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Savage Journey (1983)

A story of the settling in the West and the hardship and determination it took to do it.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Maurice Grandmaison ...
Paul Wharton ...
1st Preacher
John Mason ...
Heber
Stephen Cracroft ...
Lou Edwards ...
2nd Preacher / Brother Becker
Michael Danvers-Walker ...
3rd Preacher
Glade Hill ...
Farmer
...
Joseph Smith (as Charles Moll)
Robin Russell ...
Maryann Angel
Terrence Gehr ...
Samuel Rudley (as Terrance Gehr)
Faith Clift ...
Claire Rudley
Beverly Rowland ...
Reverend's Wife
Kate Hill ...
Emma Smith
Rue Dastrup ...
Missourian
Preston Lloyd ...
Missourian
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Storyline

A story of the settling in the West and the hardship and determination it took to do it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They forged a new land in the untamed wilderness - with their heart, their hands, and their faith in god.

Genres:

Drama | History | Western

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Release Date:

1983 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Brigham (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hunt
Arranged and Performed by Desert String Band
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User Reviews

 
Come Come Ye Saints
28 October 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Savage Journey is the story of the Mormon Church if not from the beginning when Joseph Smith was visited by the Angel Moroni on his farm in Palmyra, New York, it does tell the story from its early days of wandering and persecution until the church settled in what is now the state of Utah. I presume it was made with the full cooperation of the LDS church and made with an audience of non-believers in mind. A kind of Mormon primer.

It certainly is more accurate than the Hollywood classic Brigham Young, Frontiersman that starred Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell back in the day with Dean Jagger as Brigham Young and Vincent Price as Joseph Smith. Though more historically accurate than that one, Savage Journey surely does lack the production values that 20th Century Fox could give it.

The only name familiar to most of us is Richard Moll who was Bull Shannon on Night Court and who played Joseph Smith in the film. It's kind of hard to accept Moll in the part, possibly not his fault, but I kept seeing the intellectually challenged Bull as I watched him. Someone like Vincent Price who was also tall as Joseph Smith was, but who also played cerebral characters when he wasn't scaring us to death on the screen was perfect.

I did enjoy Moll telling the Illinois jailers before he was lynched by a mob that as a prophet he foresaw blood and destruction on the USA within the lifetime of these people. Now I don't think it would have taken any metaphysical insights into predicting the Civil War. Many saw it coming and none of them claimed God as their source of information.

The seminal event of the LDS Church, the one that convinced them that the Deity was giving them a special providence was the sea gulls appearing to eat the locusts that were devouring that first crop of their's in the winter of 1846-47. That part was handled well given the limited budget this film must have had.

Still Savage Journey does not claim to be more than an educational and evangelical tool and it really doesn't rise much above the level of the Christian films from Protestant evangelical churches.


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