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Smoke Signals (1998)

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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)
12 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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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
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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 »
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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 »

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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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a flashback Victor's father asks him who his favorite Indian is and Victor replies "Nobody." Gary Farmer who plays Victor's father stared as an Indian named Nobody in the movie Dead Man (1995). See more »

Goofs

The old pickup truck that leaves the Joseph house on the reservation has 10-lug rims, and when it is returned by Victor and Thomas, it has 5-lug rims on all 4 wheels. Obviously it's a different truck. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Builds-the-Fire: Hey Victor! I remember the time your father took me to Denny's, and I had the Grand Slam Breakfast. Two eggs, two pancakes, a glass of milk, and of course my favorite, the bacon. Some days, it's a good day to die. And some days, it's a good day to have breakfast.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Any similarity to actual persons, living, dead, or indigenous, is purely coincidental. See more »

Connections

References Dead Man (1995) 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 »

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User Reviews

 
One of the most unique movies I've seen
13 May 2002 | by StephanieGouldSee all my reviews

"Smoke Signals" is one of the most unique movies I have ever seen. From the combinations of stories, characters, and filmmaking. The acting in this movie was witty, funny, serious and heartbreaking all at the same time. Even though this is a movie about Native American culture, it is a movie that talks to everyone no matter what there ethnic background may be. I am of Italian heritage but this movie still got to me. It tackles issues of family, culture, and tradition as well as friendship. The acting is this movie is superb and the filmmaker's shots and different ways of filming scenes and how each one flowed into another was amazing. In school we had to read some stories by Sherman Alexie and then we watched the movie. If it weren't for my English teacher I may have missed watching one of the most brilliant independent films ever made.


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