“He just wants people to see the movie and draw their own conclusions,” says Dean Cain, speaking of “September Dawn” — the May 4 release written and directed by his father, Christopher Cain, in which Dean plays Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith.
The film, which stars Jon Voight, Terence Stamp and Lolita Davidovich, deals with the Sept. 11, 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre, when a wagon train full of Arkansas settlers was ambushed by a renegade group of Mormons — an incident regarded as one of the darkest chapters in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The film, says Dean, asks whether church leader “Brigham Young was involved in ordering the massacre. The church says no. The film brings up some very significant questions.
“I was a history major in college and I read a lot about it,” adds the Princeton grad. “I do know that everything said by Brigham Young in the film is taken from historical records.”
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The feature was made quietly last year in Canada, but has already stirred controversy, eliciting a statement from the Mormon Church to the effect that it isn’t factual, says Dean. “But they haven’t seen it,” he adds. “I’m sure he doesn’t have a problem with them seeing the movie any time.”
Meanwhile, Dean has the April 22 CBS Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, “Crossroads: a Story of Forgiveness,” an inspiring real-life story in which he plays a man whose wife and daughter are killed in an automobile accident involving a teenage street racer, who he eventually confronts. And the actor is in the midst of making “Protect and Serve” a CBS ensemble drama pilot in which he plays an LAPD cop.
From “Las Vegas” producer Gary Scott Thompson, it shows officers’ lives at home as well as on the job, and has Monica Potter as Dean’s wife.