User Reviews (19)

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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Having always been a big fan of Westerns I saw this listed and after reading the cast thought it might be an OK watch even though it got a low score on here.

    Low scores seem to be becoming a standard on here for any movie that doesn't have lots of action and explosions.

    Christian Slater can be very hit and miss with his movies and Donald Sutherland is getting a bit past it and now only plays bit parts, but I still thought this was worth a watch. I hadn't seen any of Jill Hennessy's work before but after watching this now will be having a look at Jordans Crossing.

    This follows the tried and true formula of a lot of westerns in the past with man hunts and revenge and a bit of humour thrown in here and there.

    Without giving the plot away completely a son (Christian Slater) comes home to his home town and his father gets murdered in a robbery. The son get wounded in the robbery as well and is nursed back to health by an old friend (Jill Hennessy), who just happens to be the sister of one of the robbers.

    The son, is also an ex Pinkerton detective and on the run from a dubious character (Sutherland) and he decides to try to find his fathers killers.

    Some of the gunfights are a bit farcical and they are not very good shots but overall the movie is quite entertaining and mostly moves at a good pace with a few slow spots. 6/10 for me.
  • This movie is good in the way a Steve Austin action movie can be good if you know what to expect. It feels like a parody of a western because all the stereotypical elements are there but it treats itself seriously. That's why some will like it and others completely hate it so it makes it difficult to recommend to anyone.

    I personally found the clothes and sets a little distracting because everything felt slightly wrong for pre-1900. The low budget probably limited what could be custom made so you just have to overlook it. The music was also wrong in a few places, some points have an almost comical tone and don't match the situation.

    If you are the type to get bothered by details then this movie would be difficult to get through, otherwise it's a good average western themed movie. I just don't consider it a good western.
  • "Dawn Rider" is a remake of a John Wayne "B" western of the 1930s. The original version ran only about fifty-three minutes, while this remake runs an additional forty minutes - which happens to be one of the big problems. There isn't enough story here to justify a ninety-three minute running time, so frequently the movie runs at a VERY slow speed. But there are other problems with the movie. The movie is also quite dull, and while there are several action sequences, they are very unexciting. While Christian Slater has given some fine performances in the past, he's hopeless here, the last person you would consider being a hardened gunfighter despite not shaving for several days. Donald Sutherland only appears in five brief scenes, indicating he was only hired for a few days so that the movie would qualify for Canadian content rules. The production values are okay, and there are a few well-photographed sequences, but that's not enough to make the movie appealing to even western addicts like myself.
  • dallasryan16 February 2015
    What can you say, this movie is what it is. I think the movie's budget went to paying all of the top 4 actors their salary. I must say Jill Hennessy still looks great and she was the best thing about this movie. What's up with the town they live in though? There's only like 10 people that live in this town. They couldn't hire 20 more extras? Gee whiz lol. I mean, Mason couldn't figure out out of the 10 people that lived in the town who the bad guy/guys were from the beginning? Again, I think the budget went to the salaries of the actors.

