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Produced by Scott Swofford
Directed by Kieth Merrill
Screenplay by Kieth Merrill
Production Company: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Premiere Date: July 3, 1993
Length: 52 min.

Genre:   Film
Production Type:
LDS Church Production
Content Types:
Narrative Film
Distribution Types:
Exhibition / Visitor's Center
Private Church Distribution

Subjects: Joseph Smith; pioneers; Nauvoo; temples;
This film uses the fictitious character of Eliza Williams to portray the first seventeen years of the LDS Church. Eliza watches or participates through major milestone events in the Church's history, such as the Missouri persecutions, the Haun's Mill massacre, Joseph Smith's martyrdom, the building of the Nauvoo temple, the trek west, and the call of the Mormon Battalion. This story is told in flashback from 1893 as Eliza speaks with her young grandson during the setting of the Angel Moroni statue on the Salt Lake temple.

As in "Brigham Young," "Brigham," and other films a romantic subplot between fictitious characters is superimposed onto the historically-based narrative of the progression of the Saints.

See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Fourth Wave

This film grew directly out of the refurbishment of the Hotel Utah as the Joseph Smith Memorial Buildling, a project initiated by Gordon B. Hinckley. The storyline was largely Hinckley's, although the actual screenwriting was done by writer/director Kieth Merrill. Production began in January 1990; it was filmed on locations in England and America, with a principle cast of thirty, a cast of extras at 3,000, and a crew of 120. The rough cut was deemed overly long and it was hence cut down to its final length to accomodate hourly screenings. The new building was dedicated on June 27, 1993, and Legacy premiered on July 3.

Both the film and theater were an immense success, including on the latter's video release in 1997. When a new film, The Testaments of One Fold and One Shepherd, premiered in the cinema it was renamed the Legacy Theater. The term has come to be used on LDS genealogical software and other items.

Dates Spanned in work:
1830-1847, 1893

Additional details at Internet Movie Database

View BYU Library catalog record

HBLL Call No: DVDMM 153, VC 887, VC 259
Medium: 70mm color
Cast Members: Kathleen Beller - Eliza Williams/Walker; Marcus Gilbert - David Walker
Music Composed by: Merrill Jenson
Film Editor: Kathleen Korth
Cinematographer: Reed Smoot
Country: USA
Language: English
Certification: none, probable MPAA PG
Distributor: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Reviewed In:
Toward a Mormon Cinematic Aesthetic: Film Styles in Legacy by Thomas J. Lefler, Gideon O. Burton

Total Queries: 17. Total Execution Time: 0.007 sec.
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