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Laughing Boy (1934)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 13 April 1934 (USA)
Laughing Boy, is a Navaho from a remote part of the reservation, while Slim Girl was raised by whites in a town and lives as a white man's mistress. They meet at a pow-wow and marry, in ... See full summary »


W.S. Van Dyke (uncredited)


John Colton (screen play), John Lee Mahin (screen play) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Ramon Novarro ... Laughing Boy
Lupe Velez ... Slim Girl
William B. Davidson ... George Hartshorne (as William Davidson)
Chief Thunderbird Chief Thunderbird ... Laughing Boy's Father
Catalina Rambula Catalina Rambula ... Laughing Boy's Mother
Harlan Knight Harlan Knight ... Wounded Face (as Tall Man's Boy)
Philip Armenta Philip Armenta ... Yellow Singer (as F.A. Armenta)
Deer Spring Deer Spring ... Jesting Squaw's Son
Pellicana Pellicana ... Red Man


Laughing Boy, is a Navaho from a remote part of the reservation, while Slim Girl was raised by whites in a town and lives as a white man's mistress. They meet at a pow-wow and marry, in spite of the disapproval of Laughing Boy's family. Slim Girl tries to be a good Indian wife, but is tempted to fall back on her old ways. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for 1929. Written by Robert Tonsing <rtonsing@ti.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

13 April 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amor Selvagem See more »

Filming Locations:

Cameron, Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office


$518,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Altoona PA Friday 5 April 1957 on WFBG (Channel 10), followed by Minneapolis 29 April 1957 on KMGM (Channel 9), by Salt Lake City 3 May 1957 on KTVT (Channel 4), by Seattle 28 August 1957 on KING (Channel 5), by Norfolk VA 11 September 1957 on WTAR (Channel 3), by Honolulu 26 November 1957 on KHVH (Channel 13), by Fresno CA 20 December 1957 on KMJ (Channel 24), by Durham NC 26 December 1957 on WTVD (Channel 11), by Cincinnati 19 March 1958 on WLW-T (Channel 5), and by Portland OR 1 May 1958 on KGW (Channel 8). Obviously eschewed by major sponsors because of its age, forgotten stars, and sensitive theme, its occasional telecasts were more or less limited to the less prominent markets. It's now secure in the TCM film library and enjoys an occasional airing on cable TV on Turner Classic Movies. See more »


When she finds the coins left by Laughing Boy, Slim Girl's (Lupe Velez blouse switches between being open/unbuttoned (and quite 'revealing') and closed/ buttoned several times. See more »


Featured in La noche de...: La sombra de la sospecha (2017) See more »


El Capitan
(1896) (uncredited)
Written by John Philip Sousa
Played by a band for the Fourth of July celebration
See more »

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User Reviews

A Romance from Navajo Lands
15 February 2000 | by Ron OliverSee all my reviews

LAUGHING BOY loves Slim Girl, but she has lived too long among the white man and cannot fit in with her new husband's traditional Navajo family. What will happen when he discovers she has returned to being a prostitute to make them some extra money?

Ramon Novarro & Lupe Velez do the best they can with somewhat embarrassing material. Their performances alone elevate the film above the mundane.

Director W. S. Van Dyke, known for his vivid on-location films, tries to interject footage shot in the Southwest to lend authenticity to the plot, but the rear projection backgrounds only detract and annoy the viewer.

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