The White Dawn (1974) - Rotten Tomatoes

The White Dawn (1974)

The White Dawn





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The White Dawn Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Director Philip Kaufman took his production of Eskimo life to actual locations in the Arctic Circle, making it only the third film in history (after Nanook of the North and Eskimo) to shoot there. Kaufman also employs authentic Eskimo dialect in the film, which adds a heightened bit of realism. The story concerns three whalers -- Billy (Warren Oates), Daggett (Timothy Bottoms), and Portagee (Louis Gossett Jr.) -- who becomes stranded in the Arctic Circle and are rescued by a tribe of Eskimos. Living in the Eskimo village, the three men introduce the chief vices of their civilization -- gambling, thievery, and Western-style sex -- to the isolated Eskimo village. At first the natives put up with the behavior of the Westerners, but as their ways begin to encroach upon the traditional Eskimo customs, the villagers begin to resist the three men's habits. A clash of cultures results.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Martin Ransohoff, Tom Rickman, James Houston
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 30, 2004
Paramount Pictures


as Neevee
as Shaman
Munamee Sako
as Sowaiapik
Pitseolala Kili
as Sowaiapik's Wife
as Dirty Boy
as Old Mother
as Panee
as Hunter
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The White Dawn

Critic Reviews for The White Dawn

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (3)

Full Review… | July 10, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

One of those unforgettable film experiences where everything — cinematography, music, acting — coheres in a unified and rewarding work of art

Full Review… | January 18, 2004
Spirituality and Practice

August 15, 2005

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Audience Reviews for The White Dawn


Think of it as a darker, colder version of 'Dances with Wolves'. White Dawn takes us to the other side of the world to tell a story of a group of Americans sailors who slowly corrupt the isolated Inuit community that has rescued them. It's a lost film that should be rediscovered

★★★ (out of four)

Not a great film, but an earnest one. It shows us a world in all its bleakness that we don't often get to see. I got cold just watching it!

Louis Gossett Jr, Warren Oates, and Timothy Bottoms play three whalers who run into trouble while on a fishing trip. they become trapped in the Artic Circle with their chances of survival dwindling.

They are rescued by a tribe of Eskimos. They live in the village, but it soon becomes a clash of cultures as the three men introduce many worldly things to the Eskimos including gambling, stealing, and strange sexual behavior. The tribe finally rebels against them.

Fascinating and disturbing with some very uncomfortable realism.


Steve Smith

Awesome postcards from the edge of the world. Nanooks are indistinguishable from each other, making them a mass of furry humanity without character. Tall americans bumble around. Oates is good.

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