    I loved Christian Slater's early work with True Romance, and Pump up the Volume, but he hasn't been able to play adult roles very well. He never was able to make that transition convincingly. If you want a good laugh though, check this film out.
  • "When my father died he was trying to tell me something, Dos Equis." When fugitive John Mason's (Slater) father is killed by a group of masked bandits he decides to hunt them down and get his revenge. Things get complicated when he realizes that the bandits are closer to home then he thought. I have said a few times now that I don't know what happened to the western genre. After "Dances With Wolves", "Tombstone" and "Open Range" the genre seemed to fall off drastically and is now limited to very low budget cheesy made-for-TV movie type movies. I was looking forward to this one mainly because of the cast. I thought finally a descent western that I will like. While this is a great many times better then 90% if the recent contributions, this felt the same as the rest. This could have easily been another made-for-TV movie if not for the cast. Nothing really original and this is not the return of the great westerns I was hoping for but this is easily one of the better ones in recent memory. Which isn't really saying that much I know. Overall, worth watching and entertaining but it is a little slow and still a B-rate western. I give it a B-.
  • devosurf3 June 2012
    I'm a big fan of westerns and have been since my childhood in the 60's. This is perhaps the worst western i've ever seen. It had such promise, Christian Slater and Donald Southerland are two actors I've always enjoyed. I sought this film out because they're in it, what a walloping disappointment! Stupid plot, flat acting, ridiculous inconsistencies, modern dialogue far removed from period correct, empty characters, the list of bad qualities goes on. The entire production is really lousy. There are giant holes in the story line that get filled with the kind of convenience elements a high school level writer would utilize. i tried really hard to care about any of the characters but they were so thin that there wasn't anything to care about. Phoned in performances from Southerland and Slater were a huge disappointment.
  • In this day and age when the genera of the true Western movie is becoming a rarity, it's difficult to see any which are memorable. Some good examples are 'High Plains Drifter, The Wild Bunch and Unforgiven' where a gunman is remorseful of his past. To that group is this new addition called " Dawn Rider." Growing up I remember the same title on another movie, but nothing as memorable as this offering. Director Terry Miles who also co-wrote the story relates the western tale of a man (Christian Slater) who returns home to his father who unfortunately is killed in a hold-up. His son, being a former Pinkerton detective, silently ponders who might have been responsible. At the same time the son is tracked by a shadowy, but persistent lawman (Donald Sutherland) and his posse who have an outstanding though dubious arrest warrant for him. In addition, the rider has set his eyes on a woman (Jill Hennenssy) who becomes a nurse and friend to him, unaware she is set to marry another man. The rider has a persistent problem in that a group of cowboys in white masks is making themselves known as a ruthless band of killer robbers who are planning for their final confrontation with the law, while the rider remains vaguely unaware how close the danger really is. The movie appears to have been hewn from an authentic western photograph. Indeed, the rustic town is rough-cut, thread bear with all the black and white images of early Americanna, complete with colorful names for the citizens and multiple uses of buildings. The movie itself is believable in mannerism, costumes and even dialog. Slater does well to carry the film to it's inevitable conclusion with Donald Suttherland giving a convincing performance with a surprise ending. Excellent Film. Recommended. ****
  • deloudelouvain19 February 2015
    When I saw the cast I thought I was going to be in for a good western even though the score was pretty low on IMDd. But in the past I saw movies that I liked that ranked low here so I thought I give it a try. Well this time the IMDb ranking was spot on. This western is not really worth watching unless you are bored and have absolutely nothing else to do. If the budget was 5 million it for sure went just to the actors because they didn't spend much on anything else. Another western where there are only like 10 people living in a town. Could you really not afford some extras as bystanders? The plot was also very predictable, what made it quite dull. I was glad when the movie ended and won't watch it again.
  • Jill Henessey is looking old, as is Sutherland, because he is. Slaters constant drinking, smoking and quotes got old fast. Henessey as an Annie Oakley wanna be, finally gets a chance to use the gun she keeps displaying to shoot her worthless criminal brother and doesn't. Why in the world didn't any of the fools who saw the masked marauders during the day put two and two together on their clothes and hats? They looked the same in town except no masks. Even in those days, you didn't just pull the badge off a dead man and become his replacement. A bounty hunter who is also a US Marshal is tracking a man who cheated at cards in a Mexico prison resulting in the death of one prisoner and the release of another for a family that wants revenge. Wow, talk about a reach. The only thing I find mildly good about this is the ending. Everything from opening credits to that point was a waste of time.
  • This was a remarkably well done western with class performances by Christian Slater and Donald Sutherland as well as the rest of the cast. The authenticity of the era the movie represents is excellent. The plot is involving and complex with well thought out character development. No canned music or banal stereotypes, typical in such movies as The Quick and the Dead. I found the movie thoroughly enjoyable, with a moderately paced action and well done action scenes. The music enhanced the plot without manipulating the viewers emotions. The hero/villain roles are complex.If you like Westerns, this movie is definitely worth watching.
  • terrible western screenplay with lousy storyline and deadbeat plot, bad directing and bad acting. this western should not be made into production because it's worthless. pretentiously tried very hard to be cool but turned out to be so hollow. first, we got a close up of the guy urinated with a projectile urine line in the very beginning when it showed 'Dakota Territory, 1883", then we heard the title song kept singing in the background, then the song went on vaguely, then when the so-called 'Cincinnati Kid' open the door, the volume of the song suddenly became louder. well, did you see what wrong with such stupid arrangement? no? well, let me to tell you: it's like that there's a phonograph (record player) playing the album inside, the volume was blocked by the door, so when the door was opened, the volume suddenly came out of the opening; such arrangement of directing was just....!@#$! then the guy kept drinking out of a bottle, then three bounty hunters came and sneaked up, two of the low-level no-brains started shoot at the cabin built with lumbers, they shot the door, the glass windows...and the leader said when the shoots ended: "alive worth $500 more....now you killed him". give me a break, will you? shooting at a lumber/timber cabin from afar thru the windows and the door would kill the target? and later when the so-called Cincinnati drinker/drunk came to town, he found the robbers in front the post office then he started shooting WITH HIS TWO GUNS at very close range, his shootings were so lame, the way he held his guns was so funny, and his two guns kept shooting, at such close distance, his double guns....? well, i just can't go on to tell you how bad this movie is
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Hollywood has all but forsaken westerns. Typically, the sagebrushers that are produced turn out lame. "Recoil" director Terry Miles and "Knockout" scenarists Eric Jacobs and Joseph Nasser prove the exception to the rule with their above-average remake of the vintage John Wayne B-movie western "The Dawn Rider." The Wayne oater was a remake of director Lloyd Nosler's oater "Galloping Thru" (1931) with Tom Tyler. As it turns out, "Dawn Rider" is the second time that "The Dawn Rider" has been remade; director George Waggner's "Western Trails" (1938) preceded it as the first remake of "The Dawn Rider." In their remake, Miles and his scribes have opened up the action considerably and supplemented the narrative with greater depth as well as length. The original ran a scant 53 minutes compared with the second remake at 94 minutes. Mind you, Christian Slater couldn't fill John Wayne's boots, but he makes a credible western hero in his own right. Donald Sutherland co-stars as a heavily-bearded, bulletproof lawman on our protagonist's trail. No lawman pursued Wayne in director Ray N. Bradbury's 1935 original. Indeed, the Sutherland character recalls the sheriff that Harry Carey, Sr., portrayed in a later Wayne horse opera "Angel and the Badman." According to Miles, he appropriated the indefatigable lawman figure from another of his own screenplays. Lochlyn Munro makes a good villain, while Jill Hennessy emerges as our hero's romantic partner. She isn't relegated to the periphery. She brandishes a revolver and holds her own against the guys. The production values are sturdy, and the cast looks seasoned as well as believable. Miles stages the shoot-outs with reasonable flair, but this oater doesn't break any ground, except casting Slater as a western hero. The villain resorts to a life of crime to pay off a bill involving ownership of a ranch. The hardware appears authentic enough, with cap and ball pistols sometimes substituting for cartridge carrying sidearms. Although it won't win any Oscars, "Dawn Rider" ranks as one of the better westerns to trot across the screen.

    "Dawn Rider" opens as John Mason (Christian Slater of "True Romance") urinates in the woods and then checks the cherry tomatoes in his garden. Mason marks an X through October 13 on a calendar. He has been holed up in the cabin for over three months. Later, U.S. Marshal Cochrane (Donald Sutherland of "M.A.S.H.") and two trigger-happy gunmen ride up and cut loose with a barrage of rifle-fire. Cochrane reprimands them for shooting indiscriminately into the cabin. He stands to lose a $500 bonus if he doesn't bring Mason in alive. When they storm the cabin, these fellows hear an explosion, and trapdoor in the floor shudders as Mason makes his escape through a tunnel without injury. Meantime, in Sarsaparilla, Wyoming, a gang of outlaws wearing flour sacks as masks shoot it out in broad daylight, kill a marshal, and steal a bag that contains only mail but no money. Rudd Gordon (Lochlyn Munro of "Recoil") is desperate to round up $5000 to pay the debt on the ranch he owes to the Standard Rail Company. Rudd's sister Alice (Jill Hennessy of "Wild Hogs") lives with him. Mind you, Alice has no idea that her brother is a desperado.

    Miles and his scenarists have changed quite a bit from the John Wayne version of "Dawn Rider." Not only does Mason have a reputation as a gunslinger from Cincinnati, but he has also spent time in a Mexican prison. The John Wayne protagonist in the 1935 version was lily-white pure. Miles' remake preserves the plot device involving McClure's ring, but adds the complication that drives Rudd to crime to pay off his debt. Alice and Mason are old friends, too, unlike the couple in the Wayne original. She sleeps with a revolver stashed under her pillow. This plot device is introduced right after she nurses Mason and paid off later when one of Rudd's gunman tries to rape her. "Dawn Rider" benefits from fresh scenery, enough shoot-outs, and a twist at the end involving the shooting of Cochrane.
  • leroylem4 December 2012
    I've seen about eighty percent of all westerns made and this remake of John Wayne s "Dawn Rider" has a whole different feel... First of all, the good guy's don't ride white horses or wear those ten gallon Stetsons... Next the plot line was different, yet all fit together in the end all the loose end where tied up and had a good feel to it. The beginning of a movie is best reinforced by the ending; like connections in real life. Also, Slater and rest of the cast seemed genuine in their parts,just enough to bring credibility to their acting skills... Last of all, this is a story of redemption for those who have changed their ways and that's not a bad message within a plot! The beautiful thing about a low budget western like "Dawn Rider" is that the story can be told without a lot special effects, making "Dawn Rider" a very human nature based film for real.
  • timullett11 December 2018
    Character development was poor. Act wasn't good. But it was a western, guess they thought it wouldn't matter. A few f-bombs thrown in for good measure.
  • garymg25 August 2018
    It's better than watching golf, pro football or commercials. Beyond this, the movie is weak-uneven acting and cliche ploys.
  • In 1883 in Dakota Territory, a bounty hunter named Cochrane is chasing after Cincinnati John Mason ("I've never been to Cincinnati", Mason frequently tells people). We later learn three men died because of him and while they might not have had high moral standards, Cochrane says, "The law is the law." Mason was also connected with the death of a prisoner in Mexico whose family wanted justice; someone was told to release one or the other, and Mason was released. Mason may have killed people for The Pinkertons. He does admit to having been a Texas ranger.

