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September Dawn
September Dawn
Actors: Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Terence Stamp, Krisinda Cain
Director: Christopher Cain
Genres: Westerns, Drama
R     2008     1hr 50min

Academy AwardŽ winner Jon Voight, Terence Stamp and Trent Ford star in this film based on the true story of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the brutal murder of 120 men, women and children on September 11, 1857 as their wag...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Jon Voight, Trent Ford, Tamara Hope, Terence Stamp, Krisinda Cain
Director: Christopher Cain
Creators: Christopher Cain, Kevin Matossian, Michael Feinberg, Patrick Imeson, Scott Duthie, Carole Whang Schutter
Genres: Westerns, Drama
Sub-Genres: Westerns, Love & Romance
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 01/01/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2006
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Deidra C. (Deidra670) from GARRETT, KY
Reviewed on 10/11/2010...
SEPTEMBER DAWN is a heartbreaking telling of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. This is a little known piece of American history, it's shame. The Arkansas Company are traveling to California and stop along the way at Mountain Meadows, a Mormon community. At first, they are treated well, and the religious differences seem far away. Soon, however, a darker side to the Mountain Meadows people is revealed, bringing a tragic end.

This story moved me on so many different levels. It amazes me and always will, the atrocities committed in the name of God. SEPTEMBER DAWN is a hard film to watch, but I'm very glad I did. Somme things must be told, must be remembered. And the Mountain Meadows Massacre is one of them.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Robin Simmons | Palm Springs area, CA United States | 08/24/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a great movie. In an age of extreme political correctness, here comes a movie that dares to look at a fully home grown 19th century massacre (on September 11, no less) in the name of a paranoid religion.

I'm sure there will be an organized group of critics (Mormons?) who will post their one star reviews. Don't be duped. This movie may be a scathing look at a shameful incident in the history of Mormonism -- the so-called "mountain meadows massacre" -- but the real theme of this film is something much greater.

World events suggest there is coming a time when we will be forced to face in a public way the problem of irrational religions based on lies and fear and hate. What if the unthinkable happens and the West wages an all out war against a religion hell-bent on cleansing the planet of "infidels." Whose God will win? Or is that the wrong question?

Under what circumstances can we have this urgent conversation? A start is by going to see this movie and talking about what it means to Americans today. How do we deal with the conflicting issues of freedom and security? Especially freedom of religion?

Is there a subjective way to even talk about a religion being "authentic"? Is there a way to "love our enemies" or should we kill them before they kill us? This unexpected and unsettling movie about a Holy War on a small scale deserves consideration and conversation on a large scale."
Pre-mortem comment
Charles M. Strnad | Tulsa, OK | 12/06/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Been waiting for this DVD to come out since first seeing it in the theatres- and having since read several histories about the historical event. There already have been numerous website slugfests about just how accurate the movie is, with most of the debate just re-emphasizing how, 150 years later, the Mormon community still struggles to reconcile this documented part of their church history.
But before the DVD is even released, and before the anticipated subsequent storm of prejudiced-laced customer "reviews" ( and it doesn't even matter which side they are for), let me just say that the "editorial review" summary ought to at least introduce the topic fairly. For one, it is hardly an issue of uncertainty whether or not Mormons participated in the massacre- indeed, the valid histories (even the source work by Juanita Brooks, herself a devout Mormon)all confirm that Mormons did most of the killing, and even eventually owned-up to that, but only after years of trying to pawn it off on the Paiute Indians. I've seen the movie and read the histories, and the only aspect of the movie which is somewhat "over-the-top" is its clear portrayal of Brigham Young as a main architect of the massacre; the available histories at least conclude that there is some doubt as to his actual role. Whether viewers of the movie liked the love story subplot or not isn't really what this movie is about, after's just a cinematic technique used to make the history more personal (much like Cameron did with "Titanic", and Kate Winslett and Leonard DiCaprio).
But having said that, I'm sure the DVD release of this movie will again spark all the prejudicial comments about Mormons, etc.....but none of that changes the facts, and the movie does a fair job with that. But don't believe me- don't believe ANY reviewer: read the published histories, then you decide."
Not the best; not the worst
rgn | Indiana | 01/10/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Surprised to see this film currently has a rating of 4.5 stars. I guess Mormon advocates haven't realized this item is up and open for comments. Glad I can get mine in before the comment wars begin. I liked the movie overall. As a professor of religion I know the story accords with historical facts of the Mountain Meadows massacre as well as we know them. It truly does show how human beings can do the most atrocious things to one another if they believe they receive the blessing of God in doing so. I would only wish they ask some basic epistemological questions about the justification of their claim to knowledge that it is God they are truly hearing. The film mentions possible motives like the belief the federal government was about to start a war against the Mormons and payback for the murder of Joseph Smith in Missouri. One explanation for the massacre the film does not address but needs to be explored is using religious justification for plain old greed. There was a lot of wealth, cattle and horses with that wagon train. The Paiutes didn't get it. Who did? The film nicely points out how John Lee is the only Mormon forced to suffer penalty for the event. As for the film itself, it is beautifully filmed. I thought the Davidovich character was shallow, and her death is left unexplained. The real clinker in the film, though, and the reason I reduce its rating to a three star, is the clumsily melodramatic love affair between the son of the Mormon Bishop and the daughter of the wagon train's minister. As part of that story you have the son being imprisoned by the Bishop by being chained at the ankle in a barn. The chain, though, is around his boot. Why doesn't the kid just remove his foot from the boot? That's the kind of silliness that creeps in when you import melodrama into this tragic story. My greatest concern: The Mormons (with the exception of the lovestruck son of the Bishop) were uniformly caricatured as the embodiment of hate, while those on the wagon train were uniformly portrayed as the embodiment of sweetness and light. That's too simple-minded an approach. There are other comments to be made, but I don't want to turn this into a lecture on religion. Good film, but not great by any stretch."