IMDb > The Donner Party (2009)
The Donner Party
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Donner Party (2009) More at IMDbPro »

Videos (see all 2)
The Donner Party -- Based on the harrowing true story, THE DONNER PARTY picks up after William Hastings steers a group, nicknamed "Forlorn Hope," off course by promising a shorter route to California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The Donner Party -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
5.1/10   740 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Contact:
View company contact information for The Donner Party on IMDbPro.
Genre:
Tagline:
Survival Lies Within
Plot:
Based on the real events of The Donner Party tragedy. The Donner Party was a group of California-bound... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(14 articles)
Birthday Gallery: Darren Criss Turns 27
 (From The Backlot. 5 February 2014, 7:51 AM, PST)

Donner Pass and What Happens Next?: A Movie Review
 (From 28 Days Later Analysis. 21 January 2012, 4:00 AM, PST)

Shameless Self Promotion: Vote for This SXSW 2012 Panel
 (From Slackerwood. 22 August 2011, 7:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Desperate Circumstances Call For Desperate Measures See more (21 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Crispin Glover ... William Foster

Clayne Crawford ... William Eddy

Michele Santopietro ... Amanda McCutchen

Mark Boone Junior ... Franklin Graves

Christian Kane ... Charles Stanton

Crispian Belfrage ... Patrick Dolan

Catherine Black ... Ann Fosdick

Jamie Anne Allman ... Eleanor Eddy

Jack Kyle ... Milt McCutchen

Cary Wayne Moore ... Jay Fosdick

Alison Haislip ... Mary Graves

Mara LaFontaine ... Sarah Foster

John A. Lorenz ... Luis

Directed by
Terrence J. Martin 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Terrence J. Martin  writer

Produced by
Mark Costa .... producer
Greg Ives .... executive producer
Cory Johnson .... executive producer
Eric Liesemer .... executive producer
Ted Meyer .... producer
J.E. Moore .... producer (as John Emerson Moore)
Dawson Warner .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Eimear Noone 
 
Cinematography by
Seamus Tierney 
 
Film Editing by
Richard Conkling 
J.E. Moore  (as John Emerson Moore)
 
Production Design by
Jeff Pettit 
 
Art Direction by
Maynard Mendoza 
 
Costume Design by
Alysia Raycraft 
 
Makeup Department
Kayla Barry .... key hair stylist
Andy Chavez .... makeup artist
Greg McDougall .... makeup artist
Daniela Richardson .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Dona Ha .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Marcelo Chow .... second second assistant director
Colleen Cortes .... second assistant director
J.E. Moore .... second unit director (as John Emerson Moore)
Matt Zettell .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Ryan Baker .... property master
David Curley .... on-set dresser (as Dave Curley)
 
Sound Department
Victor Bakken .... boom operator
James Barth .... adr recordist
Daniel Kahn .... sound mixer (as Dan Kahn)
Jim Watson .... adr editor
Jim Watson .... dialogue editor
 
Special Effects by
Greg McDougall .... special effects makeup
 
Visual Effects by
Matt Welch .... senior flame artist
 
Stunts
John A. Lorenz .... fight choreography
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ryan Baker .... additional cinematography
Vince Donoho .... grip
Alicia Garcia .... second assistant camera
Michael Hansen .... director of photography: second unit
Michael Lockridge .... first assistant camera
Kathryn Moss .... first assistant camera (as Kathryn Comkowycz)
Chris Patterson .... gaffer
Ernest Saldana .... key grip
Michele K. Short .... still photographer
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Susan Carter Hall .... key costumer
Stormy King .... wardrobe supervisor
Amanda Wing Yee Lee .... wardrobe
Caitlin Talmage .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Chris Martin .... colorist
 
Music Department
Craig Stuart Garfinkle .... music editor
Craig Stuart Garfinkle .... score producer
Jeff Johns .... executive producer: soundtrack album
Eammon Noone .... composer: additional music
Eimear Noone .... conductor
Eimear Noone .... orchestrator
Jonathan Levi Shanes .... additional music arranger
Jonathan Levi Shanes .... music programmer
 
Other crew
Mario Aguja .... script supervisor
Andrew Steig .... production assistant
Adam Stern .... production assistant
Isaac Stovall .... production coordinator
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for some violence
Runtime:
USA:95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Certification:

Did You Know?

Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Zombies: A Living History (2011) (TV)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Desperate Circumstances Call For Desperate Measures, 28 September 2011
Author: sddavis63 (revsdd@gmail.com) from Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada

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)

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (21 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Donner Party (2009)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
How Bad Is It? nickandreas155
Why didn't they eat trees? jeffm-11
who or what did Mr Eddy shoot towards the end of the movie? elalbino63
It was good, but not accurate at all. allison_young02
Putting into the Pot? amymitsme
Loved Ric Burns doc - should I bother with this? limbolight
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Ravenous Defiance Saints and Soldiers As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me Persepolis
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.