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Meek's Cutoff (2010)

November 4th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · 2 Comments · 2000's, Oregon film, Oregon film new definition, Oregon film old definition, Oregon location (primary), Oregon producer, Oregonians as inspiration, Westerns


An Indian came to us, pointed out the course to [The Dalles] to which he said it was 5 days journey, and so far from refusing to follow the advise of the Indian, at my request he was employed by Mr. Meek to pilot us to Crooked River, which he did for a blanket. Solomon Tetherow, 1845 pioneer

Kelly Reichardt, Jon Raymond and Neil Kopp tell the story of a wagon train which misplaced itself in Central Oregon. This upcoming film just wrapped production in Harney County. Paul Dano and Michelle Williams star.

Willamette Week let the cat out of the bag:

Meek’s Cutoff … is based on the true story of an ill-fated wagon train that attempted a shortcut on the Oregon Trail……the tale includes starvation, a legendary lost gold mine and a Native American scout who might or might not be inclined to save the day. Neil Kopp confirmed that the screenplay, written by Portland’s Jon Raymond, is “loosely based on Stephen Meek…who basically becomes lost.”

Shot in Oregon, based on real life Oregonians, written by an Oregonian, produced by an Oregonian – not hard to preemptively declare Meek’s Cutoff as an Oregon film.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom Watts // Jan 17, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I have read, and reread, the book “Terrible Trail: Meeks Cutoff 1845. It is a fascinating and compelling struggle to survive. I have been to Wagontire mountain, at Lost Creek, and found a rock wall of stacked rocks. It was a eerily beautiful region. It is hot by day, with hard frosts at night, even in August.

  • 2 talltalestruetales // Jan 18, 2010 at 12:07 am

    One of Oregon’s more cinematic landscapes! I’ve driven through it only once. I hope this film shows us what it looks like by moonlight.

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