The Best Two Years
Edited by Wynn Hougaard
Produced by Scott S. Anderson, Michael Flynn, Fred Danneman
Directed by Scott S. Anderson
Screenplay by Scott S. Anderson
Production Company: Harvest Films
Premiere Date: 2003
Length: 112 min.
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Significant Mormon Elements
Commercial Video (VHS/DVD)
Subjects: LDS missionaries; Holland;
From the cover: "The Best Two Years" is the funny and touching story of Elder Rogers (K.C. Clyde), a Mormon missionary struggling with his faith after a series of blows to his personal life. When he is called to train Elder Calhoun (Kirby Heyborne), an overzealous new missionary, Rogers must reconcile his beliefs and sense of purpose. Shot on location in Holland, "The Best Two Years" offers a humorous and insightful look into the lives of LDS missionaries that is "head and shoulders above other LDS films" (Jeff Vice, Deseret Morning News).
Elder Rogers specifically regains his faith as he testifies of Joseph Smith to their American invetigator Kyle. He and Elder Calhoun become the most productive companionship in the mission, contrasted with their roommates who, in the film's latter portions, seem to be slipping into despondency. The film ends on Elder Rogers' departure.
See Mormon Film: Key Films of the Fifth Wave
After serving a mission in Holland Scott Anderson wrote the stageplay "The Best Two Years of My Life," which premiered in Utah around 1983. That year a live performance was videotaped and sold on VHS tapes (along with many other LDS-themed stage productions between 1974-1989); portions of this production are available on the DVD. In rewriting the screenplay he attempted to open it up beyond the single set of the stage production, but its theatrical roots can still be felt; for instance, in the fact that the missionaries conveniently find an American investigator (keeping Dutch and subtitles to a minimum) and that they teach him in their own apartment.
Anderson decided to make the play into a feature film after the success of Richard Dutcher's "God's Army." He produced it independently, shooting locations in Holland and interiors in Utah, and then found himself in a strong position in choosing between distributors Excel Entertainment and HaleStone (the distribution arm of HaleStorm). He went with the latter, entering general distribution in February 2004, and this competition and the postiive reviews the film received seem to mark the high point of the post-"God's Army" surge of LDS feature films, as after this point audiences and critics have been more hostile/apathetic and the number of LDS feature films has dropped. Still, "The Best Two Years" is generally regarded as one of the better films from the movement in its mixture of comedy and religious sentiment.
Every moment counts.
Also: Four missionaries. Half a world away. The experience of a lifetime.
Best of Fest - Sarasota Film Festival 2004
Additional details at ldsvideo.com
More info at LDSFILM.COM
View BYU Library catalog record
View trailer at ishowstogo.com
HBLL Call No: DVDMM 89, DVDC 3204
Medium: 35mm color
Cast Members: K.C. Clyde - Elder Rogers; Kirby Heyborne - Elder Calhoun; David Nibley - Elder Johnson; Cameron Hopkin - Elder Van Pelt; Scott Christopher - Kyle Harrison; Michael Flynn - President Sandburg
Music Composed by: Michael McLean
Cinematographer: Gordon C. Lonsdale
Certification: MPAA: PG
Distributor: HaleStone Distribution
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