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A man tired of his wife's mother and brother living in their house tries to teach his lazy brother-in-law a lesson. However, this prank and his attempt to skip work to attend the championship fight both backfire on him in comedic ways.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film was first telecast in Altoona PA Friday 5 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), followed by Minneapolis 29 April 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), by Salt Lake City 3 May 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), by Seattle 28 August 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Norfolk VA 11 September 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by Honolulu 26 November 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), by Fresno CA 20 December 1957 on KMJ (Channel 24), by Durham NC 26 December 1957 on WTVD (Channel 11), by Cincinnati 19 March 1958 on WLW-T (Channel 5), and by Portland OR 1 May 1958 on KGW (Channel 8). Obviously eschewed by major sponsors because of its age, forgotten stars, and sensitive theme, its occasional telecasts were more or less limited to the less prominent markets. It's now secure in the TCM film library and enjoys an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
Singing silversmith Ramon Novarro (as Laughing Boy) attends his first annual "Great Sing Dance." He and other Navajo Natives trade and sell with Caucasian people. At night, Mr. Novarro becomes acquainted with seductive dancer Lupe Velez (as Slim Girl). She's also an American Indian, but was schooled and lived in the White Man's world (as Lily). After initial apprehension, the two become aroused and begin a relationship. Sadly, Ms. Velez is considered tainted by her past association with Whites. She has trouble being accepted as a squaw by Novarro's people, and ventures into town...
It's hard to believe this film was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (by Oliver La Farge). The story does have an intriguing conflict between the "Native" and "White" worlds, but it is not artfully brought to the film. Navarro and Velez have good screen chemistry, but do not impersonate their characters convincingly. Both were often given "ethnic" roles. One of Novarro's advantages in the "talkies" was his singing, and he is in fine voice, here. You will notice the "swastika" prominently displayed on Novarro's Indian blanket - of course, this has nothing to do with the Nazi symbol.
**** Laughing Boy (4/13/34) W.S. Van Dyke ~ Ramon Novarro, Lupe Velez, William Davidson, Harlan Knight
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