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Ephraim's Rescue (2013)

By listening to and following his heart, Ephraim Hanks finds his way in life and eventually provides relief and rescue to the suffering Martin Handcart Company. Based on a true story.



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Credited cast:
Ephraim Hanks
Richard Benedict ...
Ephraim Hanks (older)
Thomas Dobson
Koleman Stinger ...
Thomas Dobson age 8
Katherine Nelson ...
Alice Dobson
Mia Selway ...
Ester Stock
Sidney Hanks
Martha Hanks
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Reddick Allred
Roger Blomquist ...
Dan Johnson
Arza Hinkley
Ryan Buchanan ...
Brigham Volunteer #2
Liz Christensen ...
Sister Johnson
Joshua Cooper ...
Brother Johnson
Adam Dietlein ...
Daniel Tyler


By listening to and following his heart, Ephraim Hanks finds his way in life and eventually provides relief and rescue to the suffering Martin Handcart Company. Based on a true story.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and some disturbing images


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Release Date:

31 May 2013 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on actual events taken directly from journals from those who are depicted in the film. See more »


My Kindness Shall Not Depart From Thee
Written by Rob Gardner
Performed by Dallyn Vail Bayles
See more »

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User Reviews

Handcart pioneer courage
11 December 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

One of the strengths of the Mormon cinema is that they've been scrupulously accurate in portraying their pioneer days indeed the face of America in the 19th century. Ephraim's Rescue is the dramatization of one of the rescues of the handcart companies that journeyed to the American west to reach what the LDS folks term as Zion.

This story is narrated by its protagonist in old age. Darin Southam plays Ephraim Hanks who's a rather footloose and adventurous sort when we first meet him. Things aren't exciting enough on his Ohio farm so he's off for adventure even going east to Boston and then becoming a sailor for a few years. He returns to Ohio and hearing his brother has gone off with those Mormons, Southam makes a decision to do the same though his mother and sister.

He did it the way a lot of the early Mormons did it because horses were a premium and had to be tended. He walked to Zion as the LDS church saw what became Utah as.

When Brigham Young has heard that a handcart party from Great Britain where the church sent some of the first of those elders as missionaries it's Southam he sends as head of a rescue party as winter comes on.

The other track of this film is the story of that particular handcart party from Great Britain. Whatever you think of Mormon doctrine you cannot deny the incredible tenacity and courage of these people. One of them Thomas Dobson played by James Gaisford who because he walked instead of riding by wagon or horseback suffered some horrible injuries.

Part of Mormon lore is the healing powers that Ephraim Hanks is supposed to have. Their doctrine in fact when they refer to themselves as Latter Day Saints they're saying that the potentiality to be saints and prophets is not confined to ancient days.

Here's where a gentile (non-Mormon) audience might have swallowing the story of miracle cures that Hanks was supposed to have made. Still films like these have a built in audience of LDS members. And for those who want to find out about the culture Ephraim's Rescue will serve that purpose.

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