without ether, as part of Insider’s How Real is It? series.

Adelman says; “One of the greatest myths of the Civil War is that Civil War surgeons are sawing through people’s bones without any sort of painkiller and no preparation, while they scream through their surgery – only biting on a bullet or a stick or something like that – and it’s just not true.”

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“Most of those amputations were conducted with the use of morphine or ether, a substantial painkiller, that would allow surgeons to carefully prepare for the amputation by cutting away the muscle and leaving a skin flap. And then sawing through the bone with a saw so sharp, that it wouldn’t take that long.” See – Costner was making a lot of fuss over nothing! Over all, Adelman rates Dances with Wolves 6/10, which isn’t too bad, but not as good as 1993’s Gettysburg – which gets an impressive nine.

Find out what we know so far about the Horizon release date and check out our guide to the best war movies, for more bloodshed.