A story set against the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the film is based upon the tragedy which occurred in Utah in 1857. A group of settlers, traveling on wagons, was murdered by the native Mormons. All together, about 140 souls of men, women and children, were taken. Amidst this, two young lovers-to-be, one a Mormon and the other one of the doomed settlers from Arkansas, develop a relationship in an atmosphere of suspicion and rancor.
|September Dawn Movie(DivX)||Resolution: 576x320 px||Total Size: 707 Mb|
|September Dawn Movie(iPod)||Resolution: 480x272 px||Total Size: 361 Mb||
We need more movies like this! When is Hollywood going to be braveenough to expose radical Islam the way they have exposed the radicalMormons of the late 1850's?????????????????????????? The acting isamazing. The cinematography is sweeping. The pacing, editing, sound andproductions values are all first rate. The vistas are amazing. Theslaughter of innocent woman and children is disgusting. The act of theMormon leadership at this time unforgivable. The horror unreal. Theblood thirst scary. The movie is almost a horror movie. But it's not.It's a true story.And that is REALLY FRIGHTENING. Oh the horror.
If I were to revert to a textbook analogy to describe ChristopherCain's latest directorial effort, it would have to be this: SeptemberDawn is to Mormons as Fahrenheit 9/11 is to President Bush. Basicallyone-sided bashing, be it based in truth or not, the difference is thatthere is little tact in this Passion of the Mormons other than thelackluster Romeo and Juliet tale of love halfheartedly juxtaposedagainst the false friendship, religion, and death. And in that order.Swapping out Montagues and Capulets for Mormons and Gentiles, a veryShakespearean love story is massacred (figuratively and literally) asit tries to unfold amidst warring sides in Utah. When a wagon train ofpilgrims from Arkansas and Missouri pass through land ruled over byJacob Samuelson, (Jon Voigt) the wary leader charges his son Jonathan(Trent Ford) with the task of spying on their every move. Through hisfrequent visits to the camp, Jonathan quickly falls in love with thevivacious Emily (Tamara Hope) and begins to realize the error in hisfather's paranoid assumptions. However, such romance becomes ill-fatedagainst the overwhelming hatred and distrust amassing from Jacob andhis conspiring religious leaders, and a plan is devised to ambush andslaughter every member of the unsuspecting wagon train.If Passion of the Christ were blatantly anti-Semitic, then SeptemberDawn is surely a flailing jolt of anti-Mormonism. And as little wasleft to the imagination in Passion, so too are the images of hatred inDawn so boldly displayed. Every questionable aspect of the religion andeach morally perturbing "historical" event is dissected and portrayedin the vilest of manners, heavy-handedly shoving the message down ourthroats that "Mormons are evil." In fact, several correlations betweenthe religion and Nazi Germany are aroused to create a very persuasivepropaganda piece and little else. The Romeo and Juliet love story seemsadded as an afterthought and really only thrown in to accentuate howevil the antagonists are for depriving the main characters of theirhappiness. The touching, love-at-first-sight romance that could havebeen is quickly lost. The villains are acutely sinister and malicious,but not for the sake of their character development, but rather toenhance the dehumanization of the Mormons. September Dawn does do wellin its quest to rouse controversial questions, such as what actuallydid happen during the Mountain Meadows Massacre, who was behind it, andhow did they get away with it? But with its facts spread so thin, onealso has to wonder how much of what is portrayed is truth and how muchis fiction. The film's opening line of "Inspired by actual events" iscertainly less convincing than the typical counterpart "Based on actualevents." Ultimately this isn't a true story and for real facts one willbe forced to look elsewhere - and such bland storytelling should befound somewhere other than a movie theater.It's hard to say if the actors do their profession proud as thecharacters they embody are so over-the-top and extreme. It's definitelycrystal clear who the antagonists are, and the steady beating of a deadhorse only works to lessen the impact and discredit the authenticity ofthese characters. Ford handles a wide array of emotions, but noexplanation is given for his sudden outcry against his religion. Oneinstant he is a faithful follower of his father's commands, the nexthe's a raging whirlwind of unchecked aggression ready to commitpatricide. Though an attempt at reasoning is given, it seems out ofplace to reach such a zenith so suddenly. While he may be better withhorses than people, his reactions do seem forced just for the sake ofexploiting the vile actions of the story's villains Â of which there isno doubt their religion. The supporting cast is easily forgettable andStamp and Voigt are so outlandish that it's hard not to forget themeven if you want to.If you're Mormon or contemplating converting, this probably isn't themovie for you. It'd be like watching Eight-Legged Freaks if you were aspider. You're the bad guy and everyone just wants to nail you to theproverbial cross. The Mormons are displayed as such zombified hostilesrambling to the cause that the film might as well have been dubbed"Dawn of the Mormons." Going back to my opening analogy, at leastFahrenheit 9/11 bashed the president with wit and style to spare. Dawnseems to forget that it's a movie and hopes to become added to thehistory books. Whether the events depicted happened in the manner shownor not, who really knows? Well, apparently Christopher Gain does andyou either see it his way or not at all. I think I should have chosenthe latter.- Joel Massie
Surprised to see this film currently has a rating of 4.5 stars. I guess Mormon advocates haven't realized this item is up and open for comments. Glad I can get mine in before the comment wars begin. I liked the movie overall. As a professor of religion I know the story accords with historical facts of the Mountain Meadows massacre as well as we know them. It truly does show how human beings can do the most atrocious things to one another if they believe they receive the blessing of God in doing so. I would only wish they ask some basic epistemological questions about the justification of their claim to knowledge that it is God they are truly hearing. The film mentions possible motives like the belief the federal government was about to start a war against the Mormons and payback for the murder of Joseph Smith in Missouri. One explanation for the massacre the film does not address but needs to be explored is using religious justification for plain old greed. There was a lot of wealth, cattle and horses with that wagon train. The Paiutes didn't get it. Who did? The film nicely points out how John Lee is the only Mormon forced to suffer penalty for the event. As for the film itself, it is beautifully filmed. I thought the Davidovich character was shallow, and her death is left unexplained. The real clinker in the film, though, and the reason I reduce its rating to a three star, is the clumsily melodramatic love affair between the son of the Mormon Bishop and the daughter of the wagon train's minister. As part of that story you have the son being imprisoned by the Bishop by being chained at the ankle in a barn. The chain, though, is around his boot. Why doesn't the kid just remove his foot from the boot? That's the kind of silliness that creeps in when you import melodrama into this tragic story. My greatest concern: The Mormons (with the exception of the lovestruck son of the Bishop) were uniformly caricatured as the embodiment of hate, while those on the wagon train were uniformly portrayed as the embodiment of sweetness and light. That's too simple-minded an approach. There are other comments to be made, but I don't want to turn this into a lecture on religion. Good film, but not great by any stretch.
I can appreciate your comments and I believe your comments wereconstructive and neutral. When I saw the movie I thought it was veryinteresting, insightful and thought provoking. I also thought about itas a viewer on the outside of the Mormon faith looking in, as obviouslybiased and based more on butts in the seats, cash in the bank, then thelittle details of historical accuracy, or fairness. I'm certainly notgoing to spend hours, days and weeks researching what happened 150 yrsago, I just don't care in this day and age enough. What I did find infifteen minutes of searching the "Net" is that this group of Mormon'sdid not for the most part follow the advice of it's leadership on allmatters. They kind of ran their own little rodeo hitting the highlightsof the faith. Their main leader Brigham Young, three hundred miles awayin Salt Lake City was aware of the problems and contention in the areabetween these two groups. When my respect for the writers and directorsfell through the floor was when I read on multiple web-sites and somehistorical records, that Young sent a message to the local leaders, tocalm down, think rationally and to let the group go in peace. Thisletter arrived two days late. Someone posted on the web, commentsclaimed to have come from him (Young) that he made in his later years,saying how much he pained over those events that transpired and that,had they had the telegraph, it wouldn't have happened. Yea, maybe he'slying, maybe he delayed the letter just enough to clear his conscienceand avoid responsibility, maybe. Just the simple fact of how they (filmmakers) portrayed Young and failed to mention this letter would havechanged my fillings of the movie and of the production staff. Thismovie might as well have well been made by Michael Moore. Same onesided story telling. It was a nasty event, shouldn't have happened, theresponsible parties should have hanged for it. This move should havebeen more balanced and not such a one sided "Hatefest" film preying onemotions, and religious hate to fill the seats. Heck, I paid.
Typical of fanatics who obey with blind faith, these people let their sense of duty and revenge serve as justification for these murders. The parallel with the fanatics of today is obvious. The crimes were confessed. Only Brigham Young's involvement is up for debate. So if Jon Voight's character(admittedly fictional) appears psychotic, what else would you expect from leaders who drove their people to commit these crimes against humanity?Voight is excellently committed as the "General." The love story was well done and the climactic scene between the two brothers was powerfully played. While some details may be dramatic invention, don't let the inconvenience of this truth get in the way of objectivity. This is a great movie that shows what can happen when good people are led by bad men.
I encourage people to read the book, September Dawn as well. The author clearly has 3 pages of where she found her resources. I found the book better, but the movie was just as moving.
This movie deserves better than it got. I almost didn't watch it afterreading reviews and seeing that it had a '13' on RottenTomatoes. It isfar better than that. Yes they tacked on a love story (although thatwas not badly done), but it follows the true history quite closely. Andthere is the rub for many of the Mormon faith. Even though the Churchhas been forced by facts to slowly and reluctantly admit to the truth,it has still tried mightily to suppress the incident. And you can seewhy. It was truly a sickening slaughter of innocents sanctioned by thehighest authorities in the church.Having read American Massacre, an historical account of the MMmassacre, I found this a reasonably accurate depiction of events. Afascinating if disturbing bit of western history.
Back in the early days of films (the 1920s especially) there were anumber on anti-Mormon films that passed themselves off as beinghistorically accurate. From Great Britain there was "Trapped by theMormons" (1922) and its follow-up "Married to a Mormon" that purportedto tell the truth about the Mormon Church. Hollywood released "A MormonMaid" (1917) and the trade magazine Variety said that it did what D.W.Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" did for the KKK for the Mormons!Recently Grapevine Video released "Trapped by the Mormons" on DVDcomplete with the book "The Love Story of a Mormon" by English authorWinifred Graham who was ardently opposed to the Mormon Church. Readingher book and seeing the movie that came from it one realizes thatanything bad about Mormons is passed off as being "fact"! Looking atthese early films today, one can laugh at the length filmmakers wouldtake to defame something that they hate, even though they have littleor no knowledge about subject. "September Dawn" just goes to show thatthings haven't changed much over the years. It is sad that a tragedysuch as it deals with could not be told with honesty.
"September Dawn" (2007) is a powerful and unforgettable film. It details the long covered-up massacre at Mountain Meadows, Utah, on September 11, 1857 where a group of Mormons murdered well over a hundred settlers traveling from Arizona to California. The settlers stopped in Utah to rest and resupply and the Mormons graciously allowed it. Unfortunately, in the ensuing days the decision was made to slaughter the settlers, likely due to paranoia over the brief "Utah War" that was going on at the time (between the Feds and the Mormon settlers in Utah) and also because of the Mormons' severe persecutions back East in the 1830s-40s, which provoked them to seek sanctuary in Utah in 1847.Brigham Young was the president of the LDS denomination at the time and the governor of Utah. Was he involved in the decision to slaughter the innocent settlers? Although Mormon leaders deny this to this day it's very probable for two reasons: (1.) As the LDS president and Utah governor it's unlikely that something of this magnitude would have been carried out without Young's authorization; and (2.) the leader of the slaughter, John D. Lee - the only man convicted and shot for the massacre - was the adopted son of Brigham Young. The film theorizes that the murderers took an oath of silence and that's why the massacre has been covered-up by LDS officials to this day, although Lee admitted to being the scapegoat before his execution. Chew on that.The vibe of the film is very realistic, sort of like "Dances with Wolves (Full Screen Theatrical Edition)," although not as compelling. For instance, the Paiute natives (whom the Mormons hoodwinked into participating in the initial assault) are very well done. The acting is convincing across the board. In this regard "September Dawn" stands head & shoulders above roll-your-eyes Westerns of yesteryear.Perhaps the film has such an authentic vibe because it's based on the historical facts and is fair with them. For one, the film utilizes Juanita Brooks' book and others as sources, and they happen to be a devout Mormons. Secondly, the film reveals the valid reasons for the Mormon's paranoia - due to the Feds' harassment presently and also previous persecutions back East, severe persecutions. Thirdly, the film details a bizarre doctrine the Mormons adhered to - "blood atonement" - that gave them the mentality that they were doing the settlers a favor by killing them (that is, the settlers would die to this temporal world but they'd be eternally blessed, or something to this effect).Some have criticized the film for adding a romantic subplot concerning a Mormon youth and a settler girl, but this is a typical Hollywood technique, e.g. "Pearl Harbor (Two-Disc 60th Anniversary Commemorative Edition)," "The Red Baron" and "Titanic." Others object to a Mormon youth cracking up after the massacre - another purely fictional addition - but it makes sense that an unhardened youth would lose his marbles, so to speak, after such a horrific undertaking and, again, it's portrayed in a convincing manner.Although the film takes place in Southwest Utah, it was filmed in central Alberta, near Calgary.Bottom Line: The harsh criticism that's been dished on this film is ridiculous and not even remotely accurate. Although it's sometimes a hard film to watch for obvious reasons, "September Dawn" is a worthy modern Western that dares to sneer at political correctness and tell the truth, at least as far as can be done by the documented facts. Sure there's some fictionalization, but all movies based on historical events do this to some extent. I guarantee you that "September Dawn" is far more historically accurate than heralded films like "Braveheart." Since the film is so well done I can only chalk up the ridiculous criticism to intolerant liberal ideology. After all, the film dares to show Christians in a positive light being led to the slaughter literally by wacko non-Christian religious fanatics. Not that all Mormons back then or today are wacko religious fanatics, not at all, but that group that murdered the innocent settlers definitely were, and those who authorized it as well.GRADE: Borderline A- or B+
This review is from: September Dawn (DVD) This film offered an interesting, fact-based perspective on the westward expansion, as well as the inherent secretiveness of the Mormon cult. It was well researched and performed. Even if you're like my husband, a mere "cowboys and Indians" genre fan, you will find this film an interesting adventure, and you'll pick up a history lesson as well.
What a sad pathetic movie. The writer, Carole Whang Schutter, incollaboration with the director Christopher Cain, is so hung up on herhatred of Mormons that she came up with a script that is laughable andmakes no attempt to understand the political and historical realitiesof the west in 1857. Brigham Young who historically has been portrayedas an "American Moses," one of the great colonizers of the West, ishere portrayed as a raving lunatic. The only "good" Mormon is the sonof a local Bishop. Like the current politically correct version of 21stcentury manhood he is caring, sensitive, and of course he is also a"HORSE WHISPERER!" Of course he falls in love at first sight with thevirginal daughter of the preacher on the wagon train who is so good andangelic that she practically has a halo over her head. In fact thewhole wagon train company is portrayed in this manner despite somehistorical accounts to the contrary. What a bunch of crap.Because the Mountain Meadow massacre occurred on Sept. 11, 1857, thewriter used this tragedy as an allegory to what Muslim extremists didon Sept. 11, 2001. Like so much of the junk coming from Hollywoodscreenwriters today, Carole Whang Schutter attempts to take anhistorical event and juxtapose it on today's society with laughableresults. To equate what a band of renegade Mormons did in southern Utahto what some fundamentalist Muslims did in New York is simplistic ifnot ludicrous. And to portray and equate all Mormons as wild-eyedterrorists is an evil equal to the massacre that occurred in 1857.Mormons that I know are good, honest, family people that would neverattack a wagon train or take the time out of their life to attackanother religion as the screenwriter have done in this laughable movie.Most Mormons are Christians in a the true sense of the word and mostare decidedly not "fundamentalist" at all but are mostly well educatedand are open to science and new ideas. Not many Christian faiths haveroom in their theology for theories of evolution or the existence ofdinosaurs in the creation of the Earth.On her website the writer, Carole Whang Schutter describes herself asan "evangelical Christian." She goes on to say, ". . . . In a worldwhere only 1.1% of all screenwriters ever get a movie made, Jesus gaveme a miracle. He turned me into a screenwriter and fulfilled a lifelongdream of being an author. Thank you, Jesus. What He did for me, He canand will do for you, if you never give up, and simply believe."Yeah right. Tear apart another religion so you can realize "yourdream." I sincerely hope not.
Religious fanatics exist everywhere: Mormons in 1857, Christians in theCrusades, Irish Catholics & Protestants, Muslim fundamentalists; notime in history has been without the fanatics, and they exist today.It has been said that more people have died in the name of religionthan in all the wars. It should be obvious that that is, on it's faceridiculous. However, the fact is that many people have been killed inreligious conflict as this case here that is documented in history. Thefact that it is true should not mean it is not to be told. The factthat is is a church involved should not give a pass. Death is death andbigotry is bigotry. We see both here in spades.Jon Voight and Terence Stamp portrayed the hatefulness of the fanaticsbetter than anyone I could imagine. Trent Ford was excellent as the sonwho could not accept that death was the answer. Tamara Hope was alsoexcellent as the "gentile" woman that Trent loved.The was a beautiful film about love and gentleness amidst evil andhate. It is nothing new, but it was done beautifully.
this move was very good the movie was historically correct,the basic storyline was just as my great great grandmother said it happend in a newspaper interview in 1875, she was one of the17 surviers of the massacre she was 4 at the time, i would recomend this movie to anyone.
"September Dawn" (2007) is a powerful and unforgettable film. Itdetails the long covered-up massacre at Mountain Meadows, Utah, onSeptember 11, 1857 where a group of Mormons murdered well over ahundred settlers traveling from Arizona to California. The settlersstopped in Utah to rest and resupply and the Mormons graciously allowedit. Unfortunately, in the ensuing days the decision was made toslaughter the settlers, likely due to paranoia over the brief "UtahWar" that was going on at the time (between the Feds and the Mormonsettlers in Utah) and also because of the Mormons' severe persecutionsback East in the 1830s-40s, which provoked them to seek sanctuary inUtah in 1847.Brigham Young was the president of the LDS denomination at the time andthe governor of Utah. Was he involved in the decision to slaughter theinnocent settlers? Although Mormon leaders deny this to this day it'svery probable for two reasons: (1.) As the LDS president and Utahgovernor it's unlikely that something of this magnitude would have beencarried out without Young's authorization; and (2.) the leader of theslaughter, John D. Lee Â the only man convicted and shot for themassacre Â was the adopted son of Brigham Young. The film theorizesthat the murderers took an oath of silence and that's why the massacrehas been covered-up by LDS officials to this day, although Lee admittedto being the scapegoat before his execution. Chew on that.The vibe of the film is very realistic, sort of like "Dances WithWolves," although not as compelling. For instance, the Paiute natives(whom the Mormons hoodwinked into participating in the initial assault)are very well done. The acting is convincing across the board. In thisregard "September Dawn" stands head & shoulders above roll-your-eyesWesterns of yesteryear.Perhaps the film has such an authentic vibe because it's based on thehistorical facts and is fair with them. For one, the film utilizesJuanita Brooks' book and others as sources, and they happen to be adevout Mormons. Secondly, the film reveals the valid reasons for theMormon's paranoia Â due to the Feds' harassment presently and alsoprevious persecutions back East, severe persecutions. Thirdly, the filmdetails a bizarre doctrine the Mormons adhered to Â "blood atonement" Âthat gave them the mentality that they were doing the settlers a favorby killing them (that is, the settlers would die to this temporal worldbut they'd be eternally blessed, or something to this effect).Some have criticized the film for adding a romantic subplot concerninga Mormon youth and a settler girl, but this is a typical Hollywoodtechnique, e.g. "Pearl Harbor," "Red Baron" and "Titanic." Othersobject to a Mormon youth cracking up after the massacre Â anotherpurely fictional addition Â but it makes sense that an unhardened youthwould lose his marbles, so to speak, after such a horrific undertakingand, again, it's portrayed in a convincing manner.Although the film takes place in Southwest Utah, it was filmed incentral Alberta, near Calgary.Bottom Line: The harsh criticism that's been dished on this film isridiculous and not even remotely accurate. Although it's sometimes ahard film to watch for obvious reasons, "September Dawn" is a worthymodern Western that dares to sneer at political correctness and tellthe truth, at least as far as can be done by the documented facts. Surethere's some fictionalization, but all movies based on historicalevents do this to some extent. I guarantee you that "September Dawn" isfar more historically accurate than heralded films like "Braveheart."Since the film is so well done I can only chalk up the ridiculouscriticism to intolerant liberal ideology. After all, the film dares toshow Christians in a positive light being led to the slaughterliterally by wacko non-Christian religious fanatics. Not that allMormons back then or today are wacko religious fanatics, not at all,but that group that murdered the innocent settlers definitely were, andthose who authorized it as well.GRADE: Borderline A- or B+
One of the most shocking episodes in American history and one that has been actively suppressed by the mormon church. I attended Utah schools; I took Utah History (and got an A), and I'd never even heard of the Mountain Meadow Massacre until I started to research mormon history on the internet.And lest you think that the writers exaggerated Brigham Young's rhetoric, you need to know that the writers took BY's statements straight from church records. He was an ego-maniac who approved of castration for recalitrant males and beheadings for females. He "married" brothers and sisters and reserved the right to "marry" fathers to daughters. He and his predecessor, Joseph Smith, make Warren Jeffs look like an amature piker in comparison. Both married children and other men's wives (the incident in the movie was common practice amongst the bretheren, who could take any woman they wanted) The movie went very easy on Brother Joseph, founder of the infamous Danites, who was in jail in Carthage because he ordered the destruction of a news paper that was revealing the truth about polygamy and the defilement of innocent women who were converted to mormonism and brought to Illinois for another purpose altogether (BTW, mormon defense of this on various blogs maintain that the destruction order was "legal" because it came from the city counsel!!!! Yes. Mormons are so deluded they believe that Old Joe and his coherts could legally circumvent the Constitution.)And wait until you see the "sacred" ceremony of the temple. It's as creepy as a Satanic ritual, naked blessings, blood oaths and all.I agree with another reviewer who believes it's time for the grave of these poor victims be owned by ANY entity other than the mormon church and that the families of the victims be allowed to mark the grave with the Christian symbols of their religion. (Mormons, you see, despise the cross and Brigham Young when visiting the site where the US Army had placed a cross on the cairn, Brigham pulled it out and threw it away. To this day, the victims of mormon "righteousness" are denied the dignity of their own religion.)See this movie. It's an accurate depiction of a despicable act, committed by religious zealots whose progeny still deny responsibility. And when mormons bemoan their so-called persecution in Illinois and Missouri, go look up the Mormon Wars. There are letters from the mormon's victims at the historical society in Illinois. This must be the only instance in history where the losers of a war were allowed to write its official history.
This review is from: September Dawn (DVD) September DawnChristopher Cain made a movie, but he failed to tell the whole truth in about every aspect. He fails to truly give the background to show why the Mormons had a right to feel intimidated, he failed to tell why Arkansas travelers were suspect, he failed to tell about the vile group at the back of the wagon train who threatened to return and kill all of the Mormons. His portrayal of Mormons was theatrical, not realistic, he indicated the Mormons were interested in the wealth of the wagon train, but history does not reveal this. Brigham Young did instill a fighting spirit, and that was the downfall of the Mormons who acted as they thought he might have wanted, but in reality he meant to spare the wagon train. It took two days to get messages back and forth, so the delay caused Lee to act on his feelings relative to the behavior of the rowdies in the wagon train. The movie has distorted the image of Mormons in general, and certainly the temple ceremonies and the way the way the priesthood handles itself in general. The two sons of the "bishop" were just plain morons. Having more than one wife had nothing to do with "keeping score," and the women were loved and taken care of. In reality, the wagon train travelers were killed because some of the "Indians" were white men in disguise, and when the travelers discovered this, it would have been "bad" if the news got out, so all of the witnesses had to be disposed of. It was a crime that jet went from bad to worse very quickly. Anyway, this movies' only tie to history is in the subject and not the specifics. It is simply anti-Mormon propaganda of the highest order.
