Published on September 5, 2011 by Amy
Native American Indian movies have been few and far between. Whether you are dealing with the portrayal of Native Americans in movies or the actors themselves, Hollywood has come a long way, when dealing with Native American Indian movies. However, Hollywood still has a lot more to overcome. Just as the African American and Hispanic actors have overcome many obstacles, the Native American finds that they too, have many barriers to face when dealing with Hollywood and the portrayal of Native American Indian movies.
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The first introduction to Native American Indian movies would be that of the old westerns. However, the old westerns typically portrayed the Native American as a savage beast seeking the “white man” to kill and destroy. This depicts the Native American as uneducated and wild: the Injun Joe as portrayed in Huckleberry Finn. This is similar to the early roles that were given to the African American. Many of those roles were also based on stereotypes and falsehoods.
Hollywood hasn’t been too kind to Native American actors in the past, especially in the early years. However, today many Native Americans have made their impact on Hollywood fans. Some of the most famous Native Americans featured in movies include Johnny Depp, Cher (who is part Cherokee), James Garner (Cherokee), Benjamin Bratt, Kevin Costner, Lou Diamond Philips, Wayne Newton, and Demi Moore.
Some of the more famous Native American Indian movies include: Dances with Wolves (which was directed by Kevin Costner); A Man Called Horse (which is the story of a wealthy man who is kidnapped then lives with the Native Americans, after a spiritual awakening he changes his ways and becomes their leader); Last of the Mohicans (which takes place during the French and Indian War); The Black Robe (the story of a Jesuit priest and the Algonquin Indians). Other Hollywood films, which focus on Native Americans that were significant, include: Broken Arrow, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, How the West was Won, and Greyeagle.