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A Thief of Time (2004)

TV Movie  |   |  Mystery  |  11 July 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 430 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dispatcher Clem Allison
Sheila Tousey ...
Kelly Byars ...
Delbert Tsosie
Janet Pete
Ranger Mildred Luna
Natowa Garcia ...
Kenneth White Eagle Wings ...
Pete Etcitty
Dawn Lewis ...
Maxie Davis
Slick Nakai
Randall Elliot
Dumont's Butler


An anthropologist, Ellie Friedman-Bernal, is suspected of selling ancient Anasazi pottery on the black market. Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Officer Jim Chee are sent to investigate. Ellie's hyper-competitive colleagues, Maxie Davis and Randy Elliott, claim to be clueless about her whereabouts. Hailing from a hard-scrabble farm, Maxie is an improbable success at the academic game, while East-Coast patrician Randy is more at home as a scholar. Ellie's cryptic notes lead Leaphorn and Chee to preacher/fencer Slick Nakai, and his musician/accomplice Pete Etcitty, who later turns up dead--along with another pot poacher. Then there are the rich, unsavory collectors Richard DuMont and local rancher Harrison Houk, who was the last person to see Ellie alive. If the mystery is to be solved, some nettlesome questions need to be answered: Why did Ellie trade a saddle for a kayak just before she disappeared? Why does the crippled Houk himself own a kayak? And what's that hunched-over form in the ... Written by Lew Amack (

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Official Sites:




Release Date:

11 July 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ta mystika tou tafou  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

A very entertaining film
19 January 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This film for me and my wife is more entertaining than all the bloc-buster violent thriller/mystery/murder movies that abound. It is about real people making the best of their lives. They just happen to be Indian and the main characters are in law enforcement. The realistic acting and the great scenery more than make up for the slightly implausible plot. The sound track is by BC Smith, who also did the soundtrack for Coyote Waits, and is great. Adam Beach plays a tribal policeman who is a little bit accident prone and Wes Studi is the stoic consummately professional detective. There are many other fine either supporting or cameo roles by Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal, etc. We have also seen Coyote Waits, another adaptation of a Hillerman novel, and we greatly enjoyed it too.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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