The Donner Party: A Film by Ric Burns

 (399)
8.41 h 23 min1992NR
Trapped in the Sierra Nevadas during the bitter winter of 1846, an untried shortcut became a death warrant for half of the Donner and Reed families as they became victims of madness, death and cannibalism.
Directors
Ric Burns
Starring
Amy MadiganDavid McCulloughGene Jones
Genres
Documentary
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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More details

Supporting actors
J.D. CannonTimothy Hutton
Producers
Ric BurnsLisa AdesMark Samels
Studio
PBS
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

399 global ratings

  1. 68% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 15% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 10% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on July 22, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great documentary.
Verified purchase
I watched this more than once. Is a tragic and heroic story of a true event. Loved the narrator too.
ZechReviewed in the United States on July 29, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Couldn't stop watching!
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This documentary was wonderfully done. True story of hardship in America and I couldn't stop watching once it started. Truly enjoyed this.
AugustReviewed in the United States on January 22, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great documentary with spectacular pacing
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Kept my attention the whole time, both when I started it as background music while I was working and then at home the next day during the weekend when I had to finish it. What an 8 year old, honestly.
BegbyReviewed in the United States on November 6, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Solid, if conventional, documentary
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The growing sense of dread and the devastated realization of having made a series of disastrous mistakes fuels this account of the infamous voyage. Recommended for that alone; the conventional approach at times slows progression of the film but in a way that works, mimicking the simultaneously mundane and depleted journey itself. That anyone survived this peril is amazing; that some resorted to cannibalism to do so is, in the final account, less heinous than it is pragmatic.
3 people found this helpful
DovelyReviewed in the United States on December 9, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
Survival by any means
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What a fantastic and tragic story.
phillip krikorianReviewed in the United States on September 2, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
history is great
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anything about history is great and ken burns does it the best ! watch over and over and learn
Laugh and laufReviewed in the United States on January 11, 2022
5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent!
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Excellent!
DarleneReviewed in the United States on May 12, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Disturbing story
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I heard about the Donner Party. What a sad story.
One person found this helpful
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