The White Dawn

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The White Dawn
The White Dawn 1974.jpg
Directed by Philip Kaufman
Produced by Martin Ransohoff
Written by novel James Houston
Martin Ransohoff
James Houston
Thomas Rickman
Starring Warren Oates
Timothy Bottoms
Louis Gossett Jr.
Music by Henry Mancini
Cinematography Michael Chapman
Edited by Douglas Stewart
American Film Properties
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
21 July 1974 (New York City, New York)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The White Dawn is a 1974 Canadian/American film, released in 1974, directed by Philip Kaufman and starring Warren Oates, Timothy Bottoms, and Louis Gossett, Jr. It portrays the conflict between aboriginal peoples' traditional way of life and Europeans' eagerness to take advantage of them. The film employs authentic Inuit dialect, which adds to the overall realism. It is based on the 1971 novel, The White Dawn: An Eskimo Saga, by James Archibald Houston, who co-wrote the screenplay.


When three whalers become stranded in Northern Canada’s Arctic in 1896, they are rescued by Inuit. In the beginning, the Inuit accept the strangers' European ways, but as this increasingly influences and affects their customs, things slowly fall apart and cultural tension grows until the climax.


  • Warren Oates – Billy
  • Timothy Bottoms – Daggett
  • Louis Gossett, Jr. – Portagee
  • Joanasie Salomonie – Kangiak
  • Pilitak – Neevee
  • Simonie Kopapik – Sarkak / Sark
  • Akshooyooliak – Old Mother
  • Namonai Ashoona – Nowya
  • Atcheelak – Hunters
  • Higa Ipeelie – Evaloo
  • Oolipika Joamie – Mia
  • Meetook Mallee – Ikuma
  • Neelak – Panee
  • Seemee Nookiguak – Avinga
  • Jacob Partridge – Archer
  • Sagiaktok – Shaman

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