Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Showing at Mid-Week Movie Night on July 3
Travel back in time more than 200 years to explore the new world of the American West when National Geographic’s Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West returns to the Museum of Science and History’s Omni IMAX Theater.
The film brings to life one of the greatest adventures in American history. A National Geographic production, the film dramatizes the remarkable and perilous journey undertaken by Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery 207 years ago. It was the first overland expedition to the Pacific Ocean and back. The film tells the story of the team’s arduous expedition from 1803 to 1806, the spectacular wildlife they encountered, the punishing winters they endured, the diverse Native American tribes they met and the breathtaking vistas the explorers experienced on their legendary journey into uncharted territory.
“This is an incredible story of the American experience,” said Lisa Truitt, executive producer at National Geographic. “What Lewis and Clark accomplished was an extraordinary feat of fortitude and luck. They had no solid knowledge about the land they were going to traverse and what little information they had was strikingly wrong. They faced unbelievable danger with tremendous courage. Historians say that their journey was our equivalent of a trip to the moon.”
At the turn of the 19th century, what is now the Western United States was virtually unknown to American settlers. It was believed at the time that woolly mammoths still roamed the plains and stories were told of erupting volcanoes and the lost tribes of Israel. Thomas Jefferson, the visionary third president of the United States, was captivated by the stories of the West and longed to have it explored. Jefferson commissioned his valued aide, Meriwether Lewis, to lead an expedition across the United States, pushing onward through foreign land to the Pacific Ocean. In 1803, the unexpected acquisition of the Louisiana Territory vastly increased the size of the United States and meant that Lewis and William Clark would be the first to scientifically explore this new American land.
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West follows the grueling 8,000-mile expedition past buffalo-filled prairies, through thick forests and raging river rapids, over towering peaks and plunging precipices. The film opens with the expedition’s launch up the great Missouri River with modern-day watermen portraying the Corps of Discovery, giving the film a rare and gritty authenticity. The film captures the wonder of spectacularly pristine wilderness as the Expedition crosses the Great Plains and the treacherous Rocky Mountains and perches atop the Continental Divide, discovering that the Northwest Passage did not exist. Viewers can watch as Lewis and Clark document plant specimens and animals unknown to science, meet with Native American tribes; and paddle down the mighty Columbia River to their ultimate destination – the Pacific Ocean.
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West also reveals how the success of the trek was dependent on the generosity of Native American tribes, particularly the young Indian interpreter, Sacagawea, who accompanied the small expedition with her infant son, providing invaluable guidance and assistance. The film dramatizes the beauty, danger, and glory of the epic journey the Corps of Discovery undertook.
The 42-minute film is narrated by actor Jeff Bridges and features an original score by Emmy Award-winning composer Sam Cardon. It is directed by Bruce Neibaur, produced by Jeff T. Miller and Lisa Truitt, filmed by director of photography T.C. Christensen, and features a script by veteran screenwriter Mose Richards. Noted Lewis and Clark expert Gary Moulton and historian Stephen E. Ambrose served as film consultants.