The Exiles
The Exiles (1961)

The Exiles is the story of one wild but typical night in the lives of three young American Indians who have left their reservations to live in downtown Los Angeles. It presents the lifestyles and actions of these people that are "not… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: August 1, 1961
DVD Release Date: November 17, 2009
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 89% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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.

Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out

Kent MacKenzie's forgotten indie basks in the retroactive glow of never having had a theatrical release -- as if that somehow makes it a work of misunderstood genius.

Full review…
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune

The Exiles ... presents one boozy night in the lives of Homer, Cliff, Tommy and Yvonne, from a convertible joy ride through the Third Street Tunnel, to an early-morning powwow.

Full review…
Sean Axmaker
Stream on Demand

... there is also something singular and specific about these people and the culture they have created within the city: [Kent] Mackenzie's portrait may be fiction but this world is very real.

Full review…
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

A fascinating hybrid of art and life, The Exiles may not hew entirely faithfully to literal truth but nonetheless conveys a form of artistic honesty that is inescapable. It's a mesmerizing marriage of poetry and prose.

Full review…
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

Kent Mackenzie's magnificent, long-undistributed, unclassifiable first feature, The Exiles, stands as a rare consideration of the inner and outer lives of American Indians in a big American city.

Full review…
Richard von Busack

The exiles of the title mean the Indians-exiled from their land and with no connection to the white-run city around them. The title also means us: anyone who has ever been trapped in a late-night city, caught by the neon's glare like a moth.

Full review…
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

A ghostly and startling tale of Native Americans in Los Angeles -- a fusion of documentary and fiction -- in the late '50s. Never previously released, it's a revelation.

Full review…
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

Rife with astonishing black-and-white images of an unknown L.A. and clashing sounds of bars, cinemas and poker games, The Exiles is one of those movies that functions as both artifact and fresh discovery.

Amy Taubin

The question of who is looking and to what end is barely posed, let alone answered.

Full review…
More reviews for The Exiles

Flixster Audience Score: 70% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
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… More
Eric Broome
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… More
Walter M.
[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… More