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Pioneers in Petticoats
Produced by "Judge" Wetzel Whitaker
Directed by "Judge" Wetzel Whitaker
Screenplay by Joyce Evans
Screenplay by Carol Lynn Pearson
Production Company: Brigham Young University Motion Picture Studio
Premiere Date: June 1969
Length: 44 min. (edited)

Published In Collection:
The Worth of Souls


Genre:   Film
Production Type:
LDS Church Production
Content Types:
Commemorative Film
Narrative Film
Distribution Types:
Private Church Distribution

Subjects: Young Women's;
When Brigham Young creates the Young Women's Retrenchment Society in 1869, the headstrong Abigail Harper is called as president in her rural community. Though bucking at the restrictions imposed upon her, she strives to serve well and fellowship and inactive girl. One night, when her parents are out of town, Abigail wears an immodest dress to a church ball. After embarrassing herself she leaves and winds up inside a tavern, where things go from bad to worse when she refuses alcohol. An unknown gentleman offers to escort her home, with the inactive girl and a nonMormon boy secretly following. When the stranger attempts to rape Abigail they intervene and save her. Later, when the young women meet to decide what to do with Abigail as Retrenchment Society president, the inactive girl arrives and defends her, showing that we all make mistakes and need forgiveness.

See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Third Wave

This film was commissioned by the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Associate for their centennial in 1969 and was the BYU Motion Picture Department's prestige production for that year (although the sleeper hit Johnny Lingo has proven more enduringly popular). The values championed decidedly belong in 1969, not a century earlier.

Not only was it a prestige production for 1969, but it was the longest film undertaken at BYU up to that point; Judge Whitaker called it the closest thing they had done to a feature. The original version was edited down to forty-four minutes for easier classroom use, and it is this latter version that has been available on video for the last two decades.

BYU/ LDS Motion Picture Studio Production #0125.

Dates Spanned in work:


Additional details at Internet Movie Database

Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association

Medium: 16mm color
Cast Members: Melinda Cummings - Abigail Harper; Nathan Hale - Bishop Harper; Gordon Jump; Karla Henricks; Jean Jenkins; Rebecca Yarn; Jillanne Duce; Ruth Hale; Jim French - narrator
Film Editor: Frank S. Wise
Cinematographer: Robert Stum
Country: USA
Language: English
Certification: none
Distributor: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Total Queries: 18. Total Execution Time: 0.007 sec.
Copyright © 2003 Brigham Young University. All Rights Reserved.