Brigham Young (film)

Brigham Young (also known as Brigham Young – Frontiersman) is a 1940 American biographical romantic drama film that describes Young's succession to the presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after founder Joseph Smith, Jr. was assassinated in 1844.

Brigham Young
1940 theatrical release poster
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Produced byDarryl F. Zanuck
Written byLouis Bromfield
Screenplay byLamar Trotti
StarringTyrone Power
Linda Darnell
Dean Jagger
Brian Donlevy
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyArthur C. Miller
Edited byRobert Bischoff
20th Century Fox
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • September 27, 1940 (1940-09-27)
Running time
114 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$2.5 million[1]


The story begins in frontier-town Nauvoo, Illinois in 1844. It follows the main body of the Church as they are forced to leave Illinois, choosing to settle temporarily in Nebraska and then to travel by wagon train to the Great Basin. Much of the story's plot revolves around two of the group, Jonathan Kent and Zina Webb.[2]



Parts of the film were shot in Lone Pine, California, in the plains west of Parowan Gap, and in Utah Lake for the seagull scenes.[3]:287


Michael and Henry Medved included Brigham Young in their 1984 book describing film financial failures, The Hollywood Hall of Shame, stating "Twentieth Century-Fox tried to emphasize its star power and to downplay the religious elements (eventually re-titling it Brigham Young, Frontiersman), but the picture still failed, even in Utah."[4]

See also


  1. 'Brigham Young' Cost Reported to be $2,500,000 Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 03 Sep 1940: 8.
  2. Brigham Young (1940) film page at Internet Movie Database, accessed 13 November 2009
  3. D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  4. Medved & Medved, The Hollywood Hall of Shame (1984), p. 205
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