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September Dawn

September Dawn

Genders: Drama, Western, History

Director: Christopher Cain

Writer: Christopher Cain, Carole Whang Schutter

Actors: Terence Stamp, Trent Ford, Krisinda Cain, Shaun Johnston

Year: 2007
Run time: 111min
IMDB score: 5.7
Updated: 3 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: September Dawn

Genders: Drama, Western, History

Imdb Score: 5.7

Runtime: 111min

Released: 24 Aug 2007

Director: Christopher Cain

Writer: Christopher Cain, Carole Whang Schutter

Actors: Terence Stamp, Trent Ford, Krisinda Cain, Shaun Johnston

Box Office: $1.1M

Company: Slowhand Releasing


Imdb Link

September Dawn Available Subtitles

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Leanr the history before commenting.

6/10 I have been hearing many bad reviews for this movie, panning it for a perceived 'blanket condemnation of the Mormon Church.' What so many of these reviews refuse to take into consideration is the actual character of territorial Utah in the 1850s and the rest of the historical evidence.

The plain simple fact is that Utah at the time WAS full of zealous religiosity. Every statement made by Brigham Young in the movie comes from his published sermons. Utah territory was a harsh and repressive society, and the movie portrays this accurately.

This movie is in NO WAY a blanket condemnation of Mormonism, though it IS a condemnation of the Mormon Church *IN THE 1850s.* To say that this movie portrays them like "homesteading Nazis," is completely unfair.

John Voight's performance gives a perfect example of the sort of character found in Mormon authorities in the period, while his sons show us some of the various types of dissension, the outright rejection, and the horrified self-loathing obedience.

The only thing I can see wrong here is that they could have put some hostile people in the wagon company, as undoubtedly there would have been. I can understand why they did not however, in order to drive home just how terrible this massacre was. Whether or not Brigham Young was directly involved in the events is up for debate, but there can be no doubt that the teachings he espoused and the environment they engendered were a significant part of what caused the massacre.

In short, most of the negative reviews come either from Mormons or people who have very little background with regards to the history of Territorial Utah

3 years ago

Getting your whole community to uniformly bash a movie is as good as telling people to watch it.

10/10 I was about to disregard this movie and thought that maybe I'd check out what people have written about it on IMDb. Frankly, to any one that is not Mormon, the thorough and complete disgust I see on this site from people who are very obviously from the Mormon community doesn't dissuade me from watching this movie, it actually encourages me. When people take so much effort to convince you not to watch something, I for one, think it's probably worth watching. I have watched it now and I must say, it wasn't the awful movie we are made to believe it was by the people posting on this site. To the contrary, I found it a very powerful and compelling movie and I'm glad to have watched it. I will certainly do some historical research to see where the alleged biases come in, but I have a feeling the movie will certainly not be quite the fiction that some of the posters have made it out to be.

My actual rating would have been a 6 or a 7 at best, but since there are people (I would assume those in the Mormon community) trying to bring the rating down simply because it shows a group of their people in an unfavourable light, I gave it a 10 to balance it out.

3 years ago

Flawed but still incredibly powerful...

6/10 I saw a screening of this film recently, and the most fitting word to describe it is "interesting." This film is a *fictionalized* account of the Mountain Meadows massacre by the Mormons and Native Americans in Utah Territory on September 11, 1857. Great artistic license is taken in the plot - the screenwriter deliberately attempts to humanize the event by infusing it with a love story between one of the immigrant girls and a Mormon bishop's son who is beginning to disagree with the requirements of his faith. An additional relationship story between the aforementioned son and one of his more obedient but dissenting brothers also adds emotional value. The love story itself is corny, but with the brothers' story, it exponentially increases the powerful effect of this film, which is all the more touching for its human aspects.

The film sparked numerous discussions among the audience members - political comparisons, Mit Romney comments, religious terrorist comparisons, 9/11 observations, and questioned how it would affect people's views of the Mormon faith. While it was historically accurate in some ways, it is affirmed at the end of the movie that it has never been proved that Brigham Young was associated with the attacks and that John D. Lee was the only one ever punished for the massacre. Though the immigrants are clearly made the victims in the movie, the settlers' reasons to distrust them are not discounted completely. A lot of questions and conversations were raised over the film.

All in all, this film was worth seeing. The flaws created by the love story detract from the overall plot, but what it gives back in its emotional effects adds much more. The cinematography and editing were beautifully done. What you take away is really up to you, whether you see it as a love story, historical piece, attack on the Mormon faith, or simply for what it literally is: a film.

3 years ago

An AMAZING film! You don't want to miss this one!

10/10 Don't be fooled by the low ratings. I am sure they are all biased by people who are ashamed of their past and do not want the truth to be known. After doing some research on the internet, it appears that the movie is historically accurate. There is absolutely no doubt that this tragic incident took place. There is doubt as to who exactly was involved, but the movie does a very good job of presenting the historical facts as they are known today. The acting was superb! Amazing scenery, brilliant cast, beautiful horses, and one of the most tragic love stories displayed on film. (The love story was probably fictional, but heart-wrenching nonetheless.) The movie deserves an Oscar for sure! This is not a Mormon bashing movie. This is a tragic, true life story brought to life on film, and it's simply amazing! A film about the Crusades and murders committed by Christians in the name of God would be equally tragic. Anyway, don't let all the severely biased low ratings influence you. You do not want to miss this movie!

3 years ago

despite what's being said - a decent film worthy of a viewing.

8/10 Having now read most of the reviews, I will add mine - This is not a bad film, despite what many of the reviewers have said. Yes, it is somewhat one dimensional in its portrayal of the various parties involved. Yes, the Mormons are portrayed as the modern equivalent of Muslim terrorists (though back then, from what i have read, this is only a modest stretch). And finally, yes, there is a rather insipid romeo and Juliet theme flowing throughout.

Yes the film has its share of flaws. nevertheless, it is a beautiful film to watch, the characters are all filled with fine actors, and in reality, it is a reasonably accurate film as to the differences between the various groups. That the film's hero (jonathan) had no idea how people outside his lds group think and that the wagon train (illustrated by Emily) had no understanding of the Mormon's culture or paranoia is very believable (as the Mormon's were still a quite new group). Furthermore, like all sects, the members have a very one dimensional view of the world. I felt like this was a well done film on a subject few know much about. Well done. A worthy religious history drama.

3 years ago