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Child Bride of Short Creek (1981)

Partially based on the true events surrounding a rural religious cult in the American Midwest, and how the members' children suffered for their parents' fanaticism.


(as Robert Lewis)


(teleplay by), (based on a story by)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Kalish
Warren Vanders ...
Jay Jacobs
Isaac's Mother
Mary Jacobs
Babetta Dick ...
Melinda Almquist ...
Julianne Slocum ...
C. Duane Tuft ...
Larry Wesenskow
Robert E. Hartenberger ...
Attorney General Ross
Alan Nash ...
Sheriff Beal
Jay Bernard ...
Judge Sears


Dramatization of the lives of the people of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, collectively known as "Short Creek," a community made up of members of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints, a Mormon separatist group practicing child marriage and polygamy. Written by JoJo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

7 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La jeune mariée de Short Creek  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Filmed East of Hurricane, Utah, at an abandoned, (State designated park), 1900 ghost-town sight which had been flooded out. A river flows adjacent to the abandoned town. A few relic buildings remain standing, including a Church, a few houses, and a few farm or barn buildings. A "movie constructed set-house" was built for the film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". This set piece remains located at the corner of the town's main street crossroad. Upon inspection, one can spot the framed "wild away" walls constructed for the camera to film inside the set-house interior. This house was built and used for Butch Cassidy's hideout, with the front dirt street used for the bicycle riding scene. Short Creek production repaired the town buildings, re-painting exterior buildings, to emphasize dilapidated conditions. Additional picket fences were placed around the houses for a lived in atmosphere. Additional shacks, and leaning shelters were built to fill out the town spaces. The construction coordinator (Jerry Esposito) and the Production Designer scouted-shopped the Hurricane township for out-houses that local Property owners would part with. Offering $25 to $50 dollars, Esposito was able to snag three wood out-house buildings. The "hero" outhouse was purchased from the Hurricain "DeMille" family - whose descendants were related to Cecil B. DeMille. Threafter, this hero outhouse was nicknamed "the DeMille Outhouse"... See more »


Referenced in Many Wives: Vows of Silence (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

This is a good coming of age film
18 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

I have seen this film twice and have wanted to add it to my collection of personal favorites, but so far it has not been shown again on T.V. and is hard to find in DVD/VHS format. The movie stars a very young Diane Lane and Helen Hunt (i.e. before they were famous) with a then up and coming young star Christopher Atkins (a.k.a. Blue Lagoon heart-throb). The plot was full of melodrama about a polygamist cult and a young man falling for a young woman betroth to his father. What was most engaging about the film was no matter what the environment, that timeless boy-girl true love dynamic was in play. If the movie focused more on the injustices and immoralities of polygamy than love; I think something in this heart-warming film would have been lost. After all that is what documentaries are for, not movies of the week.

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