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 ...
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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>
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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