The White Dawn

Theatrical Release: July 21, 1974
DVD Release: August 31, 2003
The White Dawn


Separated from their Arctic hunting party, three men (Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms and Louis Gossett Jr.) are saved from the bitter cold by Inuit natives. The newcomers introduce the tribe to the vices of civilized society — alcohol, womanizing, gambling and theft. At first intrigued, the natives soon realize their guests are corrupting their village. The film was shot in the Artic and maintains true Eskimo dialects for an authentic feel.

Dove Review

This movie is about a whale hunting expedition that turns bad and leaves several men stranded on Baffin Island in the Arctic Archipelago. The veteran actor Warren Oates heads up the actors and the story focuses on the Eskimos who at first embrace the stranded travelers, and do such things as allowing them to sleep with their wives. As time passes, they form a kind of brotherhood. However, the Eskimos begin to dislike certain things about the travelers and the question soon becomes: who is corrupting who?

It is regrettable for our Dove viewers that this film includes some graphic killing scenes of both animals and people, in addition to strong language, nudity, and the use of voodoo. We cannot recommend it for family viewing and are unable to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to the film.

Content Description

Sex: Tribal leaders let the stranded men sleep with their wives; a man places his hands on two women's rears; kissing; two women called wind witches kiss.
Language: GD-4; G/OMG-2; "Holy Mother of J"-1; D-11; "Da*n you"-1; "Da*nation"-1; B-4; A-2; H-14; "Hell hound"-1; SOB-1; Man calls another man a little imp of Satan; "You dummy" comment; A song with a line which says, "Put him in bed with the captain's daughter".
Violence: Dogs eat corpse with bloody results; a man dies from injury; a polar bear is stabbed several times and dies and blood is seen; a superstitious man stabs himself; a seal is harpooned and blood is seen; killed fowls are torn apart and eaten and blood is seen; the killing of a walrus which is very bloody; a man plans to use a knife to mark a woman; two men fight; a man is speared in the back and blood is seen in snow; others die.
Drugs: The drinking of alcohol.
Nudity: Bare breasts in a few scenes; nude dead male lying in snow; a woman's breasts are drawn on paper; a woman's thigh is exposed; shirtless man.
Other: Clothes are stolen; man eats what he thinks is soup but is actually blood; a shaman in the story gives advice; the use of voodoo; a bet for a knife or a woman; a man bets his second daughter; men argue and a boat is tipped over; several deaths in the movie; woman is found dead in snow; a man steals some of the dogs; some villagers grieve over men who are killed.


Company: Paramount Home Entertainment
Director: Philip Kaufman
Genre: Action
Runtime: 109 min.
Industry Rating: PG-13
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter