Meek's Cutoff

Synopsis: The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon team of three families has hired the mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a short cut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants must face the scourges of hunger, thirst and their own lack of faith in each other's instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven himself unreliable and a man who has always been seen as the natural enemy.
Genre: Drama, Western
Director(s): Kelly Reichardt
Production: Oscilloscope Pictures
  7 wins & 11 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
104 min


What was the verdict?

We give

a few more days.

We never should have

left the main stem.

[Crickets Chirping]

Good morning,



Workin' like niggers

once again.


Maybe we're back

on known ground.

Oh, he was


Everyone has

some luck sometimes.

[Wagon Wheels




[Squeaking Continues]


Come on.

[Emily's Husband]

Made 10 miles today.

I'd say this is

the best shelter we've had

since morning.

The wind's not gonna

be kind tonight.

[Man #1]

It's early yet.

[Emily's Husband]

We won't push too hard.

[Man #1]

I say we keep on.

The going is easy

in these parts,

and we should make

the most of this ground

while we can.

[Man #2]

Seems to be more shelter

up ahead.


Well, I'd be careful now.

This country'll

play tricks on you.

That piece you see out there

might be [Swallows Water]

A whole lot farther

than you think.

Guarantee it.

How far

would you say?

I wouldn't say.

I just know it'll be

farther than I think.

The thinness of the air

makes everything look

closer than it is.

There could be water



Possible, I reckon.

I say we keep on.

I think

I would agree.

All right.

Keep moving.

[Wheels Squeaking]





[Horse Blustering]


Come ho.


Well, we'll have

to water the animals

from our own supply tonight.

Can't go without

after a day like this.

Should've taken on more

at the river.



You need to eat.

You've been working

all day.

I'm fine for now.



Good evening,

Mrs. Tetherow.

Mr. White.

Uh, Glory, I brought

some bread to share.

That's much appreciated,


It's my pleasure.

I-I-I have stew too,

if you'd like it.

I know you would.


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Jonathan Raymond

Jonathan Raymond is an American writer living in Portland, Oregon. He is best known for writing the novels The Half-Life and Rain Dragon, and for writing the short stories and screenplays for the films Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy (both directed by Kelly Reichardt). He also wrote the screenplays for Meek's Cutoff and Night Moves, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for his teleplay writing on the HBO miniseries, Mildred Pierce. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Meek's Cutoff" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 7 Mar. 2021. <'s_cutoff_13582>.

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