7.2/10
8,491
133 user 56 critic

Smoke Signals (1998)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 26 June 1998 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(book), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
11 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Reel Injun (2009)
Documentary | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The history of the depiction of Native Americans in Hollywood films.

Directors: Neil Diamond, Catherine Bainbridge, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Adam Beach, Chris Eyre, Russell Means
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Depicts the struggles of reservation-dwelling Native Americans in the North Central United States. The main character is an introspective and lovable person in a process of seeking pride ... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Wacks
Stars: Gary Farmer, A Martinez, Joanelle Romero
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A story of life on a First Nations reserve in Ontario: Silas and Frank are trying to get into college to train to be mechanics but they find themselves having to deal with girls, family ...... See full summary »

Director: Bruce McDonald
Stars: Ryan Rajendra Black, Adam Beach, Jennifer Podemski
Skins (2002)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An inspirational tale about the relationship between two Sioux Indian brothers living on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation.

Director: Chris Eyre
Stars: Eric Schweig, Graham Greene, Gary Farmer
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Seymour Polatkin is a successful, gay Native American poet from Spokane who confronts his past when he returns to his childhood home on the reservation to attend the funeral of a dear ... See full summary »

Director: Sherman Alexie
Stars: Evan Adams, Michelle St. John, Gene Tagaban
Coyote Waits (TV Movie 2003)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two tribal cops uncover a plot involving a lost fortune, an historical artifact and a mythical Coyote on a Navajo reservation.

Director: Jan Egleson
Stars: Adam Beach, Candice Costello, Jimmy Herman
Skinwalkers (TV Movie 2002)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story revolves around the legend of the skin walkers or "S Dubs", a folk legend from Utah about the spirits of murdered Indians returning to seek revenge upon those who disrespect the land.

Director: Chris Eyre
Stars: Harrison Lowe, James Dalgam, Adam Beach
DreamKeeper (TV Movie 2003)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In South Dakota, in an Indian reservation, an old storyteller Indian asks his grandson Shane, who is in trouble owing money to some bad guys, to take his old pony and him to Albuquerque to ... See full summary »

Director: Steve Barron
Stars: August Schellenberg, Eddie Spears, Gary Farmer
A Thief of Time (TV Movie 2004)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Officers Leaphorn and Chee search for a missing anthropologist suspected of stealing artifacts from a burial site.

Director: Chris Eyre
Stars: Gary Farmer, Adam Beach, Ernest Tsosie III
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The telling of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community and one warrior's endurance and battle of its menace.

Director: Zacharias Kunuk
Stars: Natar Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq
Edit

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
...
Velma
...
...
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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Irene Bedard and Michelle St. John both have roles in the film. They also co-starred in Disney's Pocahontas (1995) as well as its direct-to-video sequel Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World (1998) , where Bedard voiced the titular character and St. John voiced her close companion Nakoma. See more »

Goofs

There is no way that one bus driver could have driven the same bus continuously from Idaho to Arizona. Federal law would prohibit it. See more »

Quotes

Police Chief: This man apparantly wants to press charges against you. He said and I quote "you assaulted him and pushed him to the ground".
Victor Joseph: That's bullshit.
Police Chief: Mr Joseph there's no need for that type of language. Mr Johnson's wife Holly says he's, and I quote, "a complete asshole". So you two are free to go.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Thanks to ... the advisers and staff of the Sundance Filmmakers lab ... See more »

Connections

Featured in Brows Held High: Dead Man (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

John Wayne's Teeth
Written and Performed by Eaglebear Singers
Lyrics by Sherman Alexie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A movie not to be missed
12 August 1998 | by (Indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

Smoke Signals (the efforts of Sherman Alexie, Chris Eyre and the cast of fabulous actors) shows in rich, humorous detail what life is like for young Indians today. It is an insider's view of reservation basketball games and the rituals of frybread. Its characters don't bring themselves (and the story) down with self pity. Instead they look to the lighter side of history with references to Columbus and Gen. Custer. The story is simple. Two young men, Victor and Thomas, embark on a trip to Phoenix to retrieve the ashes of Victor's father. Victor is angry at his father for leaving his family and angry with himself for the grudge that he carries. Through the help of Thomas and his father's final friend Suzy, Victor is able to find resolution and peace. The acting, particularly Gary Farmer as Arnold Joseph (Victor's father) and Evan Adams (Thomas Builds-the-Fire) are outstanding. In fact, I had to see it a second time to catch all the plot because Evan Adams completely stole the show for me!


23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?