The Indian Wars and the life of this legendary warrior

CRAZY HORSE (1996)
TNT Original Films
Directed by: John Irvin
Title Role as Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse is the account of the days of the Indian Wars and the life of this legendary warrior. Told through the eyes of Crazy Horse, this is an extraordinary tale of a Native American hero who knew his destiny and fought for the freedom of his people.

Here are a few of Michael’s comments on the movie:

“He’s an extremely important figure to the Lakota culture. There’s a deeply spiritual quality to the man and about the way people revere him.”

“I learned that Crazy Horse was a man who accepted his duty with a great deal of pride. He was a member of the Akicitas, the warrior society that assumed the responsibility of protecting the people and their culture, but despite being a warrior he was also a very spiritual man. Visions shaped his life. He knew that he was going to die as a victim of betrayal.”

“I was in good shape from my dance career but I wanted to get into better shape for the film, particularly cardiovascular. I ran in the mountains and worked out in a gym. I was told by the Lakota cultural advisors that to be warriors the Lakota trained all their lives from the time they were boys. I wanted to look like I had trained all my life too. I was up at 4 or 5 every morning and worked until sunset..”

“Making the movie was an experience I’ll never forget. It took two months in South Dakota to complete. We filmed near Hot Springs, which unfortunately was a very racist place. This was ironic as the movie we were making explored how racism and hatred killed an incredible man and leader. I believe that the U.S. government was terrified of Crazy Horse. That is why he had to be assassinated. He refused to trust the government negotiators, the army, or white people in general. Because he couldn’t be tricked or bought, the government had to get rid of him. As well, he was a very spiritual man. That created a deadly obstacle to the white man’s plundering and theft of the Black Hills. The history of the Northern Plains and the U.S. would read very differently if Crazy Horse had lived. I was honoured to play this man. It was very hard to portray such a hero, so instead of trying to appear ‘great and heroic,’ I played him as a man who was motivated to incredible actions by his caring for his own people. A true patriot.”

“One of the joys of filming for ‘Crazy Horse’ was working in South Dakota, on location in Paha Sapa (the Black Hills). It’s an incredibly beautiful and sacred place.”

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