MovieChat Forums > The White Dawn (1974) Discussion > Who else loved this film?

Who else loved this film?


I just saw this for the first time. For our ADD-driven culture, of course it's a bore. It's about real life - bonding with your community, going through ups and downs, fighting for survival. All of the white men realize this at some point or another, but their upbringing and stubbornness still lead them astray. I really don't think the Inuits or the white men are to blame for the fatal demise of this story, but it is a film worth seeing. I loved it! One more thing -- whay does the description say that the white men introduced "their own kind of sex"? The Inuits already shared sex freely, so I don't get it. I'm thinking it refers to Billy taking the head man's daughters in that little gambling scene. (that was *beep* up, but that's another story).
Any thoughts?

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I saw this film probably 20 years ago with my mom, at the UC Theater in Berkeley. I remembered how captivated I was with it so I got it from Netflix and am just as captivated with it now as I was then.

One thing that I think is both sad and poignant is that most of the Inuit actors in the film have this film as there one and only credit. The woman who played Neevee, her name is given as Pilitak. It haunts me that such a lovely person could give so much presence, and then vanish without another trace from what has become our "ADD-driven culture". Wherever she or the rest of them are, I hope they are well.

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Saw recently from NetFlix..great movie. There is another one out there but they used Athony Quinn in the lead called Savage Innocents. Other than using a non Innuit this was pretty accurate. There is another one out there based on an Innuit legend. Boy watching this movie I feel cold the entire time. Played entirely by Innuits and captioned this is a must see as well. It is called The Fast Runner...check it out here:http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/199075/moviemain.jhtml

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This IS a great film and watching it I was amazed it hasn't garnered the kind of critical following it deserves. Sure, it falls somewhere between the genres of Nanook of the North and A Man Called Horse -- but those are very different categories, and White Dawn encompasses the best of both.

One explanation for its lack of exposure could be that it disappoints viewers who "expect" something in particular, i.e. a sweeping North American epic along the lines of Dances With Wolves, or something. Kaufman clearly had something more intimate in mind.

A tragic historical documentary? A documentary historical tragedy? A study in the insurmountable obstacles of tribalism among humans (a theme Kaufman returned to more famously four years later with Invasion of the Body Snatchers)?

This one may be shelved in the "action adventure" section, but its real appeal will be to moviegoers with an eye for detail and a feel for the nuances of human relationships.




I am in a blissful state, so don't bug me.

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One thing that I think is both sad and poignant is that most of the Inuit actors in the film have this film as there one and only credit.


I thought I remebered hearing that they were actually inuit and went about the rest of there lives after shooting.

Old Ideas are Never the way of the Future; Unless they Adapt with the Times.

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I do! Saw it during Summer 1974 in an almost-empty Los Angeles theatre. It's another sad case: close to 35 years now and only 228 IMDb votes, despite a DVD release several years ago. (One more reason for this picture's obscurity is the truth that several Arctic-set Hollywood films have seen a summer release, from distributors apparently deluded into thinking that audiences would seek them out as some kind of "counterprogramming" to hot weather.)

THE WHITE DAWN is both beautifully spiritual, sensitive and, despite its harsh physical environment, a deeply sensual film. Experience taught me long ago that many of the best -- and MOST of the truly different -- movies will go widely underappreciated. So it remains for us who champion these unknown treasures to get them revealed to the other receptive folks out there.

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Not even critics that are die hard Warren Oates or Kaufman fans ever bring up this movie for some reason. Kaufman obviously holds the film in high regard since he dominates the bonus features on the dvd. Animal lovers or card carrying PETA members might want to take a pass on it though, lol.

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One of the Great Un-Discovered (by-Many) Classics !!!

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Yup great movie, the "their own kind of sex" thing I think refers to the kissing part,inuits don't kiss.

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Absolutely FANTASTIC unknown masterpiece!

Movie-lovers who appreciate great daventure-movies/clash-of-cultures-movies/people-in-extreme-situations-movies should also take a look at SANDS OF THE KALAHARI, a compareable achievement!

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I saw this at the Couchville Lake Film Festival in Tennessee and thought it was a beautiful piece of work. As a big fan of Warren Oates, I was surprised I'd never seen it---or even heard about it. The filmmakers do a wonderful job of creating a sense of place. Loved Henry Mancini's score, too.

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Great film. I remember the ending especially and how I did not see it coming. Pretty upsetting as I recall. But, typical high-quality work from Kauffman.

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Loved the movie. It ended a bit abruptly but no biggie. This is definitely a throwback movie that would never be made these days.

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I just watched this movie over the weekend for the first time and was blown away by it. I should have known since I have always been a Philip Kaufman fan that I would enjoy it. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. Loved the ending.

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It is a classic. It's grim, and dark (despite the title) and very very honest. It's not a film that is going to cheer you up, but it will grip you and perhaps teach you something worth knowing in these dangerous days.

Fortytwo? FortyTwo? what sort of puerile, pathetic, stupid answer is that? Everyone knows it's 43.

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I had never heard of this film until I caught it on MOVIES! which is fast becoming the channel of choice for hard to find and rare films. Along with 'Black Robe', I found it to be utterly fascinating and could watch it over and over. I was surprised by some things, e.g. the interior height of the igloo, which I had always thought were crawl spaces, and the height of the sun in what appeared to be a twilight scene. Still, the magnificent scenery more than made up for any possible flaws. For anyone who enjoyed this film I can recommend a book called "The Greenlanders" by Jane Smiley which is about the medieaval Norse settlement in Greenland, which ultimately failed due to the climate getting colder and the settlers rejection of the native way of life and inability to adapt and learn skills which would have kept them alive.

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