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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
Indians can't be any worse than some Christians I know. But just the same, until we find a little more about them, we mean to trust in you, Lord, and keep our powder dry.
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Powerful film, but Ty is just in it for box office
This is a wonderful movie about the struggle of the Mormons and their final settlement in Salt Lake, Utah. The beginning and the ending are especially powerful, and the message is one we all have to be reminded of - God doesn't talk, but he communicates, if we would only listen. As I am writing this in the midst of the horrors going on in New Orleans and the surrounding area due to Katrina, I was especially moved by the Mormons having to leave everything behind and move on after Joseph Smith was assassinated. People came to this country to escape religious persecution, and yet they could not. The struggle of the Mormons to cross the country, the cost in lives, the hardship they suffered was truly awe-inspiring, demonstrating their tremendous strength. As far as the actual beliefs of Mormons, this is not heavily gone into, and polygamy is mentioned but is not a centerpiece of the film at all.
The cast is top-notch, though others who have commented know more about the actual characters and can talk about how true the portrayals were. But as actors, Dean Jagger, Mary Astor, Brian Donlevy, John Carradine, Jane Darwell all do excellently with the script they were given.
Though the film could have easily stood on its own (and certainly does today) Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell were added to the cast to get the crowds into the movie theaters to see a film about the Mormons. Power is magnificently handsome as a young Mormon, and Darnell, as Zina, is not a Mormon but stays on with the family after her father is killed. Power does not have much to do until the end of the film, when he has a big scene, and Darnell (still a teenager at the time of the filming) has even less, though they make a lovely couple. Their fate is left unclear regarding her conversion, and one does wonder about the polygamy in their case. You can't beat either one for eye candy, however.
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