7.2/10
8,805
133 user 55 critic

Smoke Signals (1998)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama | 26 June 1998 (USA)
Trailer
1:05 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
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 6.8/10 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
DreamKeeper (TV Movie 2003)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Victor Joseph
... Thomas Builds-the-Fire
... Suzy Song
... Arnold Joseph
... Arlene Joseph
... Young Victor Joseph
... Young Thomas Builds-the-Fire
Monique Mojica ... Grandma Builds-the-Fire
... Randy Peone
Chief Leonard George ... Lester Fallsapart (as Leonard George)
... Junior Polatkin
... Boo
... Velma
... Lucy
... 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 can 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:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,574, 28 June 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,719,300, 18 October 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

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

When 12-year-old Victor beats Thomas up right after his dad leaves, he is wearing a white and red shirt under his button-up shirt. After he begins running, the undershirt changes to a completely red muscle-tee. 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

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

Connections

Featured in Moyers & Company: Living Outside Tribal Lines (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Father and Farther
(1995)
Written and Performed by Jim Boyd
Lyrics by Sherman Alexie
Courtesy of Thunderwolf Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Culture, religion and being human
21 October 1999 | by 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.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 133 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial