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What happened to the wave of Mormon movies?

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  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    April 24, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    One may as well ask what happened to the Mormon musical after "Saturday's Warrior" and "My Turn On Earth"--each one in turn became a cliched caricature of the last one until total absurdity ensued.

  • Weberboy Fruit Heights, UT
    April 24, 2014 6:47 p.m.

    The Best Two Years was the best and worst thing that happened to Mormon movies because its the best one and therefore any movie that has come after it has been compared and lost.

  • KathyInCache North Logan, UT
    April 24, 2014 6:48 p.m.

    Ummm... there were a few more than that. So you can't take all the blame. I have wondered if the movement centered around a few good actors or directors, and when they moved on, so did the rest of us. I miss those good old days.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    April 24, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    It DOES have to do with the quality of the script. You can't just have a few people show up and start doing pratfalls and tripping around and expect people to go for it. Home Teachers was really lame. I didn't like "God's Army" much either. It tries too hard to be thoughtful without any real weight and the actors all look like 30-somethings. It didn't remind me of my mission at all or anyone else's for that matter. Best Two Years did. A total family favorite.

    I'd like to see the kids that do Studio C try a full-length movie...

  • K Mchenry, IL
    April 24, 2014 8:12 p.m.

    Not LDS but I liked both singles ward movies, home teachers was very funny. Mobsters and Mormons was funny. I even found the Best Two Years to be interesting. Wonderful lesson about personal growth. While I liked One Good Man I had no idea what the problem was. One daughter needed a cell phone with a timer to get home on time. He had to lay off a member if his ward. Makes me wonder about the wisdom of non paid clergy. I did like dad sat out the wedding. Mom should have too. But I was glad dad did. The RM was super fun. Midway to Heaven was lost on me. I am still waiting for the family ward movie. I actually thought maybe mormon movies slowed down in production because a few of the stars left the church. What would be nice is to see some tv series that feature LDS families and not just cramming everything you can into two hours. Mormon mommy blogs are well viewed. There is a market to see the day to day stuff.

  • kbharding Bethesda, MD
    April 24, 2014 8:20 p.m.

    I found it interesting that no mention was made of The Saratov Approach which swept the Utah film festival with 8 awards, has reportedly broken all previous box-office records for Mormon-themed movies and DVD sales, and has been well-received by traditional audiences around the country and is now on a global premier schedule in major cities in Europe and Asia. The success of The Saratov Approach stemmed from its close adherence to historical fact, a compelling tale with a happy AND true ending and the Director's ability to weave a compelling story that tugged at the audiences' heartstrings. As one person said after leaving the movies, for two hours, everyone in that theater felt like they were the parents of a Mormon missionary. I think the film's performance is proof that the demand will be there if it is well done from both a story and a cinematographic perspective.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    April 24, 2014 8:53 p.m.

    Also, The Other Side of. Heaven, which was made by a major motion picture studio, Disney. It did fairly well and was well done.
    It can be hard to define what is a Mormon Movie exactly? Is Napolean Dynamite? It starred and was written and directed by Mormons, although the characters had no known religion expressed.
    Saratov was good. Also 17 miracles and Ephraim's Rescue. And Saints and Soldiers.
    I would like to see a quality made version of the Book of Mormon, not the cheesy one made years ago.

    The reason we don't usually see high quality is that it can cost a lot, and the thought is the market is too small to recoup the investment.

    The films could appeal to a mass market if not just inside Mormonisms that others don't understand, like the jokes in many of the movies like the Singles Ward. Most non-Mormons just don't get it. Have a good story told with well developed characters.

    A well made movie of many Book of Mormon stories could be well received if done right. The ideals of Captain Moroni are very similar to American ideals of freedom.

  • Daddiooh Orem, UT
    April 24, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    I see LOTS of movies.

    Good movies have great scripts, strong/confident directors, and solid/capable actors. If you miss one of these, a movie is generally no good. Most LDS movies lack AT LEAST one of these. Sometimes one category can be missing and you still have a relatively popular movie. I think "Singles Ward" is in this category. This was in no way a perfect film, but the jokes were relatable to the audience and we all laughed and had fun--its uniqueness was its main selling point.

    "The Best Two Years", the FIRST "Saints and Soldiers", and "The Saratov Approach" are the best of the LDS film crop....by a large margin. The reason LDS films miss the boat in the three categories listed above is because of the difficulty getting funding.

    I have a good friend who is an LDS filmmaker and securing funding for his project is getting in the way of producing his film (an excellent script/story and an equally excellent director are ready). But wealthy LDS investors are leery because of other poor LDS productions like (sorry) "The Home Teachers" and "Church Ball". Sadly, good material pays the price.

  • Llew40 Sandy, UT
    April 24, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    There are plenty of wholesome, entertaining stories in the Mormon culture left to be told, you just have to take a chance on the writers. I'd love to volunteer my writing talents. Read my blog about trying to stay positive as an LDS single and call me.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 24, 2014 9:41 p.m.

    You are all missing the boat on the best LDS movie ever made, even one most traditional critics admired. That is Brigham City. It is a well done masterpiece of LDS culture. If you want to get a true glimpse into Mormon culture, both its good and bad, this is the film. It is also a well done thriller with some really good plot twists. You will be surprised by the quality of script and movie, though made on a shoe-string budget. Those who are LDS will appreciate this fine film. Those who aren't LDS will enjoy a look into real LDS smaller town culture but the storyline alone is a good one. The very ending scene after the mystery is unraveled will bring any religious person to tears...

  • Just Jargon Orem, UT
    April 24, 2014 9:59 p.m.

    1. One Good Man. Errand of Angels. The Letter Writer. Silent Night. All pretty good LDS Films, or LDS made.

    2. Very poor scripts and no development.

    3. Film makers who think because they know how to turn on a camera, they can create a film.

    4. Producers who think they are really something, but have little talent when put up against the films of the world. It is not easy to create or produce a film. Many think they can, and many just want to earn a few bucks. Some even do it at the expense of the great film crews that are in Utah.

    5. A very short-sighted film commissioner in Utah. Does very little to draw great productions to Utah, which would inspire greater LDS work.

    6. TC Christensen, Christian Vuissa, Garrett Batty, doing some of the best work.

    7. Church itself? Too much little clip work, too much narration. No films that really address what families and individuals are going through.

    8. New Testament film clips in Goshen are nice, but look what others have done recently with telling the entire story of Christ. We, in the church, have still not done this.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    April 24, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    All of these movies had their different purposes - humor, suspense, teaching, etc. If the outcome is what the purpose is, then it was a success.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    April 24, 2014 10:11 p.m.

    Like Kora who commented earlier, I would love to see a quality production series of the BofM.

  • Jared from CT SOUTHBURY, CT
    April 24, 2014 10:13 p.m.

    For Mormon comedy, my hands-down favorite is Baptists at our Barbecue. Other movies I've enjoyed are Saints & Soldiers, Saratov Approach, Brigham City, Suits on the Loose, The Best Two Years, Mobsters and Mormons, 17 Miracles, Ephraim's Rescue... And yes, I like Saturday's Warrior, sometimes you have to look past a movie's warts and blemishes to the message. Of course there have been some that have been so poorly done it is almost impossible to get anything positive out of them. But I think those are the exception.

    One movie I would LOVE to see done is "A Distant Prayer", about an LDS member of a bomber crew that gets shot down over Germany and is captured. If you aren't familiar with it, get the audio book. It is a fantastic true story of survivals and miracles, that would be a wonderful film and could appeal to a wide audience.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 24, 2014 10:25 p.m.

    @Howard Beal
    "You are all missing the boat on the best LDS movie ever made... That is Brigham City."

    -------
    I also thought Brigham City was excellent. Richard Dutcher made it and also God's Army. But the rest of his films were downhill. Now with Richard having left the LDS Church, I fear his talents in LDS film-making might be long gone for good.

    @eastcoastcoug
    "I didn't like "God's Army" much either... It didn't remind me of my mission at all"

    --------
    Gods Army wasn't perfect, but it related to my mission quite well. Missionaries playing somewhat cruel jokes on each other; a missionary who loses his testimony due to anti-Mormon material; a Catholic father who is hesitant to let his wife and daughter join the Church because "we're Catholic!" (I served in a heavy Catholic country and saw that frequently!); a "stuck up" Sister missionary; missionaries joking/speculating about who is being transferred next. Even when the missionaries sing "We Are All Enlisted" - good grief we sang that hymn way too many times on my mission! I related to God's Army very well.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 24, 2014 10:42 p.m.

    Probably to appeal to a broader audience, Ryan Little's Forever Strong did an outstanding job of portraying the story of Coach Larry Gelwix and his Highland High Rugby Team leaving out any filming and mention of Mormonism and Mormons. Anyone who missed this film missed a very good movie. Saints and Soldiers (both films ) are also works of Ryan Little.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    April 24, 2014 10:44 p.m.

    No Academy Award nominations?

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    April 24, 2014 10:57 p.m.

    Thus far the Brethren have chosen to steer clear of any full length commercial motion picture. Portrayal of events from Church history, from the Book of Mormon, and from the Bible for teaching those not of our faith is a very risky venture; far too subjective to be undertaken with Church funding. You just can't appeal to the viewing tastes of lots of people(even those of us who are members) so there is very little to be accomplished in attempting to do so.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 24, 2014 11:12 p.m.

    One of my favorite movies, not just LDS movie, was The BestTwo Years! I pull it out every year! Awesome!

  • Jamescmeyer Midwest City, USA, OK
    April 25, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    I've yet to see God's Army, and I'm interested in doing so.

    Other "Mormon movies", however, really just aren't of interest to me. I really disliked RM, and as someone who's been attending singles' wards for far too long, I certainly don't want to watch a movie about one. I'd never even heard of the home teacher film.

    My ideal "Mormon movie" would probably be film adaptions of Chris Stewart's "The Great and Terrible" series. It's legitimately interesting -without- anything Church related, but the theology behind it is what really frames and flavors the entire story in a way unlike anything I've ever seen before.

  • GANANA Athens, GA
    April 25, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    I have enjoyed most of the LDS films that have come out over the years because my expectations where not academy award level but just wanting something clean, and relatable because I am LDS. I think what the filmmakers need to decide is do they want to appeal to a mainly LDS audience about an LDS topic/culture or about a overall topic maybe from an LDS perspective. There is a church here in GA that has done some excellent films that have done well and I have seen advertised and sold in Utah bookstores including Deseret Books. "Facing the Giants" (Faith), "Fireproof" (effects of pornography of families and "Courageous" (importance of fathers).

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    April 25, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    @ Rikitikitavi

    I agree. I'd hate to see the Book of Mormon be reduced to entertainment. I think it would loose credibility some how. Mel Gibson's Appocalypto was an interesting take on what might be considered ancient Lamanite "culture", but without any religious content that would be recognizable as "Book of Mormon" specific history.

    I think the church should stick to what it does best - Mormon messages. Look at what happened with the "Because of Him" campaign over Easter. Money very well spent. Not to mention "Legacy", "The Testaments" and "Joseph Smith" in the Joseph Smith Building Theater. I'm patiently waiting for a new one of those.

  • jaredw007 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    What happened to the wave of Mormon movies? It's still there, just not as big as it was in the early 2000's and that's probably a good thing because there was an awful lot of garbage being produced during that time, most of which had no business even being in theaters.

    If you're curious you can go to ldsfilm.com and see what those Mormon Hollywood wannabes have been up to. There's even an LDS film festival that happens every year in Orem.

  • BWall Pea Ridge, AR
    April 25, 2014 8:07 a.m.

    3 Movies
    Brigham City - the sacrament meeting scene at the end extremely powerful!
    One Good Man - Incredible protrayal of the feelings of a bishop, and family member while serving as a bishop.
    Mobsters and Mormons - A little goofy, but the underlying story of the 1st ccounselor acting as, and becoming, the bishop was sincere and moving.

    Sorry, but didn't care for Home Teachers

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 25, 2014 8:10 a.m.

    I would also say that Saints and Soldiers is a very good movie. I wouldn't put it quite in the quality of Brigham City but it was very noteworthy.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    April 25, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Good comments have been previously made, and I echo many of them. I think my vote goes to movies that are well written, well acted, and well directed, but with a minimum mention of church-related things. Movies that are heavily Mormon-related may have appeal to some(many?) in the church but probably won't have a lot of appeal outside the church. To have success outside of the Mormon culture, movies need a lot of violence and sex. Its too bad, but that seems to be the way life is.

    I look to the success, or failure, of books as parallels to movies. I've read a lot of LDS books that have good stories and good characters but little mention of the church. I would like to see that in movies.

  • Allen Salt Lake valley, UT
    April 25, 2014 8:50 a.m.

    One movie I've seen several times on KBYU is about a cyclist who is having marital problems because of his devotion to cycling. He coaches an upcoming cyclist who has a great relationship with his family. A comparison of the two gives great lessons about balance in ones life. No mention of religion. Just two men who sought world-class titles in cycling and who had to adjust their interests and devotion to achieve marital happiness. I don't remember the name of the film or the names of the actors, but I watch it every chance I have. The setting of the film was Virginia, and I don't think it was produced by Mormons. To me, it is an outstanding movie.

    Movies will be popular, I think, if they focus on ordinary people and help us solve problems in our own lives. Movies that focus on organizations, such as the Mormon Church, will have little appeal to persons not part of that organization.

  • Deliriousdd Benicia, CA
    April 25, 2014 9:09 a.m.

    Well, I remember Pres. Benson encouraging members to make movies about the Book of Mormon. I don't think this has really happened the way he envisioned it. I would like to see more, but done in a realistic way. Frankly, I think most of the humorous LDS movies are "B" movies. I would prefer to see more inspirational LDS movies. But I think for them to work the acting has to be high quality.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    @GANANA
    "Fireproof" (effects of pornography of families and "Courageous" (importance of fathers).
    ------

    I really like "Fireproof". I strongly recommend "Fireproof" for any Christian married couple who is having marital problems, especially if pornography is related. It is not LDS-based, but is for Christians that all can learn from (LDS also). Even if you don't have marital problems or you don't have pornography problems, it is useful for improving your marriage.

    I think the best LDS films recently are drawing on serious real-life situations, such as "Saratov Approach" (please see that one if you haven't!) and "Ephraim's Rescue". It seems the LDS comedy films are becoming a thing of the past. Maybe a good comedy can come along and spark a recovery, but I doubt it.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2014 9:42 a.m.

    A few more mission experiences from God's Army that I relate to with similar experiences on my mission:

    -Trying to teach a discussion with crying kids and a husband/wife who are not doing well in their marriage

    -Being confronted by prostitutes

    -Being confronted by blacks about the ban on the Priesthood

    -In the movie where the Spanish women answers the door and speaks Spanish rather than English hoping to get the missionaries to go away - on my mission people would constantly speak in a dialect that we weren't familiar with to get us to go away.

    -"Pops" (played by Richard Dutcher) - an older missionary (I knew a few Elders on my mission that were in the mid to late 20s)

    -Performing a baptism in the ocean

    -The father that was Catholic says "I feel nothing!" when asked if he felt the Spirit

    -And, the missionaries finally getting a "breakthrough" and getting the Catholic father to kneel down and pray during a discussion

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    April 25, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    Singles ward had a fantastic sound track. Sarato Approach I give 3 + stars out of 5.

  • Shazandra Bakersfield, CA
    April 25, 2014 9:55 a.m.

    For wildly popular, STO, and a huge financial success, go see the musical "Book of Mormon". Unbelievably talented cast, hilarious message....

    That being said, I only saw it to see what all the hoopla was about. I was offended by the nitwit South Park crass vulgarisms, but anyone with ethics is offended. They always push the envelope to juvenille and inappropriate.

    Pay some writers enough and get a cast that talented, and you can own Broadway, too.

  • drtyrone spanish Fork, Utah
    April 25, 2014 10:11 a.m.

    And what about "The RM," which was the best of the comedies?

  • Chad S Lorton, VA
    April 25, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    The Work and the Glory movies were good.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    April 25, 2014 10:28 a.m.

    @ Allen,”movies need a lot of violence”.
    The death of JS I remember what Joseph said, a short time before he was slain in one of the last sermons I ever heard him preach. Said he, “Men are here today who are seeking my blood, and they are those who have held the Priesthood and have received their washings and anointings; men who have received their endowments.” I saw the faces of those men at that time, and they had a hand in slaying the Prophet (JoD v 4 p 149). Wilford Woodruff, December 21, 1856.

    Whether Mormons killed JS or not is unimportant many important Mormons wanted to by taking an oath to kill him. (The Oath upon request) . . Francis M Higbee was at a meeting of dissenters on April 28, 1844. Brigham Young comments on it.… when you feel like killing me for so doing, as some of the people did who called themselves brethren in the days of Joseph Smith, look out for yourselves, for false brethren were the cause of Joseph's death, and I am not a very righteous man.(JoD v 3 49.)

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 25, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    When is a Train To Potevka going to become a movie? An incredible true story about brother Ramsdells escape from the Russian KGB. A must read. Would make a great movie.

  • Not Asleep Lewiston, UT
    April 25, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    I have watched most of the "Mormon" movies that have come out. I really enjoyed Richard Dutcher's touch, it was more of the raw flavor that I appreciate and was very saddened by his leaving his faith and it will ruin his film making in my opinion. We need our film artists to keep to their faith. We have many stories to tell and film makers need to take their lead from their painter colleagues. Minerva Tiechart was told by her Professor to paint her faith which she did in such a unique, colorful way. I am waiting patiently for some awesome masterpieces to come along.

    A non-LDS person took the time to piece 59 of the Bible Videos that the church has done into one chronological piece (The Life of Christ-- full version) and the effect is awesome. Nearly 3-hours long, it is the best "full length" movie on the life of Christ yet. He made a gift of it back to the church.

    By the way, the church never will produce "full-length" films for consumption by the entertainment industry-- that is our job. Their job is to teach and expound doctrine and to keep it pure.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    April 25, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    I love "Baptists at Our Barbeque" too! One book that would make a great movie would be "Fireweed", a story about an LDS family in Germany before and during WWII.

  • Old RM Mesa, AZ
    April 25, 2014 11:23 a.m.

    "If they build it, they will come" as said in a movie from the past about baseball, I think the same thing happens with LDS movie artists. If they make them, we will come (to see them, buy their videos.)

  • Zoniezoobie Mesa, AZ
    April 25, 2014 11:32 a.m.

    The Book of Mormon produced, directed, and acted as was the Lord of the Rings series would indeed be impressive.

    I myself have enjoyed the Mormon musical movies, including Sons of Provo, a spoof on boy bands intermingled with Mormon and BYU culture.

    I would like to see Saturday's Warrior adapted to the big screen other than the stage production film shown on KBYU now and then.

    And for decades, I've enjoyed the story told through the music of the Osmonds' The Plan. The Plan was an excellent telling of the gospel plan through music and would make an incredible movie and tribute to the talent and inspiration of the Osmond brothers. Too bad it came long before the music video and the LDS film culture..

  • Supermom6kids King City, CA
    April 25, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    Our family has all of the movies made by Halestorm, and we LOVE them!! All of the movies are well done and TRUE to our culture!!!

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    April 25, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    Let's face it; the target bulk of the audience for these movies don't have much interest in or an appreciation for film outside very narrow parameters. I'm a wannabe film buff, as time allows, but I only know of a couple of LDS friends I can even have what I would consider an intelligent conversation about film. It's not that they're themselves unintelligent; they just don't care that much about it. It's simply entertainment, nothing more.

    Most Mormons require their movies to be almost aggressively wholesome . . the "polite, remedial and not-so-factual recitations of Mormon History and scripture." Any conflict or disturbing happenings on display have to remain within "LDS standards" (whether plausible or not) be resolved somewhat simply, with an LDS-friendly resolution. A lot of Mormons miss out on some of the most affecting movies ever made because of their addiction to a notion of superficial, simplistic personal purity.

    Richard Dutcher might have lost credibility with LDS crowds, but one line from his parting letter rings true: "It is better to tell an R-rated truth than a G-rated lie"

  • Gator In Utah Daytona Beach, FL
    April 25, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    Church Ball was pretty bad.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    April 25, 2014 12:54 p.m.

    Just like movies by certain directors get extra credit with critics and the Academy, with LDS audiences, a movie gets extra credit if it's "clean." It doesn't have to be "good" the way a film critic or student might evaluate it; as long as it won't offend the Relief Society President, it's OK. Aim for "innocuous," and occasionally you might actually find a good movie, but you'll miss out on a lot of others.

    A Stake Pres from my past actually got up in Stake Conference and told everyone in solemn tones that there is no such thing as a movie that's appropriate for adults but not for kids. If your kids shouldn't watch it, neither should you. I felt like booing, but that's just a slightly exaggerated version of the "good LDS" person's attitude towards movies. Shame, really. I've watched a ton of movies . . some with really bad language and extreme violence . . with my 17-year-old priest son. For all the corrupting this has done, he's never been in a fight, and I've never heard him swear once in his entire life.

  • Itsme2 SLC, UT
    April 25, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    Um, I think you give yourself way too much credit.

  • jzzlvr Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    "Sons of Provo" was by far the funniest of the LDS themed comedies.

  • terra nova Park City, UT
    April 25, 2014 4:08 p.m.

    When Mormon movies first appeared, I hoped for good things. We supported them because we thought it was good to support a fledgling industry. (Richard Dutcher is a remarkably talented individual. I hope he returns.) Unfortunately, cheap suits jumped on the band-wagon. Quality went out the window as the writers and producers looked for the quick buck and cheap laugh.

    We held on, hoping for better. Then "Down and Derby" was released. I couldn't make it through half of it. Brain death was eminent by the time we found the remote.

    Those half-baked, spiritually-bankrupt money-grabs ruined a good beginning. No doubt the movement will recover. But it will take time.

  • OldGrizz Payson, UT
    April 25, 2014 6:02 p.m.

    What about the Church History films taken from Gerald N. Lund's books? I thought they were very good and Larry H. Miller did the funding. I liked both the books and the films.
    I would love the see The Undaunted made into a movie. The book is very powerful and the scenery down in that area would be breath-taking on the wide screen.
    Any of Lund's books could be adapted to a script and he has done an excellent job of character building which would translate into actors that would grab our heart strings.

  • Max Upstate, NY
    April 26, 2014 8:19 a.m.

    The author has a very limited memory of the Mormon themed movies that have come out. Many of the other comments have filled in the blanks but one I have not seen mentioned is my very favorite and the best of the bunch: The Other Side of Heaven.

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    April 27, 2014 5:29 a.m.

    Hated "Brigham City". So far fetched! No one has mentioned "Charly," it's the only one I've watched more than twice and cried every time. Loved "Saratov Approach". There is definitely a market for well-made LDS films that make you feel something and think, not slapstick cheap humor or unrealistic drama about a serial killer elders quorum president.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 27, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    Like any movie, a "Mormon movie" needs to be well-done, believable and entertaining if it is to succeed in the marketplace, and it can't be preachy or a Sunday school lesson with background music. It also needs to present its characters in three-dimensions with all their failings and shortcomings if it is to be seen as more than church propaganda. There are plenty of people and events in LDS history that could make successful films if done properly.

    My wife and I went to see Ephraim's Rescue when it came out, and found it well-made and engaging. While it didn't make me want to convert, it did help me understand and appreciate the travails of those pioneers who came here with handcarts, and it doubtless helped to strengthen the testimony of Mormons whose ancestors were in that group.

  • doubledeej Orem, UT
    April 27, 2014 6:41 p.m.

    As many have said, the problem has been the number of bad movies. After God's Army (which I personally didn't think was that good) and Singles Ward, we had a whole string of just outright poor films. Anybody trying to be supportive of the LDS film industry soon got burned out of trying to support bad movies. Many of us have just grown very skeptical of the possibility of an LDS-made or -themed movie being any good.

    I hate to say all of this, because several of the LDS filmmakers are people that I know and have worked with. But we can't let a relationship or the fact that a producer or filmmaker is LDS get in the way of being critical of poorly done material.

    There are exceptions... The Best Two Years is very well done, as is The Other Side of Heaven -- both are great stories told really well. The Saratov Approach may be good, but I haven't seen it just because I've become so skittish about spending money on LDS-themed films.

  • daveferr Columbus, OH
    April 28, 2014 7:48 a.m.

    Of the "Mormon trilogy," I thought Home Teachers was the best. There were a few over the top moments, but man it was awesome. I really hate that it flopped. It really showed an extreme view of what being a Mormon is REALLY like. "I thought you were bringing me another casserole.." Yeah, I'd so that and I'm a grown man!

  • Ohio Cougar Dayton, OH
    April 30, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    I have always liked the movie: "The Other Side of Heaven," which starred Anne Hathaway. I is a great story about missionary work. I feel confident that more good movies will come out in the future as the Church moves out of obscurity. The series of movies the Church put out last year on the Bible will be classics if you care about the Bible at all.