MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 527 this week

The Donner Party (2009)

 -  Drama  -  23 October 2009 (USA)
5.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.0/10 from 652 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 5 critic

Based on the real events of The Donner Party tragedy. The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the western expansion of the 1840s. After becoming ... See full summary »

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

D
a list of 37 titles
created 25 Aug 2011
 
a list of 10000 titles
created 26 Jun 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 13 Aug 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 05 Nov 2012
 
a list of 24 titles
created 26 May 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Donner Party (2009)

The Donner Party (2009) on IMDb 5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Donner Party.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

After returning to civilian life as a Texas rancher, Captain Lance Deakin fends off attacks from former members of his unit as he struggles to uncover the truth of what he did as a soldier ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Millhone
Stars: Riley Smith, Willa Ford, Barry Corbin
Hide (2008)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A modern day Bonnie and Clyde - with a twist - that follows two lovers down a path of destruction, mayhem, and murder as they live in a world where it is acceptable to take whatever they want with murderous consequences.

Director: K.C. Bascombe
Stars: Rachel Miner, Christian Kane, Polly Shannon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

After his father's untimely suicide, Cufe leaves his home in a Native American reservation in search of a more fulfilling life.

Director: Sterlin Harjo
Stars: Wes Allen, Jeri Arredondo, Laura Bailey
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In the perfectly normal town of Louisville, KY, there is a perfectly normal man living the perfect life. David Dailey is a man who has it all: A great career, a community that adores him, ... See full summary »

Director: Stu Pollard
Stars: Gil Bellows, Jennifer Westfeldt, Christian Kane
Not Since You (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A romantic drama about a tight-knit group of college friends who graduated from NYU the year of 9/11 and reunite years later for a weekend wedding in Georgia. Unresolved conflicts and love ... See full summary »

Director: Jeff Stephenson
Stars: Desmond Harrington, Kathleen Robertson, Christian Kane
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The life of a successful professional woman turns chaotic when her boyfriend accidentally reveals on TV a highly personal secret about her.

Director: Charles Matthau
Stars: Estella Warren, Christian Kane, Michael Weatherly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The rise and fall of the Enron company, as seen from the perspective of employee Brian Cruver, based on his book.

Director: Penelope Spheeris
Stars: Christian Kane, Shannon Elizabeth, Cameron Bancroft
Love Song (TV Movie 2000)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Director: Julie Dash
Stars: Monica Arnold, Christian Kane, Essence Atkins
Close to Home (2005–2007)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Close to Home is a legal drama that tears away the facade of suburbia to reveal that sometimes quiet and tranquil streets can hide the darkest of crimes. Annabeth Chase is a young, ... See full summary »

Stars: Jennifer Finnigan, Kimberly Elise, David James Elliott
Crossfire Trail (TV Movie 2001)
Action | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Rafe Covington promises a dying friend that he'll watch over the man's wife and ranch after he's gone. When Rafe gets to his friend's ranch, he finds that Barkow, the local power in town, ... See full summary »

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Selleck, Virginia Madsen, Wilford Brimley
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

After being forced years before to abandon his wife and daughter, a man finds himself risking his life.

Director: Nick Stagliano
Stars: Robert Patrick, Hal Holbrook, Jared Acosta
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Timothy Hutton
Stars: Christian Kane, Silas Weir Mitchell, Drew Powell
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
...
William Foster
...
William Eddy
...
Amanda McCutchen
...
Franklin Graves
...
...
Patrick Dolan
...
Ann Fosdick
...
Eleanor Eddy
...
Milt McCutchen
...
Jay Fosdick
...
Mary Graves
...
Sarah Foster
...
Luis
Edit

Storyline

Based on the real events of The Donner Party tragedy. The Donner Party was a group of California-bound American settlers caught up in the western expansion of the 1840s. After becoming snowbound in the Sierra Nevada during the winter of 1846-1847, a number of the trapped settlers joined together in a final effort to reach California and organize a rescue party. Written by Anacapa Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Survival Lies Within

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Forlorn  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Goofs

After the group leaves with Stanton, when Graves attacks Fosdick, Fosdick's hat falls off as they hit the ground. When the camera angle changes, it's back on his head. Then when the camera angle changes again, it's gone. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zombies: A Living History (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Desperate Circumstances Call For Desperate Measures
28 September 2011 | by (Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

Not being by any means an expert on the story of the Donner Party, I've nevertheless done some reading on the subject. It's one of the truly tragic stories of American history that should probably be better known than it is. I stumbled upon this movie quite by chance and decided to give it a go. The criticisms that I've read of it are - strangely - both accurate and unfair. It's true that there were some liberties taken with the story. This is by no means a documentary about this incident. If that's what you want, there are books and documentaries to be consulted. This is Hollywood entertainment - and apparently low budget entertainment as well. The film-makers had to deal with some significant production issues. Given some of the challenges they faced, I thought this turned out to be a workable movie that will hopefully whet the appetite of viewers for more information about this rather famous incident in American history. Yes, I know that some will see this and assume that because they've seen it they know everything about the subject. That's unfortunate, but it doesn't take away the fact that in general terms this portrayal of the story worked fairly well.

Some criticize it for not being "interesting" enough. I'm not sure what those critics wanted. The liberties that were taken were done to inject a spark into the movie, and the movie is already criticized for doing that. This is a movie about desperate people facing desperate circumstances. It's not an action-thriller. It depicts the plight of the travellers. Some criticize it for a lack of character development. The funny thing is that's something I liked about this. I suppose an extra 30-60 minutes could have been added on to this to show the group gathering in Independence, Missouri and getting to know each other and travelling happily across the plains. Now that would have been dull. Instead, we pick up the party already in desperate circumstances. Perhaps the struggle of the trek through the Great Salt Desert would have been interesting. Aside from that (and it would have been difficult to jump from that to the point at which the movie actually started, and cumbersome to include the intervening time) I was happy enough with the story. It's true that perhaps the lack of character development meant we had little emotional connection to the characters, but the story was about the group and its plight and what it finally drove them to, not about the individuals.

The material about cannibalism was, I thought, handled sensitively. It's often over-emphasized and sensationalized in tales about the Donner Party, almost as if there was a cannibalistic feeding frenzy that went on among them. In fact, it was a desperate, last resort when there was literally no other source of food. In that sense, this is a bit reminiscent of the movie "Alive" which also dealt with the issue of cannibalism in desperate circumstances, although "Alive" had a much more spiritual sense to it.

Basically, I thought this was well done. (7/10)


8 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
It was good, but not accurate at all. allison_young02
Why didn't they eat trees? jeffm-11
Fall Release date? hollywoodfilmdirector
Putting into the Pot? amymitsme
Loved Ric Burns doc - should I bother with this? limbolight
More like a 7 or 8... OneSet_TwoSet
Discuss The Donner Party (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?