Short Takes: Nov. 2, 1992

TELEVISION

A Grueling Tale of Frontier Horror

IN 1846 A BAND OF SETTLERS LEFT ILLInois for California. They ended up stranded in the Sierra Nevada at the outset of the worst winter ever recorded there. By the time the starving survivors straggled into Sutter's Fort, THE DONNER PARTY had written one of the darkest chapters in American history, a tale of humans reduced to the most desperate circumstances -- including, famously, cannibalism. For this PBS documentary, Ric Burns, a co-producer with his brother Ken of The Civil War, uses the same techniques as that series -- archival photographs, readings from diaries...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!