Brigham Young--Frontiersman (1940)

112-113 mins | Drama | 27 September 1940

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HISTORY

Although the film's title was listed as Brigham Young by the program for its Aug 1940 premiere in Salt Lake City, several preview reviews and some current prints, national reviews in Sep 1940 and later release charts gave the film's title as Brigham Young--Frontiersman . The opening title card of the viewed print read: "Twentieth Century-Fox presents Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Brigham Young by Louis Bromfield." In the opening cast credits, Tyrone Power's character was listed as "Jonathan Kent, the Morman Scout," and Linda Darnell was credited as "Zina Webb, the Outsider."
       Brigham Young (1801-1877) was an American Mormon leader and territorial governor of Utah. According to records contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Darryl Zanuck suggested Preston Foster for the role of "Joseph Smith," Brenda Joyce for "Zina," Richard Greene for "Jonathan Kent," Kay Francis for "Mary Ann," Margaret Hamilton for "Zenobia," Spring Byington for "Mother Webb" and Robert Barratt for the "Boston preacher." The Fox Story Files also disclose that writer Louis Bromfield worked on a treatment with Eleanor Harris and James Woolley. A later item in HR notes that Harris had to sue Fox to receive her credit for story research. Woolley's contribution to the final film has not been determined. George Pyper, a Mormon leader and authority on Mormon history, served as technical advisor on the picture.
       News items in HR add that the trek scenes were shot by Otto Brower on location in Kanab, UT. The cricket plague scenes were filmed in Elko, NV. The crickets formed a band ... More Less

Although the film's title was listed as Brigham Young by the program for its Aug 1940 premiere in Salt Lake City, several preview reviews and some current prints, national reviews in Sep 1940 and later release charts gave the film's title as Brigham Young--Frontiersman . The opening title card of the viewed print read: "Twentieth Century-Fox presents Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Brigham Young by Louis Bromfield." In the opening cast credits, Tyrone Power's character was listed as "Jonathan Kent, the Morman Scout," and Linda Darnell was credited as "Zina Webb, the Outsider."
       Brigham Young (1801-1877) was an American Mormon leader and territorial governor of Utah. According to records contained in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Darryl Zanuck suggested Preston Foster for the role of "Joseph Smith," Brenda Joyce for "Zina," Richard Greene for "Jonathan Kent," Kay Francis for "Mary Ann," Margaret Hamilton for "Zenobia," Spring Byington for "Mother Webb" and Robert Barratt for the "Boston preacher." The Fox Story Files also disclose that writer Louis Bromfield worked on a treatment with Eleanor Harris and James Woolley. A later item in HR notes that Harris had to sue Fox to receive her credit for story research. Woolley's contribution to the final film has not been determined. George Pyper, a Mormon leader and authority on Mormon history, served as technical advisor on the picture.
       News items in HR add that the trek scenes were shot by Otto Brower on location in Kanab, UT. The cricket plague scenes were filmed in Elko, NV. The crickets formed a band two miles wide and six miles long, moving at a half-mile per day. Other scenes in the film were shot at Lone Pine, Big Bear and Mt. Whitney, CA. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
28 Aug 40
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Aug 40
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Apr 40
pp. 6-7.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Apr 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Apr 40
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 40
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 40
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Aug 40
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 40
p. 2-3.
Motion Picture Daily
25 Aug 40
pp. 1-4.
Motion Picture Herald
31 Aug 40
p. 42.
New York Times
21 Sep 40
p. 13.
Variety
28 Aug 40
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Darryl F. Zanuck's Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
WRITERS
[Story] by
Story research
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
DETAILS
Release Date:
27 September 1940
Premiere Information:
Salt Lake City, UT premiere: 23 August 1940
Production Date:
began mid April 1940
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
27 September 1940
Copyright Number:
LP10118
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
112-113
Length(in feet):
10,275
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
6329
SYNOPSIS

In the 1840's, when his followers are persecuted once again as a vigilante mob torches their meeting place and slays several of their members, Illiinois Mormon leader Joseph Smith urges his followers to take up arms and defend themselves. For his admonition, Smith is arrested on a charge of treason and found guilty, but before he can be sentenced, he is murdered in cold blood. Brigham Young reluctantly assumes leadership of the group and tired of violence, he decides to lead his followers out of Illinois after the army warns that they can no longer protect his people. This decision places Brigham in conflict with church member Angus Duncan, who urges the group to stay. The congregation, however, decides to follow Brigham, who leads them across an icy river to Iowa and across the great plains of the West. Joining them is outsider Zina Webb, who accepts the Kent family's offer of a home after the elder Kent is killed during one of the raids on the Mormons. On the road West, word comes of gold in California and, after Brigham falls ill, Duncan seizes leadership to lead the band to California. As they are traveling through the mountains of Utah, Brigham suddenly awakens in the hills above the great Salt Lake to announce that he has had a revelation and has learned that this is where they will settle. During the harsh winter, however, supplies run low and some of the women and children perish. Things look their darkest in the spring when a plague of crickets threatens the crop of wheat and Zina falls ill from starvation. Jonathan ... +


In the 1840's, when his followers are persecuted once again as a vigilante mob torches their meeting place and slays several of their members, Illiinois Mormon leader Joseph Smith urges his followers to take up arms and defend themselves. For his admonition, Smith is arrested on a charge of treason and found guilty, but before he can be sentenced, he is murdered in cold blood. Brigham Young reluctantly assumes leadership of the group and tired of violence, he decides to lead his followers out of Illinois after the army warns that they can no longer protect his people. This decision places Brigham in conflict with church member Angus Duncan, who urges the group to stay. The congregation, however, decides to follow Brigham, who leads them across an icy river to Iowa and across the great plains of the West. Joining them is outsider Zina Webb, who accepts the Kent family's offer of a home after the elder Kent is killed during one of the raids on the Mormons. On the road West, word comes of gold in California and, after Brigham falls ill, Duncan seizes leadership to lead the band to California. As they are traveling through the mountains of Utah, Brigham suddenly awakens in the hills above the great Salt Lake to announce that he has had a revelation and has learned that this is where they will settle. During the harsh winter, however, supplies run low and some of the women and children perish. Things look their darkest in the spring when a plague of crickets threatens the crop of wheat and Zina falls ill from starvation. Jonathan Kent has asked Zina to marry him, but as she lies stricken in her bed, his faith is tested. Brigham also has doubts, but just at the moment that he is about to renounce his leadership, a flock of seagulls appears from the skies to destroy the crickets and rekindle the faith of the Mormons. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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