This silent melodrama is set against the 1840s westward migration of the Mormons. Dora, a young woman, and her family are saved from an Indian attack by a Mormon community traveling to Utah... See full summary »

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This silent melodrama is set against the 1840s westward migration of the Mormons. Dora, a young woman, and her family are saved from an Indian attack by a Mormon community traveling to Utah. They join the wagon train. Dora is pursued by two men, one a recent convert, the other a scheming elder with a stable of wives. The Mormon elder wants her in his harem. When the mother kills herself from revulsion toward polygamy, the daughter must consider her own future and the man she loves. One of Mae Murray's few surviving films, this was intended by Robert Leonard to be a thoughtful drama about the goods and evils of Mormonism, but today it is generally considered pure anti-Mormon propaganda. Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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22 April 1917 (USA)  »

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Fictional Account of Mormonisum!
11 February 2006 | by (Salt Lake City) – See all my reviews

There are some impressive names involved in this 1917 Lasky Production that so distorts the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that you would think that it was one of author Zane Grey's early Western tales that depicted the Mormons as villains. Come to think of it there were a couple of Grey's anti-Mormon novels made into movies around this time: RIDERS OF THE PURPLE SAGE and its sequel, THE RAINBOW TRAIL(by William Fox IN 1918). The male lead of A MORMAN MAID is played by future Academy Award director Frank Borzage (he won the first year of the Oscars for 7th HEAVEN and a second Oscar for his directing of the sound BAD GIRL four years later). Borzage was born and raised in Salt Lake City among the Mormons -- he plays the role of a Mormon boy who is not aware of the evil practices of his Faith until he has to rescue his girl from the clutches of a forced marriage. And this film was photographed by the great cinematographer Charles Rosher (Oscar winner for SUNRISE [1927] and THE YEARLING [1946]). As to the supposed star of the film, Mae Murray, she gives a terrible impression of a Mary Pickford! Interesting today only as an example of how motion pictures are often used to present fabrication as being the truth! Like the later British film TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS (1922), A MORMON MAID is fascinating today as one of the few anti-Mormon films to survive.


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