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A Victim of the Mormons (1911)

Mormonens offer (original title)
A Mormon missionary seduces and kidnaps an attractive young woman, forcing her to accompany him to Utah to become one of his wives.

Director:

August Blom

Writer:

Alfred Kjerulf
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Cast

Credited cast:
Valdemar Psilander ... Andrew Larson
Clara Pontoppidan ... Nina Gram (as Clara Wieth)
Henry Seemann ... Olaf Gram
Carlo Wieth ... Sven Berg
Carl Schenstrøm ... Larssons Mormon Friend
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Axel Boesen Axel Boesen
Nikolai Brechling Nikolai Brechling ... Telegraphist
Frederik Jacobsen Frederik Jacobsen ... Nina's Father
Otto Lagoni Otto Lagoni ... Larssons Mormon Friend
Doris Langkilde Doris Langkilde
H.C. Nielsen H.C. Nielsen
Carl Petersen Carl Petersen ... Police Constable
Emilie Sannom Emilie Sannom ... Nancy - House Keeper
Franz Skondrup Franz Skondrup ... Detective
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Storyline

A Mormon missionary seduces and kidnaps an attractive young woman, forcing her to accompany him to Utah to become one of his wives.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

white slave trade | mormon | See All (2) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Denmark

Release Date:

5 February 1912 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mormon's Offer See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Nordisk Film Kompagni See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Four question marks after the title, when the actual release date is just below. Surely, that's a goof. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Goofy Movies Number Two (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

Early exploitation film
28 December 2019 | by leif-38See all my reviews

Before there was Hollywood, the world's film capitals were Rome and Copenhagen. 'Mormonens offer' ('A Victim of the Mormons', 1911) is one of the few surviving Danish films of this era. It tells the tale of a beautiful young woman who is kidnapped into an evil cult- namely the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS).

1911 was the year of the 'Mormon Scare'. The LDS were proselytizing in the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia with considerable success, when Hans Peter Fleece, an LDS apostate, took to the lecture circuit- telling anyone who would listen that the Mormons kidnapped innocent young girls and forced them into polygamous marriage in Utah. It did not help when it became known that polygamous marriages were taking place in Utah (though none were LDS sanctioned). None less than Winston Churchill lead a Parliamentary investigation and found the kidnapping charges groundless.

Nordisk Film Kompagni had previous success making 'white slavery' films, so a movie about the Mormon Scare was a logical next step. 'A Victim of the Mormons' turned out to be an international success, playing in Utah despite the objections of the governor and the LDS church.

In this movie, a Mormon Svengali- Andrew Larson (played with presence by Valdemar Psilander)- seduces the naive Nina Gram (Clara Pontoppidan). The girl agrees to run away with him, but when she has second thoughts, Larson drugs her and ties her up. He absconds with her to Utah, where she receives sympathy only from Larson's wife. Nina's brother and fiancé follow Larson to Utah, where they try to rescue Nina. Deeds of derring-do follow in due course.

The one memorable scene is the baptism, in which Larson immerses a bevy of young girls into a huge font in an art noveau set. It is implied that after this rite, the girls will become sex slaves and that return is impossible. So we have pretty girls, seduction, drugs, kidnapping, pagan rites, and sex slavery. What's not to like? Nearly everything is implied, but audiences of 1911 would have been quite titillated.

Titillation is a drink served stronger today, and at any rate 'daring' invariably loses its luster with time. So what's left? In this case not much. The story is a rather dull melodrama, without mystery or ambiguity.

And 'A Victim of the Mormons' fails to transcend the limitations of the early medium. There is no subjective camera, no sense of personality, and we don't particularly sympathize with anyone. The actors came from world of the theater and with the exception of Psilander fail to carry a theatrical presence in a silent medium. The sets and compositions are professionally done, but except for the baptismal set less than artistic. Early movies are essentially moving tableux, which in this case proves stultifying.

Worst of all, 'A Victim of the Mormons' doesn't really have the histronic, out-of-control feel that makes flicks like 'Reefer Madness' of 'Narcotic' a lot of fun.

If you're a student of early film or LDS history, this film might be worth sitting through. Otherwise, don't bother.


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