27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2013
NOTE: This is a review of three life and history changing motion pictures By TC Christensen - "Ephraim's Rescue," "Greater Love," and "The Bridge."
By Darrell Stoddard, email@example.com
Ephraim's Rescue is one of the most emotionally gripping motion pictures ever made - A Heart Rending, True, film about Miracles, Survival, and Love experienced in one of the epic migrations of mankind.
The healing miracles performed by Ephraim Hanks were equal to the miracles recorded in the scriptures. He fulfilled his gift of healing to save handcart pioneers as they experienced terrible suffering and death when they were caught in an early snowstorm.
I write this review as an observer even though I played a part in Ephraim's Rescue and with my daughter had a small part in the motion picture 17 Miracles. It was a transcendent experience just to be in the film, and it was so "real" that I nearly froze to death. If you liked the film 17 Miracles, You will love Ephraim's Rescue.
In the best motion pictures, the actors do not act but become the persons they portray. Great actors such as Jimmie Stewart (It's a Wonderful Life), Lethe Tatge (The Maibox), and Francis Urry (Windows of Heaven) were able to do this; actually becoming someone on the screen that they were portraying. Francis Urry did not just play the part of Lorenzo Snow, he became Lorenzo Snow.
Jackie Gleason did this in the motion picture Gigot (which was the performance of his lifetime). Gleason did not just play the part of the man in the film but literally became a deaf mute in Paris. (See reviews of the film on Amazon.com).
I attended the Premier performance of Ephraim's Rescue in the Megaplex Theater in Centerville and the next night in the Varsity Theater at BYU where two of the performers answered questions after the film. It was after seeing the film twice and hearing the actors in person that I was struck by the fact that the actors were totally different people than who they became in the film.
There were no veteran seasoned actors in the film Ephraim's Rescue. About half of more than 160 extras were direct descendants of Ephraim Hanks himself. For reasons known fully only to God, the phenomenon of becoming another person seemed to occur with every performer in this film. Even amateurs actors became someone else in the film than the person they were.
It was more than acting. For me, all of the actors became the real people. The only explanation I can give of why this happened is, "that the works of God might be manifest." The total influence this film will have on mankind is beyond our understanding.
It seems incredulous, but I know that it is possible to become another person in another period of time (See my review of 17 Miracles on Amazon.com). This is why I say the film was inspired. It was more than a great production, more than great directing and more than great acting.
The miraculous healings performed by Ephraim Hanks are a manifestation of the scripture: Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of the faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up...James 5:14-15.
The rescue by Ephraim Hanks is also great fishing and hunting story. The day before Hanks received the visitation (vision) in the middle of the night to go and save the handcart pioneers, he spent the day fishing on Utah Lake. Then on the way to rescue the handcart people, he shot a buffalo that miraculously appeared before him after he prayed.
After taking the meat from that animal to the handcart people, Ephraim reported killing more buffalo to feed the starving handcart people who were not hunters but immigrants from England and Scandinavia. This makes Ephraim's Rescue the greatest fishing and hunting story ever told. You can tell this to your fishing and hunting friends to get them to see the film. Because it is such a great rescue story about a true mountain man, I don't think they will be disappointed.
Readers who want to see a marvelous painting of Ephraim Hanks entitled "Obeying the Spirit" by Clark Kelley Price and read a short account of the rescue by Ephraim himself can do so by going on Google to: "Handcart Companies of 1856 - Hanksplace" The painting tells the story of Ephraim's rescue better than words can tell.
Ephraim's Rescue is a gripping, unforgettable, true story. You will most certainly cry, but you will also laugh at many of the humorous incidents amidst the suffering. You will be inspired by the healing miracles and uplifted by the struggles to survive. Through the re-creation of this epic migration and the life of a man who saved so many, your soul, spirit, and faith will be renewed (and perhaps even rescued).
I heard TC. the producer Ephraim's Rescue, in a fireside tell why he thought God allowed the handcart pioneers to suffer so much. Whenever the film is shown, anywhere in the world, TC asks the audience for those to stand who are direct descendants of the Willie or Martin handcart companies or direct descendents of the rescuers. A large number always stands. It seems the stalwarts in the LDS Church worldwide are descendants of the handcart pioneers who suffered so much.
