24 user 12 critic

Brigham Young (1940)

In 1844, after the assassination of Mormon leader Joseph Smith by an angry mob in Illinois, the Mormons choose Brigham Young as their new leader and follow him to a new promised land in Utah.



, (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon


Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Johnny Apollo (1940)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The son of a jailed Wall Street broker turns to crime to pay for his father's release.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An American pilot impulsively joins Her Majesty's Royal Air Force in Britain in an attempt to impress his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Betty Grable, John Sutton
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cheated out of his estate by his sadistic uncle, young Benjamin Blake goes to the South Seas to make his fortune so he can return to claim his birthright.

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, George Sanders
Jesse James (1939)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors: Henry King, Irving Cummings
Stars: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Although she comes from an aristocratic family, beautiful Prudence Cathaway defies convention by joining the WAAFs and becoming romantically involved with an AWOL soldier.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Tyrone Power, Joan Fontaine, Thomas Mitchell
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche
Second Fiddle (1939)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Studio publicist (Power) discovers Minnesota skating teacher (Henie) and takes her to Hollywood. She goes back to Minnesota but he follows her.

Director: Sidney Lanfield
Stars: Sonja Henie, Tyrone Power, Rudy Vallee
Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A disinherited 13th Century Saxon nobleman leaves Norman England with an archer friend to seek his fortune in the Far East.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Orson Welles, Cécile Aubry
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Illiterate peasant Juan Gallardo rises meteorically to fame and fortune in the bullfight arena only to sow the seeds of his own fall.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian
Stars: Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth
Rawhide (1951)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A stagecoach stop employee and a stranded woman traveller find themselves at the mercy of four desperate outlaws intent on robbing the next day's gold shipment.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: Tyrone Power, Susan Hayward, Hugh Marlowe
Crash Dive (1943)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A submarine lieutenant and his commander fall in love with the same girl.

Director: Archie Mayo
Stars: Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Rosa Moline is bored with life in a small town. She loves Chicago industrialist Neil Latimer who has a hunting lodge nearby. Rosa squeezes her husband's patients to pay their bills so she ... See full summary »

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Bette Davis, Joseph Cotten, David Brian


Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Kent (as Ann Todd)
Heber Kimball
Doc Richards
Hyrum Smith
Hubert Crum (as Frank Thomas)


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 <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Great American Motion Picture !


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 September 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Brigham Young: Frontiersman  »


Box Office


$2,700,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


| (FMC Library Print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Charles Halton is in studio records/casting call lists for the role of "Prosecutor," but that role was played by Marc Lawrence. 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 »


Brigham Young: [to his people after reaching the Great Salt Lake] This is the place.
See more »


Featured in Religulous (2008) See more »


Oh! Susanna
(1848) (uncredited)
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Foster
Included in the score often throughout the film
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Interesting, but what does this really teach you about Brigham Young or Mormonism?
18 September 2009 | by See all my reviews

You may want to know up front that I am not a Mormon, unlike a good number of those who have already reviewed this film. I mention this so you'll understand that the way I look at the film may differ greatly from those in the faith. For some, being critical of the film might be seen as being critical of the faith--and that is NOT my intention. So, my review is that of an outsider trying to look inside and learn more about who this man and his people were. Well, after seeing the film, I doubt if I have learned much at all. Since I have been a history teacher, I have a good basic understanding about Young as well as Joseph Smith as well as the teachings of the church. But anyone wanting to see this film to really learn anything will probably be disappointed because the film seems so gosh-darn nice--too nice and too unrealistic in its portrayal. Plus, you learn practically nothing about the church's beliefs other than they are nice people, work hard and some have many wives (and this latter part is only barely hinted at in the film). Instead, the people are almost cartoon-like in their simplistic portrayals. Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and their followers are angelic, the non-Mormons were all devils and Brian Donlevy (playing EXACTLY the same sort of role Edward G. Robinson later played in THE TEN COMMANDMENTS) is the trouble-maker who claims to be a Mormon but just comes along so the film can have a bad guy. It's all so very simple....too simple. Almost like an indoctrination film or infomercial.

Brigham Young especially was a very complex man--with many good points (an excellent organizer and visionary) as well as bad (don't even get me started on his views about Blacks within the church or intermarriage). To portray him in such vague terms is just plain silly. It's also a lot like how Gandhi was portrayed in the film with Ben Kingsley--only the facts that led to his being almost super-human were emphasized. Heck, now that I think about that, this is the trouble with most religious films--they often come off as one-dimensional, trite and bland. Let's have a full and more complete film of these men--one that will stick to facts and not emotional appeals.

Now if you can ignore the fact that you won't learn very much about the faith or its second leader, the film is enjoyable enough. It's obvious someone at 20th Century-Fox really cared about the film, as they had a wonderful cast of both premier actors (Tyrone Power), up and coming actors (Linda Darnell, Jane Darwell and Vincent Price) and wonderful character actors (Dean Jagger, John Carradine and Brian Donlevy). The film also had wonderful location shooting and lots of gloss. It just didn't have a lot to tell us other than they were all "swell". Plus, there were plenty of factual errors and a few just plain dumb scenes. A few of the mistakes include Young taking over the helm immediately after the death of Joseph Smith (it was three years later), no mention of the various Mormon denominations and splinter groups, talk of "gold in California"--even though it was 1847 and gold wouldn't be discovered until 1948, as well as no specific mention of polygamy or Smith's many wives. Just plain dumb scenes include Carradine pulling out a gun and waving it about in the courtroom scene--and no one seemed to care--even though it was a very hostile audience! Don't you think at least the judge would tell him to put it away and stop threatening people with it?!

One final comment. Do not, I repeat, do not watch this film when it's shown on American Movie Classics (a one great station that has sunk a lot in recent years). While I am critical of the film because of its simplistic message, I was horrified with the complete disrespect the station had for the church and its traditions. What I mean is this. The film was punctuated with ads for penis enlargement formulas as well as tons of pop-ups (some advertising a show that features the "sexiest cast"). Talk about disrespectful and gross and I would be just as offended if they did this for any other religious film. By doing this, they not only insult the faith but marginalize their market--after all, who is into hearing about these things AND the life of Brigham Young?! Is this a movie, in this form, that you can show to your kids or recommend to others?!

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page