Films of Henry Hathaway: Brigham Young (1940) — 14 Comments

  1. Jim: Great article on a neglected movie. I don't know a lot about the real story, and I found the historical background info here very interesting.

    Alfred Newman's title music for "Brigham Young" must have been a great favorite of someone (Newman? Zanuck?) because it was used often in westerns in the 1940s and 1950s, such as "Yellow Sky" and "The Gunfighter". I always thought it a strange piece to open the latter, its jaunty rhythms quite in contrast to the grim story that "The Gunfighter" tells.

    Another great post, Jim.

  2. CW:You raise an interesting question. Hathaway's picture emphasized the viciousness of anti-Mormon persecutions, the hardships and spiritual commitment of the westward migration, and the Miracle of the Seagulls; soft-pedaled the Mormon polygamy; and omitted any mention of Joseph Smith's militarism and political ambition. I suspect that today's filmmakers, assuming they were interested at all, would take a more-or-less directly opposite approach.