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The Dark Wind
The Dark Wind
Actors: Lou Diamond Phillips, Betty C. Barlow, Gary Basaraba, Billy Beck, Arlene Bowman
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
R     2003     1hr 51min

Filmed on location The Dark Wind brings to life the popular hero of several Tony Hillerman best-sellers Navajo Cop Jim Chee. Chee (Lou Diamond Philips) is a student of the old ways who wanted to be a medicine man before he...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Lou Diamond Phillips, Betty C. Barlow, Gary Basaraba, Billy Beck, Arlene Bowman
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/16/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 10
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Great Story, Mediocre Acting, Poor Tech
John Keitz | Nevada | 03/29/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"To begin with, this is not the PBS series. If you are familiar with Skinwalkers and Coyote Waits from PBS, this is far inferior. While the story is outstanding, the acting is wooden. Lou Diamond Phillips is a good actor, but he just can't pull off Jim Chee. Perhaps I would have had a different opinion if I hadn't seen Adam Beach's outstanding performance as Jim Chee first. I won't even get in to Fred Ward as Joe Leaphorn. Suffice it to say that Dark Wind is a Jim Chee novel, so there is little of Joe Leaphorn to be screwed up.On the tech side, this is a really lousy DVD presentation. It is just a glorified VHS transfer. The sound is 2 channel, not 5.1. The presentation is full frame rather than widescreen, and there are plenty of funny intrusions from boom mikes and sun awnings.Nevertheless, as cheap as this is going for, I am glad I bought it. The story is fantastic. Really good mystery. Only two complaints about the writing. First, there are several totally unnecessary uses of the F-word, as if they were just trying to get an R rating. I don't mind if profanity is necessary to the story, but even the actors sound like they don't think the word fits their lines. Second, do we really have to hear EVERYTHING that goes on in Chee's head? I mean really, the near constant voice overs get rather irritating.If you want a really good adaptation of a Hillerman novel, try Skinwalkers or Coyote Waits. If you want a passable movie for a Saturday night, try this one."
True Hillerman
Book CraZ | Florida USA | 12/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'll never read another Tony Hillerman book now without picturing Lou Diamond Phillips as Jim Chee and Fred Ward as Joe Leaphorn. This movie would move slow to viewers not acquainted with Hillerman's work. But slow and methodical is exactly the way the tribal police approach crimes and solve problems in his books. This one remains faithful to the story, almost exactly following the book. If you aren't a Hillerman fan, you will be. After watching this movie, you'll be back to order the author's backlist of Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn mysteries!"
One of Tony Hillerman's best stories told well.
Book CraZ | 09/12/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is rare that a movie stays close to the book it is based on, but The Dark Wind is one of the few exceptions. Despite a couple of changes that didn't affect the story line, this was exactly the same as the book."
M. Hartmann | Milan, Michigan United States | 03/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Realizing that this is the first meeting of our Navajo Cop, Jim Chee with Joe Leaphorn, I think this is best presentation.

Slow and methodical is in keeping with Chee's character [never having read the book - I look forward to it]and I guess my understanding of the Native American persona.

I can emphisize with his quams and approaches to the given situations of death and clues. L.D.P. has set the character of Chee in my mind with a forcefulness that is entirely his own.

Searching for the missing man from prison and wondering if as Leaphorn suggest, he may be dealing with two people, kept me wondering too.

It was fun to see John Carlin [from Dark Shadows] in the role of someone who is kind to children and a shock the way his character turns out. Whoops! Chee started noticing the Kachina dolls in his living quarters.

Seeing the mutilated Navajo [on Hopi land] was a shock and left me wondering about a Skinwalker, who was he?

When Chee is ordered to find out who is tinkering with the well and sees the plane go down, he is suddenly plunged into the world of mystery, witchcraft [which I don't think he likes], F.B.I. agents and revenge. I like his solution to the well situation.

The F.B.I. seems to think he know more than he is saying.
I loved the locations the movie was shot in, the dumpster fire [grin] and finding the long lost truck. Hey, does he ever catch the green truck?