4 user 2 critic

Handcart (2002)

PG | | History | 11 October 2002 (USA)

On Disc

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Credited cast:
Jaelan Petrie Jaelan Petrie ... Samual Hunter
Stephanie Albach Stephanie Albach ... Abigail
Chris Kendrick ... Moose
Shannon Skinner Shannon Skinner ... Patricia
Gretchen Condie Gretchen Condie ... Sarah
Joel Bishop ... Edward Martin
Scott Christopher ... Robert Quincy
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Darin Andersen Darin Andersen ... Trapper Cobb
T.J. Bishop T.J. Bishop ... Extra
Junior Case Junior Case ... Food Rationer
John English John English ... Sunday School Student
Lee Fobert ... Richard (as Lee C. Fobert)
Jeffrey Hanson ... Sunday School Teacher (as Jeff Hanson)
Lincoln Hoppe ... Tanner Hunter
Kameron Jensen Kameron Jensen ... Oldest Larsen Boy



Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of one man's journey with the Martin Handcart Company



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language






Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Utah, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,711, 31 January 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$98,666, 20 April 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ampersand Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was largely financed by the directors father. See more »


Spoofed in It's Latter-Day Night! Live Comedy (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

An Ambitious Attempt That Falls Short
6 July 2006 | by gckiddSee all my reviews

This could have been a very moving epic...but epics generally require a large budget. This was definitely NOT a high-dollar production, and I felt, watching it, that it was kind of rushed out in order to try and catch the wave of Mormon cinema successes that happened a few years ago. Unfortunately, this resulted in a weak script, location selections that just don't resemble the terrain they're supposed to depict, and a lot of scenes where the number of pioneers leaving the city far outnumbered the crowds watching them go.

Some of the acting was good, most was so-so...and some of it was pretty atrocious (they REALLY should have had a dialect coach...) Given the limits of location, the cinematography was skilled, though it seemed more often to be trying to avoid showing too much in the background, rather than showing enough of the foreground.

In terms of story--well, if you're looking for a good, stirring tale of conversion, this isn't it. The story felt very contrived to me, and I found myself far more interested in the stories of the secondary characters than the leads. I think it is, however, noteworthy that this script doesn't try and sway the viewer to a pro-Mormon standpoint. The characters we follow through the tale are all extremely human, with moments of heroism, crises of faith, burdens of self-doubt, and all the other baggage humanity tends to carry around. This is, ultimately, the best thing about the story.

They should have taken some more time, done a few more re-writes, and rounded up some more funding before they tackled this one. It tries to tell what was, in reality, a very moving and tragic tale (the Martin Handcart company, which failed to reach Salt Lake before winter hit, resulting in one of the most catastrophic endeavors in the westward expansion of the U.S.) by focusing on the stories of just a few members of the company--but it's kind of like moose-hunting with a .22. Unless you hit JUST the right spot, it doesn't work. And they didn't hit the spot.

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