September Dawn


Action / Drama / History / Romance / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 13%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48%
IMDb Rating 5.8 10 2755


Uploaded By: OTTO
Downloaded 23,163 times
October 25, 2014 at 08:59 AM


Dean Cain as Joseph Smith
Jon Voight as Jacob Samuelson
Terence Stamp as Brigham Young
Jon Gries as John D. Lee
1.65 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 51 min
P/S 5 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mbush-utah 2 / 10

Missed opportunity

First, the good: The movie was well acted and the settings were excellent. The subject matter is very interesting and historically valuable. This is why I can rank it a 2. But, the good really ends there.

The wagon train traveling through Mormon Territory is portrayed as honest, humble, righteous, God-fearing people in need of support for their journey to California. In contrast, the Mormons are portrayed as lying, evil hypocrites who are easily identified by their ominous black clothing! Everyday Mormon members are portrayed as innocent dupes of evil local Mormon clergy. Seriously! While the Mormon Bishop is nice to the wagon train in person, he is bent on their destruction when with his community.

The historical record and reality of the Mountain Meadows Massacre is easily available to all who are interested and clearly shows a much different and far more nuanced story. This film is nothing more than anti-Mormon propaganda. This is very unfortunate as this impact-full event, even if told from a perspective unfriendly to Mormon people, should have relied more on the historical record and should have reached for honest, historical accuracy.

This story needs to be told and this movie had the potential to do that and do it well! However, the writer or writers obviously used this tragedy as an excuse to make an anti-Mormon film. What's worse, the film is an insult to the Baker–Fancher emigrant wagon train members who perished. I'm sure they would not want their tragedy to be used in such a demeaning an irresponsible manner. Their lives and deaths deserve much more than this.

Reviewed by Ben Larson 7 / 10

Remember September 11th.

Religious fanatics exist everywhere: Mormons in 1857, Christians in the Crusades, Irish Catholics & Protestants, Muslim fundamentalists; no time in history has been without the fanatics, and they exist today.

It has been said that more people have died in the name of religion than in all the wars. It should be obvious that that is, on it's face ridiculous. However, the fact is that many people have been killed in religious conflict as this case here that is documented in history. The fact that it is true should not mean it is not to be told. The fact that is is a church involved should not give a pass. Death is death and bigotry is bigotry. We see both here in spades.

Jon Voight and Terence Stamp portrayed the hatefulness of the fanatics better than anyone I could imagine. Trent Ford was excellent as the son who could not accept that death was the answer. Tamara Hope was also excellent as the "gentile" woman that Trent loved.

The was a beautiful film about love and gentleness amidst evil and hate. It is nothing new, but it was done beautifully.

Reviewed by ironhorse_iv 4 / 10

This movie is downright depressing. It should be call September Dusk. It was too dark and disheartening.

Yes, before Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, Sept. 11 was somewhat known by a few historians as the date, where the Mountain Meadows Massacre took place on Sept. 11, 1857 by another fanatic religionists group. The film, September Dawn directed by Christopher Cain tells the story how a group of religious intolerance Mormons end up attacking the Baker-Fancher wagon train. The wagon train was passing by Mormon's Utah territory on their way to California when they were attack. It's a barely known historic event, even those who study American history, might not have heard of it. The question of whether the attack was carried out by local Paiute Indians or by a renegade sect of the Mormon Church remains unresolved to this day. The reason why the real life events might have not been told is because the modern Mormon organization doesn't want to share light of this tragic time in their early history. Mormons are just outright made to be evil in this film to the point, it seem anti-Mormonism propaganda. I really doubt, every Mormon went along with this massacre plot. It seem really over the top one dimensional and unbelievable theatrical acting out to make early Mormons look like a crazy cult. It is saved to say, September Dawn was not produced with the support of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Without anybody really talking about the real life event, there was very little fanfare for a film like this being made. Not a lot of people saw this, because first off, they had no clue what it was about, and second off, it's a part of history most people wouldn't want to enjoy watching on the big screen. It's tragedy without a positive outcome. It's depressing. The movie is a western disaster of a film that is tragedy cliché, it hurts the film. September Dawn follow too much to the Romeo and Juliet love tragedy story by having the love interests being from two different groups about to rip into each other. One is Johnathan Samuelson (Trent Ford), the son of an extremist Bishop Jacob Samuelson (Jon Voight) who fall in love with a 'gentile' minister's daughter, Emily Hudson (Tamara Hope). His father, Jacob become convinced that the gentile are out to kill all the Mormons, and so he wanted to take first action. He negotiates with the Paiute tribe to executed Emily's people. The movie tries to make the film watchable, I give them that. But, adding a love story to it, wasn't going to help one bit. By adding a fictional love story against a controversial historical interpretation of the tragedy event makes the audience focus more on the lovers than the victims of the crime. I hardly remember anybody else in the Wagon train besides the Hudson family. In real life, the Hudson's family didn't really shown up in Utah. They left the wagon trail way before the massacre. While the characters of the Samuelson's family are fictional characters, it took away so much from the real life Mormons. I had no idea who was telling this film. The film felt lost in time as it jump around way too much in history, as it start out with in 1877 as Utah governor Brigham Young (Terence Stamp) presents his side of the story of the events of 1857. The narrative then returns to 20 years before, and starts with Jacob's story. We get flashbacks of how the Mormons came to be with Joseph Smith (Dean Cain) through Jacob. Cut back to the present, enter Johnathan's story, and back to Jacob, then to Jonathan. Honestly, whom are we supposed to follow here? Why even, start a film with Brigham Young when most of the film isn't about him? Why not, start the movie with Jacob or better yet, his son, Jonathan? This movie would have work better, if it was produce as a documentary, not a live action piece melodrama. The melodrama doesn't match the history. The movie acts like Joseph Smith was murder in Missouri, when in true life, he did in a jail-house in Illinois. Missouri had little to do with Joseph Smith's killing when you think about it. Plus, all the wagon folks were from Arkansas. If any, the movie should have shown that the massacre could be vengeance against the people of Arkansas for the death of Parley Pratt who was recently murdered in Arkansas at the time, not Joseph Smith. The acting was alright for the most part, but Terrence Stamp really mess it up. Brigham Young sound like a deep British accent guy. The film is controversial, representing the view that Brigham Young had a direct role in the massacre, while the LDS Church maintains that historical evidence shows that Brigham Young did not authorize the massacre. The movie tries to say that the massacre was because of blood atonement. Anyone who knows anything about blood atonement in early Utah know it referred to sinful Mormons, not gentiles. Still, the Mormons were not actually killing each other to atone for their sins. The violence is pretty bad, but the blood and gore is fake looking to be too graphic. A good example of this is the removed scrotum scene. If you concerned with nudity. It's pretty tamed. The shaky camera is ugly. I don't know how many people want to see a movie where a lot of children get shot and killed in slow motion shaky cam. Overall: the movie gives you a sour taste with such a disappointing ending, inaccurate, and predictable propaganda-like plot. The only good I see coming from it is greater attention for the massacre, but even then the film mess that up. If you want to learn about the massacre then read the books Juanita Brooks, Will Bagley, and Ronald Walker. I cannot recommend watching this film

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment