The Donner Party

Watch The Donner Party

"Survival lies within"
  • R
  • 2009
  • 1 hr 35 min
  • 5.0  (1,145)

The Donner Party is a 2009 movie that tells the real-life story of the ill-fated Donner Party, a group of pioneers who embarked on a journey from Springfield, Illinois to California in 1846. The movie follows the group as they make their way across the treacherous terrain of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, facing harsh weather conditions and dwindling supplies.

The group is led by George Donner (played by Crispin Glover), a wealthy farmer who is seeking a better life in California. Along with his wife Tamsen (Michele Santopietro) and their children, George joins a group of around 80 pioneers who are making the same journey. The group is also joined by James Reed (Clayne Crawford), a successful businessman who is traveling with his family.

As the group makes their way westward, they face a number of challenges. They are constantly slowed down by their wagons and the difficult terrain, and they soon find themselves running low on food and supplies. The group also has to contend with a number of illnesses and injuries, which further slow down their progress.

As the situation grows more dire, tensions begin to rise within the group. James Reed, in particular, clashes with George Donner over the best course of action. Reed argues that the group should take a shortcut through a rugged pass in order to save time, while Donner insists that they should stick to the established route.

Despite George Donner's objections, Reed and a small group of pioneers decide to take the shortcut. This decision proves to be disastrous, as the group becomes trapped in the mountains and is forced to endure a brutal winter without adequate food or shelter. As the situation grows more desperate, the pioneers are forced to resort to cannibalism in order to survive.

Throughout the movie, the focus is on the individual experiences of the different characters. There are several subplots that explore the relationships between the different pioneers, as well as their hopes and fears for the future. There is also a significant focus on the natural surroundings, with the cinematography emphasizing the stark beauty of the mountains and the harshness of the weather.

Overall, The Donner Party is a harrowing and unsettling movie that brings to life one of the most tragic events in American history. The performances are strong, particularly from Crispin Glover as the driven and increasingly desperate George Donner. The movie is unflinching in its depiction of the pioneers' struggles, and it is not for the faint of heart. However, for those with an interest in history or a fascination with survival stories, The Donner Party is definitely worth watching.

The Donner Party is a 2009 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 35 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.0.

The Donner Party
Where to Watch The Donner Party
The Donner Party is available to watch free on The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV and Vudu Free. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV and Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent The Donner Party for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 35 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.0  (1,145)