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Smoke Signals (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  26 June 1998 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 7,673 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 132 user | 56 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by... See full summary »

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Title: Smoke Signals (1998)

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10 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Evan Adams ...
...
Suzy Song
...
...
...
Young Victor Joseph
...
Young Thomas Builds-the-Fire
Monique Mojica ...
...
Chief Leonard George ...
Lester Fallsapart (as Leonard George)
...
Junior Polatkin
...
Boo
Michelle St. John ...
Velma
Elaine Miles ...
...
Cathy the Gymnast
Edit

Storyline

Young Indian man Thomas is a nerd in his reservation, wearing oversize glasses and telling everyone stories no-one wants to hear. His parents died in a fire in 1976, and Thomas was saved by Arnold. Arnold soon left his family (and his tough son Victor), and Victor hasn't seen his father for 10 years. When Victor hears Arnold has died, Thomas offers him funding for the trip to get Arnold's remains, but only if Thomas will also go with him. Thomas and Victor hit the road. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A new film from the heart of Native America.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some intense images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

26 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$43,574 (USA) (26 June 1998)

Gross:

$6,719,300 (USA) (16 October 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the shooting of Lucy and Velma driving backwards, Elaine Miles (Lucy) acquired the skill of driving the car backwards. Hence, no stunt driver was needed. Miles performed the driving herself. See more »

Goofs

Thomas says that Victor's dad looks like Charles Bronson in Death Wish V: The Face of Death, the one where he fights the Asian gang. It is actually an Irish gang in that number. See more »

Quotes

[Thomas concludes his story he is trading for a ride]
Thomas Builds-the-Fire: Arnold got arrested, you know. But he got lucky. They charged him with attempted murder. Then they plea-bargained that down to assault with a deadly weapon. Then they plea-bargained that down to being an Indian in the Twentieth Century. Then he got two years in Walla Walla.
Lucy: [to Velma] What do you think?
Velma: I think it's a fine example of the oral tradition.
[laughs]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to ... The SiJohn Family and The Coeur d'Alene Tribe ... the residents and cities of Coeur d'Alene, DeSmet, Plummer, Tensed and Worley, Idaho, Spokane and Soap Lake, Washington ... Montana Artists ... See more »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Treaties
(1995)
Music by Jim Boyd
Lyrics by Sherman Alexie
Performed by Jim Boyd and Debra Ludwig (as Debra), Pam Ludwig (as Pam) and Lori Ludwig
Courtesy of Thunderwolf Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Culture, religion and being human
21 October 1999 | by (Delaware, OH USA) – See all my reviews

I was fascinated by the fact that this film was written, directed and acted by Native Americans. As a mixed blood, this was a major draw.

What I found in this film was culture, religion and what it means to be human regardless of our racial heritage.

Watching this movie as a seminary student I was drawn to the concepts of sin, alienation and reconciliation as seen through Native American eyes. What predominately spoke to me was how Thomas seemed to incorporate Christianity into his storytelling. I'm happy that Eyre and Alexie were not afraid to portray a character in this film as Christian. With all the current information, it seems there are no Christian Native Americans.

Perhaps the format of this film is overdone, the buddy road-trip, but this film is a beginning toward understanding between two cultures that share a common land.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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