Tyrone Power is a pilots' pilot, but he doesn't believe in anything beyond his own abilities. He gets into trouble by flying a new fighter directly to Canada instead of to New York and ... See full summary »
The true story of the famous Mormon leader, Brigham Young and his battle to transport his people across the Rocky mountains to settle in Salt Lake City. The plot focuses on two of his people, Jonathan Kent and Zina Webb and the hardships they have to face along the way. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
According to the August 23rd, 1940 edition of The Post-Register, the second city to premiere this film, after the Salt Lake City premiere, was Idaho Falls. It opened at the Paramount Theatre (now the Colonial Theater) on Thursday, August 29th, 1940. See more »
In the movie Joseph Smith is shown unarmed when he is shot and killed. In reality he was armed with a "Pepper" pistol. See more »
Mary Ann Young:
You're dead set against California, aren't you?
You know human nature. Take a crowd of people to a place of milk and honey and in six months time, they won't be worth shooting.
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Mormons like myself generally love this movie for three reasons: 1) It does not persecute us; 2) It shows the historic significance of the Mormon movement; 3) The film itself is superbly acted and directed.
HOWEVER, there are some major historical inaccuracies. For one thing, Joseph Smith never got a trial. He was murdered in jail by a mob of nearly 200. He turned himself in, despite false charges, in order to prevent a battle between the persecuting mobs and the persecuted Mormons. The young (pre-ghoulish)Vincent Price does a good job portraying the humble and kind Joseph Smith. For the most part, Dean Jagger portrays Brigham Young wonderfully. However, he was not in Illinois when Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred. He was serving a mission in Boston. But he and Joseph had long discussed that they would one day go to the Rockies, and that Brigham (an Apostle) would one day replace Joseph as Prophet.
The film, for dramatic purposes, portrays Brigham as struggling for inspiration and revelation. All historic accounts of him reveal that he was one of the most inspired religious and social leaders of all time, and that he had perfect confidence in what he was doing.
There is also an overemphasis on desenters within the thousands of Mormons who went west to Utah. There were some, but the majority loved Brother Brigham and felt inspired in what they were doing, which was leaving to build a home for peace and religious freedom.
Also, the Mormons did not flee the day Joseph Smith was killed, nor did they leave in a hail of bullets. It was nearly two years before they actually left Illinois for Utah. They were also not a scruffy bunch as portrayed by a few of the actors, but for the most part were refined and benevolent people, not given to rowdiness.
Despite all this, you still find the film on sale in Mormon bookstores.This is because it is overall a well-made film about an important part of America's make-up. By the way, Dean Jagger became a Mormon later in life. Actor Moroni Olson was a Mormon all his life, born in Utah, appearing in 100 feature films.
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