This review is from: September Dawn (DVD) The movie was well done, for a movie. But again, I am more of a documentary fan (confederatepictures.yolasite.com., Confederate Pictures on FACEBOOK, and Captbeauregards channel on YOUTUBE) and the fake love story adds nothing to the event, at all. A more well-researched accurate film would have kept this from being another APOLLO 18 piece of fluff!
I kind of felt obligated to put the A plus down to counteract the plethora of Mormon agenda driven F's which are completely over the top. Giving low grades for historical inaccuracies for a work of fiction is silly. Now on the merits. Best qualities of the film are in the cinematography. I actually do give the movie an A for this. The acting is more on the B or B plus side. Yes I realize that the acting seemed over the top, but I attribute that more to the screenplay and the directing. It tends to happen even when you have great actors like Terrence Stamp and John Voight because they can only struggle with the material they are given. And so there you have the story which I would give a C plus and only then because of the interesting angle that it is loosely based on a real event (the massacre of the 120 odd men women and children). The portrayal of the Mormon characters are flat because in an effort to villify them the writers opted to go for the 2 dimensional stereotypical "evil" characters. A more talented screenwriter would have been able to make them despicable while imbuing them with more interesting character qualities. The direction too is a C plus. I got the feel that the actors were left to struggle with the script on their own rather than have the director helping at all. Overall I would give it a B minus.
A novel of forbidden love, fanatical beliefs, and forgiveness, "September Dawn" by Carole Whang Schutter is a story that will stay with you long after you've read the last page.Two nineteen-year-olds brought up with very different sets of beliefs fall in love, and nothing--not religion, not their families, not threat of danger--can keep them apart.Fifty years after the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the present day family sits down to retell the love story of Jonathan Samuelson and Emily Hudson. Jonathan is the son of a Mormon bishop, and Emily, the daughter of a Christian pastor. They are drawn together from the moment they meet, but suspicious and vengeful church leaders lead a massacre that forever separates the two lovers, and somewhere in the distant future, someone must learn to forgive what happened on that fatal day in September.Traveling through different periods of time was the most challenging part of reading "September Dawn". The story begins fifty years after the date of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but quickly goes back to two weeks before the massacre occured to show the reader how the people of the wagon train met up with the Mormons in Utah. The story continues to travel through time, going back and forth between present day and the two weeks the wagon train remained Utah, and moving further back in time to earlier dates important in Mormon Church history to provide the reader with a well-rounded idea of how the Church was formed and what led to the Mormons' distrust of the Gentiles. With all this backstory, it is easy to lose the true focus of the novel--which is the unfolding relationship between Jonathan and Emily. I believe this format is much better suited to the film version of this story where the visual aspect of events can help keep the viewer involved.Once the backstory was out of the way, "September Dawn" engaged me so deeply that I never wished to put it down. And the ending was so moving and unexpected, that I couldn't help but cry. Overall, this is an excellent read. As a lover of history, I enjoyed getting that full picture of what led up to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, but the parts I enjoyed most dealt with Jonathan and Emily's fierce love for one another that survived many years after the horrible events that separated them. With "September Dawn" Carole Whang Schutter brings you a love story that surpasses all odds and touches upon the power of forgiveness.
This review is from: September Dawn (DVD) Great movie. Though now that I live in Salt Lake City - it took me a while before I heard of it. I hope that it is getting more press/exposure outside of Utah. Important movie that should be seen.