IMDb > House Made of Dawn (1987)

House Made of Dawn (1987) More at IMDbPro »


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A kiva of missed opportunity See more (2 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Larry Littlebird ... Abel
Judith Doty ... Milly
Jay Varela ... Benally
Mesa Bird ... Grandfather
Philip Kenneally ... Martinez
Wright King ... Father Olguin
Skeeter Vaughan ... Albino and Old Man (as Skeeter Vaughn)
Teddy García ... Abelito
Herb Robins ... Los Angeles Foreman
George Burdeau ... John
Charlie L. Bird ... Tom
Preston Jefferson ... Cruz
Wilson Peshlakai ... Wilson
Jack Kane ... New Mexico Foreman
James Sargent ... Judge
Richard Roat ... District Attorney

John Saxon ... Tosamah
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Directed by
Richardson Morse 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
N. Scott Momaday  novel
N. Scott Momaday  screenplay
Richardson Morse 

Produced by
Richardson Morse .... producer
Edward Teets .... associate producer
Original Music by
Peter Morse 
Cinematography by
Stevan Larner 
Film Editing by
William Brame 
Production Design by
Michael Devine 
Makeup Department
Rafaelle Patterson .... makeup artist
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tim Lewis .... assistant director
Sound Department
George Alch .... sound
Jock Putnam .... boom operator
Camera and Electrical Department
Jim Enochs .... key grip
Lee Heckler .... gaffer
Paul Ream .... best boy
Marcel Shain .... assistant camera
Rick Foster .... grip (uncredited)
Music Department
Dan Carlin Sr. .... music editor
Other crew
Sara Pierson .... script supervisor

Production Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
90 min
Sound Mix:


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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
A kiva of missed opportunity, 19 September 2004
Author: Jon from United States

Since as a novel, "House Made of Dawn" was Pulitzer-Prize material, the inspiration must be there, somewhere. But the film adaptation is a clunker in every act, every scene, every frame. "Dawn" is little more than in essay in the depression of a young Native American man who is forced to relocate to Los Angeles after his release from prison for his murder of another Indian suspected of shape-shifting and witchcraft.

Characterization is virtually nil. The main character, Abel, portrays the "strong, silent, frustrated warrior" stereotype, Benally, his friend in the city epitomizes the "meek,Uncle Tom, paying-protection-money-to-survive" stereotype. Of course, there's Millie, playing the "requisite blond girlfriend" stereotype. The only interesting character is Tosamah, a Native American Church priest played by the conspicuously Anglo-Saxon John Saxon. Despite that, Tosamah distinguishes himself by actually being able to articulate thoughts with a non-monosyllabic vocabulary.

The music is singularly bad, an atonal flute score that sounds like it was composed by a first-year composition student a few hours after a lesson on Schoenberg. Pass on this one.

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