7.2/10
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134 user 42 critic

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)
11 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

The first movie to be written, directed, and co-produced by Native Americans. See more »

Goofs

When Victor drops Thomas off at his home, you can see the shadow of the rear-view mirror, cast on the truck seat. In the next scene, when Victor stops at his home, the mirror is gone but the bracket is there. 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

Featured in Brows Held High: Dead Man (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Treaties
(1995)
Music by Jim Boyd
Lyrics by Sherman Alexie
Performed by Jim Boyd and Debra Ludwig (as Debra), Pam Ludwig (as Pam) and Lori Ludwig
Courtesy of Thunderwolf Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nice movie!
24 May 2005 | by sraldridge6See all my reviews

My young grandniece and nephew were visiting with me during the Christmas holidays several years ago and we rented this movie from the local library. Without a doubt, it was excellent. I wanted them to see a movie with various role models, and as I had never seen this movie, I thought it would be a treat for all of us. I especially liked Thomas and his stories. Stories are an important part of growing up in all cultures. We can learn about customs of various groups through them, as well as learn a lot about ourselves, as human beings. I felt that the problems that the young man was encountering with his father are relevant to all people, young and old, and if they are not resolved, unfortunately, those problems hinder personal growth. This film was not only entertaining, but thought-provoking as well. Well done!


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