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The Dark Wind (1991)

R | | Drama, Mystery | 15 May 1992 (UK)
A Navajo police officer is mixed up in drug smuggling and murder on the reservation.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lance Baker ...
Betty C. Barlow ...
Billy Beck ...
Motel Clerk
Arlene Bowman ...
Charlie Carpenter ...
Julia Collins ...
Kee Collins ...
Old Navajo Man #1
Patrick Jensen ...
Neil Kayquoptewa ...
James Koots ...


A Navajo police officer is mixed up in drug smuggling and murder on the reservation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Mystery


R | See all certifications »




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Release Date:

15 May 1992 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

A Brisa da Morte  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?


Director Errol Morris, better known for his documentary work, did not finish the film due to "artistic differences" with Robert Redford. See more »


A microphone is visible twice: once at the bottom of the screen about 42 minutes into the film; the other at the top of the screen about 10 minutes before the end. See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to acknowledge the Hopi and Navajo people. Their land, culture and humor enlightened us throughout the making of "The Dark Wind." See more »


Followed by A Thief of Time (2004) See more »


I Should Have Known All Along
Music and Lyrics by Wendy Kramer and Harry Shannon
See more »

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User Reviews

Just pretend it has nothing to do with the book.
17 April 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Film adaptations of novels are a mixed bag at best, and The Dark Wind, allegedly based on Tony Hillerman's novel of the same name, isn't one of the best. The screenwriters took several unnecessary liberties with the storyline and characters, including stealing details from other Hillerman novels and dropping Captain Largo entirely in favor of Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn. Fans of Hillerman's novels won't like the portrayal of Jim Chee as an awkward, barely-competent rookie, either.

It's hard to tell whether Lou Diamond Phillips is just failing to portray Jim Chee as he's intended to be, or whether he just didn't bother to read the book and find out. Having replaced Captain Largo's character with Fred Ward as Joe Leaphorn, the script doesn't take advantage of either character's personality, but at least they didn't turn him into one of those generic shouting police captains we see so much of in the movies.

Despite all of this, it's a fairly likeable movie. The film was shot on location in and around the Navajo reservation in Arizona and New Mexico. The scenery is magnificent, and judging from the names in the cast and crew, the producers took advantage of local talent to fill in some of the smaller roles, which adds a good bit of authenticity. If you close one eye and pretend it has nothing to do with a Tony Hillerman novel, you'll probably enjoy it.

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