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1940 Brigham Young movie


Nathair/|\

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I just found out about a movie made in 1940 titled Brigham Young. Vincent Price plays Joseph Smith and Dean Jagger plays Brigham Young. Does anyone know anything about it? Is it worth the time?

Yours under the historical oaks,

Nathair /|\

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I just found out about a movie made in 1940 titled Brigham Young. Vincent Price plays Joseph Smith and Dean Jagger plays Brigham Young. Does anyone know anything about it? Is it worth the time?

Yours under the historical oaks,

Nathair /|\

I remember seeing it on TV as an old B movie. It is black and white, historically not completely accurate, but entertaining. Dean Jagger became very interested in Brigham Young as a result of that role, and eventuallu joined the Church.

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I just found out about a movie made in 1940 titled Brigham Young. Vincent Price plays Joseph Smith and Dean Jagger plays Brigham Young. Does anyone know anything about it? Is it worth the time?

Yours under the historical oaks,

Nathair /|\

It's a good production, 40s style black and white. I saw it several times while growing up in the 50s and 60s, including showings at church and on TV. Apparently it got green lighted because the Mormon Exodus was seen as an appropriate metaphor for the troubles Jews were having in Europe. Price as Smith is fairly low key, emphasizing economic issues rather then prophetic. And being shot in Carthage. Polygamy with Brigham Young is a presence, but not a major theme. Other than a few publicity photos, it is not sensationalized. Tyrone Power is a fictional romantic lead. John Carradine has a small part as Porter Rockwell, and is seen complaining about not having been been able to shoot anybody. The emphasis is on the Exodus from Nauvoo, the trek, arrival in the valley, and crickets. Though, I haven't seen it in several decades. I don't know how it would look to me now.

As a bit of trivia, Dean Jagger in later years joined the church.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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Hello Nathair...

Actually, this is one of my favorite movies with a great cast... I have a large film collection... As Charity said, it's not completely accurate but the general portrayal follows events and to me are quite plausible. The courtroom scene where Joseph is on trial for treason and Brigham gets up and talks is one of best... and yes, Dean Jagger evenutally joined the Church...

I suppose many would describe this movie as "faith promoting"... and it is... but I liked it... Tyrone Power was a Mormon scout and Linda Darnell was a non-LDS "outsider" whose father was killed in a raid while visiting Mormon neighbors... Brian Donlevy was a Mormon businessman and pot stirrer... And David Carradine played Porter Rockwell.

All in all, fast paced and very entertaining.

GG

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It was definitely not a "B" movie, as it starred most definitely "A"-listers in the roles of the young lovers, and "Ma" Joad as the typical Mormon mother getting dead on the road West.

It was a big hit and was pushed in 1939-40 as a means to address the Jewish situation in Europe by proxy. The Jewish producers have been unapologeticly transparent on the subject. They saw clear parallels between 1840s Mormons and 1930s Jews. They exploited those parallels.

We benefited from the good press. Everybody wins.

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I saw this last year at a friend's house. Vincent Price was fantastic as Joseph Smith. The best at portraying him that I've yet seen.

This movie popped up on Netflix for me and is in my queue. I also ran into a talk in General Conference where the movie was mentioned for a couple paragraphs. I can't find the reference, but the movie was endorsed.

Here is the site that has the talks but I couldn't easily find the right one. http://search.ldslibrary.com/article/view/77096

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I've seen it a couple of times, though it's somewhat disconcerting to see "horror" star Vincent Price playing Joseph Smith. And yes Dean Jagger did join the church but I'm not sure how active he remained.

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IMO, yes the movie was not historically accurate, but then again most historical movies made by Hollywood barely are. However it was a very spiritually uplifting movie and the portrayal of BY by Dean Jagger was accurate to the second Prophet of the Church, however.

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Deborah:

Vincent Price was a well acclaimed classically trained Shakespearean actor. He didn't need to fall back on special effects to give his audiences the "Willey's". :P

I know. That's the irony. If I hadn't already seen him in all those horror flicks I would think a lot differently about him. Admittedly he did make a good Joseph in appearance.

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There are worse movies.

I've got my DVR set to record any show with "Mormon" in the description, and it's fun to see what pops up. There was even an episode of "Walker, Texas Ranger". I guess later in the series, Walker would tell stories around a campfire about an ancestor he had that was a sheriff in the old west. So the episode would be an old-west tale (with Chuck Norris as the ancestor of course!). And one episode was about him saving a Mormon wagon train or something.

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Found it! October 1940 General Conference, Heber J. Grant (Prophet)

I am thankful beyond expression for the very wonderful and splendid moving picture that has been made of Brigham Young. I have heard some little criticism of it; but we cannot expect the people who do not know that Brigham Young was in very deed the representative of God upon this earth, who do not know his wonderful character, to tell the story as we would tell it. We know that he was a prophet of the living God and the representative of the Lord here upon the earth. There is nothing in the picture that reflects in any way against our people. It is a very marvelous and wonderful thing, considering how people generally have treated us and what they have thought of us. Of course there are many things in the picture that are not strictly correct, and that is announced in the picture itself. It is of course a picture and we could not hope that they would make a picture at their expense, running into a couple of million dollars, to be just as we would like it. We know that Brigham Young was a powerful and wonderfl man, the greatest man of his day, and one of the great things about Brigham Young was that he always gave credit to Joseph Smith for everything that he did. He claimed that he was simply building upon the foundation laid by the prophet of God, who had seen God and conversed with Jesus Christ. He never doubted for one minute the final triumph of the people here in Utah. He was a man of God, and the people thought the world and all of him.

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There are worse movies.

I've got my DVR set to record any show with "Mormon" in the description, and it's fun to see what pops up.

One of my favorite distorted presentations is "Paint your Wagon" with the stereotypical stern Mormon man selling one of his wives to the two miners. I always chuckle when I see it and hope those who aren't of our faith realize it's a fiction.

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