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

No, this is enough.

Thank you.



It's like my feet

have gloves,

like I can

I can handle the ground

that I'm walking on.

I feel the sand.

I feel the dirt.

I feel the gravel.

I never slip. I never

I don't I never stumble.

I can follow

a trail in the dark

and never stray off the path.

I live with this world.

I'm not just in it,

is what I'm sayin'.

But to answer your question,

Gately, the beaver,

they're played out.

That's the truth.

That market's done and gone.

There's no fortune

to be had there anymore.

Your man Astor got it all.

[Man] We should have

made the trip earlier.

Waited too long.

No, you know, there

there are plenty of fortunes

to be had.

I mean, the beaver, that's a

That's just the first gift

of this land. You mark my words.

Will the territory

go American? That's

what I want to know.

Well, in my...

in my opinion, I-

Well, you know, it depends.

It depends on the fight...

in the Americans,

and in the English,

and in the Indians.

I'm led to believe

there's 250 Americans

in Oregon country.

There's seven more argonauts

comin' in a few weeks.

Maybe that'll tip the scales.

Where would you



Willamette Valley.

That's where my brotherJoe

put down stakes.


is taking hold there.

They got missionaries

in Champoeg.

Could have found God

in Virginia.

Well, if it's riches

you're after,

there's riches aplenty.

The land you're headed for

is a regular second Eden.

You won't want

for riches someday.

You'll just plunge your hands

into the ground.


Come to bed.


That was my mother's.

I know.

It's only weight now.

[Glass Shatters]


[Wagon Approaching]

He's gone.

I'm telling you.

He's abandoned us.

He'll move faster alone.

It's what I'd do.

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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. 28 Feb. 2021. <'s_cutoff_13582>.

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