7.1/10
9,587
135 user 43 critic

Smoke Signals (1998)

Trailer
1:04 | Trailer
Young Native American 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... 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 Native American 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

Evan Adams and Adam Beach previously appeared in the tv movie "Lost in the Barrens" (1990), Adams as Awasis and Beach as one of the hunting party. In the sequel, "Lost in the Barrens II: Curse of the Viking Grave" (1992) Adams is joined with Michelle St John as Awasis' sister, Angeline. See more »

Goofs

When Thomas offers Victor money to help get him to Phoenix, his braids change position. In one shot, they are both in front. In the next shot, his right braid is over his shoulder. This repeats several times. See more »

Quotes

Thomas Builds-the-Fire: How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting ...
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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

References Dances with Wolves (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Father and Farther
(1995)
Written and Performed by Jim Boyd
Lyrics by Sherman Alexie
Courtesy of Thunderwolf Records
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User Reviews

 
Overlooked masterpiece
13 February 2003 | by andiam123See all my reviews

This film did not get the attention it deserved. When I first heard about a film made by Native Americans, I was afraid it would be an exercise in political correctness. But the ethnicity of the characters took a back seat to the universal themes of friendship and learning to come to terms with one's past. This is one of the greatest "buddy movies" ever made. A couple of years after I saw it I drove through the American Southwest for the first time, and images of the film kept coming into my head. This is a film which really stays with you.


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Details

Country:

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

Gross USA:

$6,745,362

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,745,362
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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