Poster for The Exiles

The Exiles

1961, Drama, 1h 20m

38 Reviews 250+ Ratings

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critics consensus

An historic film, The Exiles combines gritty realism and a loosely-spun, improvisational narrative to capture the lives of Native Americans adrift in a run-down Los Angeles neighborhood in the early 1960s. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In a Native American neighborhood in Los Angeles, Homer (Homer Nish) lives with his pregnant wife, Yvonne (Yvonne Williams), in a crowded apartment. While Homer goes drinking with his friend Tommy (Tom Reynolds), Yvonne is left at a movie by herself. As the men get progressively drunker, Yvonne realizes her husband is not coming home. Meanwhile, Homer and Tommy wander through the nighttime city, looking for fights, playing poker and discussing their problems as Native Americans.

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Critic Reviews for The Exiles

Audience Reviews for The Exiles

  • Jun 15, 2012
    it is a time capsule of los angeles and a moving portrait of young urban indians in the late 1950s. featuring untrained actors who are startlingly natural and beautiful b/w photography of an LA that has changed beyond recognition, the film follows young men on a friday night of drinking from barhopping to their after party high above the city, where they drum and dance to recall their faraway homes. a remarkable film
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2012
    I don't know how to react to this film. Am I supposed to empathize with these lazy, sluggish Indian men? Aimless, callous, unemployed spongers who do nothing but drink, smoke, flirt, fight and play cards? It's as if the script aims to reinforce negative stereotypes. "The Exiles" has virtually no dramatic shape. The men do nothing useful, while the women work and quietly endure their unhappiness. The story spans about a day, and nothing transformative occurs. And most of the dialogue and ambient noise is awkwardly looped in post-production -- this is alienating. In particular, the casual chatter in bars and cafes is painfully stiff. The filmmakers deserve credit for making a worthwhile sociological statement on a non-existent budget but, beyond that, there's little to recommend "The Exiles" beyond some interesting glimpses of early-'60s Los Angeles.
    Eric B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2012
    [font=Century Gothic]At its best when photographing the exteriors of a lost city, "The Exiles" is an ethnographic docudrama about a trio of American Indians(Yvonne Williams, Homer Nish & Tom Reynolds) over a twelve hour period in Los Angeles. The men hang out, play poker, and get drunk. For them, they have lost confidence in the future, being twice removed from their traditional lives. Yvonne who is pregnant is lonely as she goes to the movies while the men make the rounds before spending the night at a friend's place. For herself, any hope for the future she reserves for her unborn child for whom she is staying in the city to give him a better chance at leading a rewarding life.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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