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Posted June 25, 2012
Excellent film, though at times historical accuracy has taken se
Excellent film, though at times historical accuracy has taken second to dramatic effect. Thus Joseph Smith's murder is shown as taking place after his trial, whereas in fact it happened before - so obviously he was never convicted of anything. Brigham Young is portrayed as having more doubts than he probably had in reality, but his role in bringing the Saints across the continent is well portrayed. And for such an early (1940) film I thought the Indians were shown in a very fair light.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
BTW, contrary to what anorther review states, Joseph Smith did not violate the First Amendment, which in 1844 applied only to the Federal Government ("Congress shall make no law - -") not to State or local authorities. The Nauvoo city charter gave him extremely broad powers as Mayor, so that, though his action would be illegal today, at that time he was probably within his rights in suppressing the Nauvoo Expositor. At worst, he was guilty only of malicious damage to property, which wasn't a capital offence even in those days. That of course was why his enemies lynched him rather than letting him come to trial. From their viewpoint, a trial wouldn't have produced the "right" result.
Posted October 1, 2010
A Good 1940's Pioneer epic but not historically accurate
This is a good example of your standard early 1940's western epic; not outstanding from a cinematic point of view, but good nevertheless. The viewpoint is sympathetic to the plight of the Mormons--who remain the most persecuted religious minority in American history. The film does a dissservice to anyone hoping to learn more about 19th century Mormon history, religion and culture.<BR/><BR/>For example though the murder of Mormonisn's founder of Joseph Smith is depicted, there is no explanation as to why he was arrested in the first place. (As mayor of Nauvoo, Illinois he had ordered the distruction of a local newspaper's printing press because the newspaper had published personal accounts of Joseph's then-secret practice of polygamy. As this was a violation of the First Amendment, the Governor of Illinois has Joseph arrested. He never stood trial--as depicted in the film--because was murdered by a lynch mob while being held in jail.)<BR/><BR/>Polygamy--which was practiced by the Mormon secretly during the period depicted in the film (it wasn't made public until 1852)--is mentioned only once directly (by a minor character) and one indirectly when Brigham Young (himself a husband to at least 50 women) praises his wife (the only one portrayed in this film) for never being "jealous of the others."<BR/><BR/>What's most disappointing from an historical point of view is the characterization of Brigham Young himself. The real Brigham was a VERY forceful character who tolerated no dissenting opinions from his followers. This film presents Brigham as someone who was rather quiet and introspective, who was forceful only when attacked. Think of it as the "Sunday school version" of a religious leader.<BR/><BR/>Charlton Heston's protrayal was a little more on the money (historically speaking) in the awful 1995 TNT film, "Avenging Angel"Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Historical Film Well Done For Once
I thoroughly enjoyed watching this movie. Plenty of drama, action, and actually historically correct "if not politically correct by todays standards". While the movie doesn't focus on the "controversial" aspects of Young or the Mormons, one should keep in mind that this was pretty much standard practice before all the pc bs came into vogue.... thankfully so! Watching this movie one will appreciate the trials and tribulations of the Latter-day Saints, the only religious group to ever suffer official persecution in the United States.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2010
Good Story, But Missing Essential Information
This saga of the Mormon Church is well done considering it was made 63 years ago. Dean Jagger, Vincent Price, Tyrone Power, and Linda Darnell, all did superb work. However, the story line is told more from the idealistic Mormon's view with no mention of why Mormons were persecuted and what had really lead to Joseph Smith's demise. Even though Brigham Young was the most infamous American polygamist in history, no mention of it is made in the movie. And it's great that the seagulls came and ate the crickets, but they do that every year in the Salt Lake Valley, so it wasn't just a miraculous Godsend. Not bad though, for such an old flick.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.