A History of Mormon Cinema

LDS Church members who heralded Richard Dutcher’s 2000 film, God’s Army, as the first Mormon movie may not have known about similar public sentiments expressed about previous landmark Mormon movies, like the 1940 motion picture Brigham Young. The history of Mormon cinema stretches back to the early 1900s and is divided into five “waves.” The authors examine the waves in detail, discussing each era’s Church-made films, Mormon-themed films made by independent filmmakers, mainstream films made by Latter-day Saints, and films that depicted Mormons—accurately or not. The authors also touch on developing trends in how film is made, criticized, and distributed.

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