Suffering of the handcart pioneers created a righteous posterity many generations removed. If you the reader have experienced adversity, pain, and the refiners fire in your life, there may be a reason that extends beyond yourself, your children, and even your grand children.
"TC" Christensen, writer, cinematographer, producer, and director of Ephraim's Rescue has produced or been involved in the production of more memorable, life and history changing motion pictures than we can list here. It may interest viewers to know that the most far reaching and important of all his films may be a motion picture he produced while still a student and another film he produced soon after graduating from Brigham Young University.
They are a ten minute film called "The Bridge" and a 12 minute film called "Greater Love". These two films sold in the hundreds, totaling thousands to every major denomination in the United States.
"Greater Love" is a film about a young boy and his sister. The boy is injured in an automobile accident and needs an immediate blood transfusion to save his life. It turns out that his little sister is the only one readily available with the right type of blood. She volunteers to give her blood until more blood of the right type can be obtained. After the transfusion, she asks the question, "When am I going to die?" believing that giving her blood would cause her death. Greater love hath no one than this, to give his/her life for another.
The Bridge is the story of a father who operates a railroad bridge. When his little boy comes out on the tracks, the father must make a decision of whether to save his son or save the people on the train. The father saves the people on the train (that includes you and me and everyone that has ever lived).
Christians immediately relate the film to John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." A Presbyterian minister who wrote film reviews for the Magazine Today's Catholic Teacher said, "After you see this film you will never again be matter of fact about the costliness of Jesus dying for us." adding that, "The Bridge is the most powerful ten minutes ever put on film" (and it is!).
"The Bridge" won the highest award in the short film category at the Chicago International Film Festival. A Jewish Rabbi saw the film at the festival and had it purchased by a Jewish film library in New York. The library kept buying more and more copies of The Bridge and then wrote to us asking if we had any other motion pictures that were appropriate for Jewish audiences.
I went to New York to learn why the film was so popular with Jewish audiences and learned that Jewish people relate the story to Abraham offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice. Later I found that Muslims are also deeply touched by the film. Muslims relate the film to Abraham offering his son Ishmael (as they believe) for a sacrifice instead of Isaac. In either case, the story is a "school master" to prepare people for the atonement. It may be an even better analogy than the Abraham and Isaac story because no ones life was being saved by Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice.
In a university night school class of older Jewish women that I taught at Mt. Clair State College in New Jersey, I began by asking the question, "What is the greatest love that we can have as human beings?" After discussing this they agreed that the greatest love we could have would be to give our life to save the life of another person. I then said, "This is what the first film I am going to show you is about." I then showed the motion picture "Greater Love."
After showing the film "Greater love", I then said, "There is in the universe an even higher kind of love. The next film I am going to show you represents the love that God has for us." I then showed them the film "The Bridge." At the end of the class, several women came up to me. One of them said, "Mister you had a halo around your head while you were speaking." Other women added, "Yes, you just glowed." It was not me but the message of the films that made them feel that way.
Because "The Bridge" is a metaphor for the atonement and also a metaphor for Abraham's sacrifice (the foundational event of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), I believe The Bridge may be the most important motion picture ever made. I can say this after showing the film to thousands of Non-Mormon Christians, thousands of Jews, and many Muslims.
This much I can promise: YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AFTER SEEING THESE FILMS. YOUR LIFE WILL BE CHANGED FOREVER.
See all of my Reviews. I write only about books, events, or motion pictures of enduring significance that have changed the course of history or unforgettable books or motion pictures that will totally change peoples lives.
Darrell Stoddard, Founder - Pain Research Institute and saveusa.biz
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2014
I have been LDS for 18 years and just saw this film at my church. I have of course long been aware of the handcart tragedy and the heroic rescue, one of the most moving and dramatic events in Mormon history. It was not until I saw this film that the extent of the tragedy was brought home to me. From the beginning, we follow the lives of Ephraim Hanks of Ohio and Thomas Dobson of England. They finally meet each other in a Utah blizzard and Hanks cures Dobson's severe frostbite in a moment. Dobson gets up and dances a jig! I believe that this truly happened. Being about Mormons, all of the young men are handsome, all of the young women beautiful, and all of the children cute. Some will perhaps object to such an idealization, but one would like to think that it was really so. These people were made of iron. They are heroes to me. I would like to know how the scene was made in which a rattlesnake slithers across Hanks' face. It looked pretty real to me.