6.4/10
870
24 user 13 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.

Director:

Henry Hathaway

Writers:

Louis Bromfield, Lamar Trotti (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Jonathan Kent
Linda Darnell ... Zina Webb
Dean Jagger ... Brigham Young
Brian Donlevy ... Angus Duncan
Jane Darwell ... Eliza Kent
John Carradine ... Porter Rockwell
Mary Astor ... Mary Ann Young
Vincent Price ... Joseph Smith
Jean Rogers ... Clara Young
Ann E. Todd ... Mary Kent (as Ann Todd)
Willard Robertson ... Heber Kimball
Moroni Olsen ... Doc Richards
Marc Lawrence ... Prosecutor
Stanley Andrews ... Hyrum Smith
Frank M. Thomas ... Hubert Crum (as Frank Thomas)
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The Great American Motion Picture !


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 September 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Brigham Young: Frontiersman See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (FMC Library Print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

The burial marker was dated June 3, 1845 for Eliza Kent. Talk the next day was about the gold discovery in California. Some Mormon men working for mill operator James Marshall had been in a group landing on the west coast. The day reported for the discovery was January 24, 1848. See more »

Quotes

Brigham Young: 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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Religulous (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Come, Come Ye Saints
(uncredited)
by William Clayton
Played by the band at the new settlement
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good acting, socially fair, but very inaccurate
21 February 2003 | by JBThackerySee all my reviews

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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