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Coyote Waits (2003)

Two tribal cops uncover a plot involving a lost fortune, an historical artifact and a mythical Coyote on a Navajo reservation.


Jan Egleson


Lloyd 'Lucky' Gold (teleplay), Tony Hillerman (novel)

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adam Beach ... Jim Chee
Candice Costello ... Jen
Jimmy Herman ... Ashie Pinto
Gary Kanin Gary Kanin ... Judge
Wes Studi ... Joe Leaphorn
Sheila Tousey ... Emma Leaphorn
Mark Kilburn Mark Kilburn ... Doctor
Alex Rice ... Janet Pete
Graham Greene ... Slick Nakai
Jill Scott Momaday Jill Scott Momaday ... Mary Keeyani
Keith Carradine ... John McGinnis
Sheri Foster ... Blue Lady
Jack Burning ... Hosteen Nakai
Long Nguyen ... Huan Ji
Paul Guilfoyle ... Jay Kennedy, FBI


Two tribal cops uncover a plot involving a lost fortune, an historical artifact and a mythical Coyote on a Navajo reservation.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two Navajo cops race to unravel a dangerous web of myth, murder, and greed.


Drama | Mystery



Official Sites:





English | Navajo | Vietnamese

Release Date:

16 November 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Leggende Navajo See more »

Filming Locations:

Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Joe Leaphorn reveals in his conversation with Taka Ji that he graduated from Arizona State University. See more »


When officer Chee (Adam Beach) is driving on the deserted road, passing through several small tunnels, close-ups of him behind the wheel show a roof rack instead of the light bar for his Dodge Dakota patrol vehicle. This happens twice in this series of scenes. See more »


Jim Chee: You wouldn't know it, but you sound like a Navajo.
Odell Redd: Yah-tee, Odell Redd. South Carolina Redds, Charleston Clan.
See more »


Features Skinwalkers (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Not as fulfilling as it should have been
17 November 2003 | by me43See all my reviews

Based on a Tony Hillerman novel, "Coyote Waits" brings back characters familiar to viewers of "Skinwalkers" and 1991's "Dark Wind", which starred Fred Ward and Lou Diamond Phillips. If you have not seen the previous films, you can still enjoy "Coyote Waits" for its own sake.

Adam Beach reprises his "Skinwalkers" role as "Jim Chee", alongside other "Skinwalkers" veterans, Sheila Tousey, and Wes Studi. None of the three are actually Navajo, though they are Native American. Personally I think casting should be based on the best actor for the part, and would have liked to see Phillips reprise his role. Beach is not a Navajo either and is still learning his craft; Phillips is a seasoned veteran. (Before folks get upset let me say this, tribal background should be taken in account when casting Native American roles. It is insulting to insist the tribes are interchangeable. Recall how silly it was for a Swedish accented actor to play a Frenchman in "Good Will Hunting"? It is the same point here.)

Presented in letterbox format, the scenery is at once mystical, isolating and all-encompassing. The production values lift it above "made for tv" status. The language, mild by todays standards, does use the popular term for excrement several times, but not gratuitously. The scenery is beautiful. The picture-postcard-blue of one scene's sky is so beautiful it brings a tear to the eye.

The plot is not as meaty as it could have been and some roles could have been eliminated without too much loss to the whole.

The intentions are good but there comes a time when intentions should be removed from the equation. "Coyote Waits" is not as fulfilling as it could have been, regardless of its intentions.

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