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Smoke Signals (1998)

Trailer
1:04 | Trailer
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

Gross USA:

$6,745,362

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$6,745,362
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 Thomas walks into the gym, he places the boom box on the floor facing away from basketball court. In the next shot it's turned towards the court. See more »

Quotes

Victor Joseph: You gotta look mean or people won't respect you. White people will run all over you if you don't look mean. You gotta look like a warrior! You gotta look like you just came back from killing a buffalo!
Thomas Builds-the-Fire: But our tribe never hunted buffalo - we were fishermen.
Victor Joseph: What! You want to look like you just came back from catching a fish? This ain't "Dances With Salmon" you know!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

A Million Miles Away
Written and Performed by Jim Boyd
Lyrics by Sherman Alexie
Courtesy of Thunderwolf Records
See more »

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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!


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