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Dead of Winter: The Donner Party (2015)

What starts as a call to the West quickly turns to a deadly journey for three families and their compatriots on a quest for the American Dream. Trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, they ... See full summary »


Doug Glover (as Douglas Glover)


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Credited cast:
Darrin Miller ... James Reed
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elizabeth Austin ... Expert Spokesperson / commentator
Libby Baker ... Margaret Reed
Jon Bloch ... William Eddy
Kit Dennis Kit Dennis ... Patrick Breen
D.J. Duplan D.J. Duplan ... Wagon Guy
Bear Fuerst Bear Fuerst ... Lewis Keseberg
Darby Hinton ... George Donner
Kim Lankford ... Tamsen Donner
Calen John Neal Calen John Neal ... John Snyder


What starts as a call to the West quickly turns to a deadly journey for three families and their compatriots on a quest for the American Dream. Trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, they fall prey to sub-zero temperatures, torrential rainfalls, floods and ten foot snow drifts, and are eventually forced to turn on each other in order to survive. Using a hybrid, multi-media approach we set out to explore one of the most macabre and sensational stories in American history through first-person narration, dramatic reenactment, expert interviews, green screen, CGI, and archival materials. Through the scope of the landscape and the weather encountered, the audience will be brought closer to the emotional and mental anguish these settlers experienced in this timeless battle of Man vs. Nature.

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reenactment | See All (1) »

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Release Date:

27 November 2015 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Thinkfactory Media See more »
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User Reviews

Glaring omission
19 June 2016 | by KHenry14See all my reviews

Overall, this is a decent telling of the Donner Party tale. They hit the big points, and their experts that they bring in, particularly Dr. Rarick. know their stuff.

But the thing is, if you watch this documentary, you'd never know that there was another family on the trail with them, the Graves family. They were in the midst of the whole story, yet they aren't mentioned once. How is that possible?

Sure, I'm overly sensitive on this subject since i'm a direct descendant of one of the surviving Graves family members. But even so, how do you just ignore part of the story like that?

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