7.2/10
8,961
134 user 42 critic

Smoke Signals (1998)

Trailer
1:05 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (HD) 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:

Chris Eyre

Writers:

Sherman Alexie (book), Sherman Alexie (screenplay)
11 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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
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
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
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
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A woman's haunting visions reveal a Catholic priest's sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that took place at her Native American boarding school... See full summary »

Director: Georgina Lightning
Stars: Adam Beach, Tantoo Cardinal, Bradley Cooper
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Beach ... Victor Joseph
Evan Adams ... Thomas Builds-the-Fire
Irene Bedard ... Suzy Song
Gary Farmer ... Arnold Joseph
Tantoo Cardinal ... Arlene Joseph
Cody Lightning ... Young Victor Joseph
Simon Baker ... Young Thomas Builds-the-Fire
Monique Mojica Monique Mojica ... Grandma Builds-the-Fire
John Trudell ... Randy Peone
Chief Leonard George Chief Leonard George ... Lester Fallsapart (as Leonard George)
Michael Greyeyes ... Junior Polatkin
Darwin Haine ... Boo
Michelle St. John ... Velma
Elaine Miles ... Lucy
Cynthia Geary ... 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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 November 1998 (Iceland) See more »

Also Known As:

This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona See more »

Filming Locations:

Idaho, USA See more »

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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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 and Victor try to hitch a ride with Velma and Lucy]
Velma: Hey Thomas, need a ride?
Thomas Builds-the-Fire: Yeah!
Velma: What are goin' to trade for it. We're Indians, remember. We barter!
Thomas Builds-the-Fire: A story?
Lucy: Better be good.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Support HONOR/EARTH campaign. Support American Indian College Fund. Contributions from the profits of this film will be made to each of these organizations. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Joe Dirt (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Wahjeeleh-Yihm
Written by Ulali and David Beal
Performed by Ulali
(Pura Fe, Soni Moreno, Jennifer Elizabeth Kreisberg)
Produced by David Beal
Recorded at Noise Productions, Inc.
Pura Fe appears courtesy of Shanachie Records
Copyright Corn, Beans and Squash Music (ASCAP)/Drum's the Word (ASCAP)
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 kim-oSee 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!


24 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 134 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed