Laughing Boy, is a Navaho from a remote part of the reservation, while Slim Girl was raised by whites in a town and lives as a white man's mistress. They meet at a pow-wow and marry, in ... See full summary »
Laughing Boy, is a Navaho from a remote part of the reservation, while Slim Girl was raised by whites in a town and lives as a white man's mistress. They meet at a pow-wow and marry, in spite of the disapproval of Laughing Boy's family. Slim Girl tries to be a good Indian wife, but is tempted to fall back on her old ways. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for 1929. Written by
Robert Tonsing <email@example.com>
I finished watching the film last night. It's REALLY interesting. The original novel by Oliver LaFarge won the Pulitzer Prize in 1929. He was a Harvard anthropologist who made several trips to Arizona to study the Navajos and actually learned their language and was one of the ones who created a system of writing it. The film is very interesting -- taking place in the 1910s, it's about a young girl (Slim Girl) who has left the tribe and become the kept woman of a white rancher in town. She fall is in love with Laughing Boy -- a traditional Navajo cattle herder who marries her. She doesn't fit in with Indian tradition and the "white man" treats her like a prostitute -- she's been raised in White-run Indian schools so she's torn between two culture and demeaned by both. The film definitely has a pre-Hays code sensibility because there's some premarital sex, adultery, alcohol abuse, miscegenation, a kept woman -- the film is more a study of Slim Girl than of Laughing Boy. It's really quite amazing that MGM ever made this film! The unfortunate aspect of it is the acting and casting of Ramon Novarro and Lupe Velez. The two Latin spitfires are just all wrong for the characters although Novarro is very sweet in the role.
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