    A gang wearing masks robs the mail in Wyoming and several people on both sides are shot.

    At a card game in Montana, Mason has three aces while the other man has three kings. I'm not clear on who was cheating but a number of guns are drawn and Mason needs to get out of town. He meets Ben McClure at a campfire.

    In Promise, Wyoming, Mason meets up with his father who is not happy to see him. He also meets up with Alice who is attractive, intelligent and tough, and very happy to see him. However, Ben McClure wants to marry her. This becomes a problem later. Alice seems to be the closest thing Promise has to a doctor, though maybe we just don't see the doctor in the movie.

    Alice's brother Rodd is about to lose the family ranch, and he is prepared to do anything. He even considers the ranch more important than his sister. Rodd needs $5000, and money like that is hard to get legally. Mason says he doesn't do that any more.

    The masked gang shows up again. At least I assume it is them. They wear the same masks. The only way to be sure is that some, or maybe all, have double X on their shoulder. We are told this is the first time someone has died.

    There are railway workers who are getting paid more now than they used to. Someone has to deliver the money, and Ben and Mason volunteer to do the job at different times. Each time there is a problem. We can't really be sure what Mason's intentions are. Meanwhile, Cochrane finally catches up with Mason.

    This is a standard Western, with nothing particularly special except that it's never clear just who the good guys are and who the bad guys are. There's lots of fightin' and shootin' and not too much blood. Several people die but most of them we didn't really know.

    Donald Sutherland gives one of the standout performances, but doesn't he always?

    Jill Hennessy also does a great job.

    This was cleaned up for TV. One word network TV doesn't tend to allow did slip through, but a number of other words got bleeped. A lot of them. Cleaned up, it's probably no worse than most Westerns, but not as clean as the family-friendly Westerns of the distant past.

    I just watched this because it was on. You might like it if you like Westerns.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    1883. Montana, Wyoming, Dakotas.

    Christian Slater stars as "Cincinnati" John Mason, a man wanted for murder in Missouri. Donald Sutherland plays a marshal hunting him down. Meanwhile, there is a group of hooded bandits robbing stage coaches and the mail. We, the audience, know the identity of the bandits, while John tries to figure it out because they shot and killed his father. John has a love interest in Alice (Jill Hennessy) and whiskey.

    The movie is supposed to be a remake of the 1935 John Wayne film, which somehow I missed. I found Slater to lack the charisma and toughness to play a cowboy. While not terrible, he was unconvincing. The soundtrack was cowboy cliche with all the bells and whistles (literally) that we have come to watch in modern spoofs. The movie has slow moving sequences of long drawn out dialouge with frequent pauses for the characters to take a long breath or a swig of whiskey. Once the film gets about half way through it picks up and even had some decent scenes.

    If you looking for a western to download off Amazon, this one beats out "Hells Fury" and "Hell at my Heels" by a long shot.

    F-bomb, no sex, no nudity. Two adults in bed after sex.
  • Lately John Wayne films have been getting lots of remakes. Offhand I've seen remakes for Stagecoach, The Alamo, The Sons Of Katie Elder, The Angel And The Badman, True Grit and now a film from his early B western period, Dawn Rider. John Wayne was one of a kind, no one should expect to emulate him. But Christian Slater, you shouldn't have tried.

    Several of the plot elements are the same and Slater and the rest of the cast use the same character names, but there's no way unless you were a John Wayne fan you could possibly guess this was a remake of one of his films.

    Slater, a man of some notoriety in the west comes home to visit his father who runs the local Express company office in his town and shortly afterward is there when his father is killed in a robbery attempt. It's a quest for vengeance after that and the killer is closer to him than he thinks.

    One new element that was introduced was Donald Sutherland as a bounty hunter also after Slater. His character seemed to superfluous in a way. But this remake is certainly not a true remake of the Lone Star western the Duke did in his B western period where the good guys and bad guys were fairly obvious. Then again that western was for the Saturday matinée kid's trade in 1935.

    Slater is an actor who specializes in quirky and sometime unstable characters. John Wayne's boots were too big to fill.
  • Using most of the character names as was used in the original Tom Tyler film (Monogram) and the remakes starring John Wayne (Lone Star-Monogram) and Bob Baker (Uinversal), it would appear that such an outright theft should have also been noted when the writing credits appear on this film...but try as I may I fail to find one line on any frame of this film that mention this film was base on an original story and screenplay by Wellyn Totman, and also on subsequent screenplays by Robert N. Bradbury and George Waggner. Evidently, the use of previously-written copyrighted material, without crediting any of the original story or screenplay writers is no problem in Canada. A simple based-upon-by nod would have been honest, at least.