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 »
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 »
In the heart of the American southwest, the 320 cops of the Navajo Police patrol some of the most rugged territory in the United States. These modern day warriors are on a mission to ... See full summary »
Faced with the murder of three medicine men, Navajo police must find the culprit. That the murders appear to be the work of a Skinwalker, or bad medicine man, complicate and illuminate the detective's work. Written by
Most of this movie was made in and around Superior Arizona. Some scenes are from Globe Arizona. The steep cliffs shown in numerous scenes is called Apache Leap. Ironic being this movie and series was based on the Navajo Indians. The Movie U Turn was also famously filmed here as well. See more »
The knife found in Chee's tire is held in place by grey putty, clearly seen and covering the tire tread. See more »
Redford completely ruins two great mystery characters
Robert Redfords PBS "Mystery" adaptations of Tony Hillerman's Navajo police novels completely ruins the two main characters, Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn. Chee in the books was a regular guy who also happened to be deeply involved in his people's culture, to the point of learning to be a "singer" or healer. In the films he is already an expert on all things spiritual, the mystical Indian stereotype who has no real personality, no faults to speak of, no doubts about anything, no insecurities. In Hillerman's books, Joe Leaphorn was a "legendary detective" who was also a highly educated scholar, at least as if not much more knowledgeable about Navajo and Native American culture and religion than Chee. But though Leaphorn knew about it all, he didn't live it in the mystical sense, not being particularly religious himself. Leaphorn's god was logic and a belief that everything that happens, happens for a reason. In these crappy movies, poor Wes Studi's version of Leaphorn has been made into a man who knows virtually nothing about his own culture, doomed to be forever "educated" by the know it all mystic man Chee. This makes Chee ever superior, which is very ironic, because in the books, Chee always feels vastly inferior to Leaphorn because of his much greater police knowledge, education, and experience. And it was this part of the relationship that made their two characters so interesting when thrown together.
Producer Robert Redford took two fairly complex characters (by paperback mystery novel standards) and mooshed 'em down into nothing but two more Indian stereotypes.
Redford's first effort to adapt Hillerman (which his company now tries to pretend never existed) was Errol Morris's "The Dark Wind." While that flick was no masterpiece, it was head and feet above these slow, dumbed down TV movies.
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