Key Films of the Second Wave
Click on individual films for full details and history. This is a small sampling of the many films from this period, all of which can be searched from here. These films are chosen due to their quality, popularity, or influence. Some are listed because they represent innovations, major trends, or emerging genres.
|The Message of the Ages||USA; 1930; George D. Pyper||Significant church feature film adapted from centennial pageant staged in Salt Lake Tabernacle.|
|Corianton: A Story of Unholy Love||USA; 1931; Wilfred North
||First independent Mormon feature film and large-scale Book of Mormon adaptation, done in the style of 1920s Biblical epics.|
|Brigham Young: Frontiersman||USA; 1940; Henry Hathaway||First large-scale and successful Hollywood feature with Mormon subject matter, significant for positive portrayal of Mormons as representative Americans.|
|Where the Saints Have Trod||USA; 1947; Frank Wise, LaMar Williams||
First Deseret Films production. This pioneer centennial documentary featuring Church president George Albert Smith paved the way for the BYU Motion Pictures Studio.
|Latter-day Saint Leaders: Past and Present||USA; 1948; Clawsons, Frank Wise||This compilation of surviving actualities footage from First Wave Mormon film pioneers Shirl and Chet Clawson was among the first films distributed by the Church's nascent film distributor, Deseret Book.|
|Church Welfare in Action||USA; 1948; Eric Larson||These two films, co-productions with Walt Disney involving future church film mogul "Judge" Wetzel Whitaker, were the first to feature the Church welfare system. Their success prompted Church sponsorship of the BYU Motion Picture Studio.|
|The Lord’s Way||USA; 1948; Judge Whitaker|
|Temple Square||USA; 1949; Frank Wise||First filming of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in this Temple Square tour documentary.|
|Wagon Master||USA; 1950; John Ford||John Ford classic western noted for sympathetic portrayal of Mormons. Backed by Howard Hughes. Helped establish Utah as favorite location for Hollywood westerns.|
|The temple endowment film||USA; 1955; Gordon B. Hinckley||Future Church president Gordon B. Hinckley introduces film as central component of Mormon temple rites.|