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Savage Journey


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Product Details

  • Actors: Faith Clift, Terrence Gehr, Maurice Grandmaison
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Smooth Motion Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003V19CYK
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #971,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

A band of wagon train pioneers struggle to survive as they are driven by angry mobs from one town to another. When they realize that no town will accept them, they brave Indian attacks and the untamed wilderness as they forge new land with their heart, their hands, and their faith in god.

Customer Reviews

2.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
There are numerous anachronistic issues.
Lisa Shea
In reality, Mormons didn't allow black people to be mormons period until 1978 [That shows the love of Christ, Doesn't it?].
Mr_No_Name
You say, but you don't know me, how could you write a truthful biography?
T. Jacobson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bindy Sue Frønkünschtein TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 12, 2006
Format: DVD
SAVAGE JOURNEY is a rather dull account of the beginnings of the Mormon church. Richard Moll (Night Train To Terror) plays Joseph Smith, who is tarred and feathered, arrested, and eventually lynched. It's pretty much one disaster after another for the early mormons. Brigham Young carries on after Smith's demise, encountering tragedies of his own, including a swarm of locusts and plenty of backward yahoos w/ murder on their tiny minds! If only this movie were as interesting as the actual history! It's basically a G-rated yawn...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Annie Van Auken TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 16, 2014
Format: DVD
SYNERGY Entertainment is a NYC based DVD-R manufacturer. Their "Archive Series" videos offer no commentary, deleted scenes, subtitles or other bonus features. Dubs are "best available source" and can vary from very good to only fair.
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The 1983 TV movie on the history of the Mormons, SAVAGE JOURNEY is a tale of triumph over many troubles. The only actor I recognized in this was 6' 8" Richard Moll, aka Bull Shannon on TV's NIGHT COURT. (He has a full head of jet black hair in the film.) Moll played the founder of the Mormons, Joseph Smith. He was murdered by a mob some time before this group left the Midwest for Utah.

Brigham Young, Smith's close friend and successor, had 16 wives and dozens of children in that era before polygamy became illegal by Federal law. The subject is dealt with in a straightforward manner, offering a logical reason for a man having more than one wife, going so far as to claim it was also a blessing for widows and women divorced from abusive husbands.

One example of divine intervention occurs the first year the Mormons began a settlement that would one day be Salt Lake City. Planted crops thrive until millions of locusts attack. With no source of food for hundreds of miles, Young laments in prayer, wondering how the people will survive the coming winter. He asks God for a sign that this plague is not punishment, that there's some hope for the future. Almost like magic, hundreds of gulls appear and they devour the insects. At very least it's some story!

I found this film educational and certainly not a bore yet surprisingly, SAVAGE JOURNEY is only rated 3.9 at IMDb.
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Format: DVD
"Savage Journey," presented by the Television Corporation of America, is the story of the founding of the Mormon Church, and the trials that Joseph Smith and Brigham Young endured for their faith. While technically in color, the film is really black and gray, and counts as one of the darkest, gloomiest viewing experiences in history: frequently it's difficult to even follow the action and the characters involved. The pacing is turgid and the film is too long by about fifty percent. (How many lynchings do we need to see?)

The early Mormons undergo the humiliation of being tarred and feathered, having their barns burned, being shot, and being insulted by gangs of bigoted idiots. My favorite insult was this sharp barb hurled at Brigham Young: "Do you think I look like a gorilla?" I guess the reflexive nature of that bon mot makes it highly offensive and witty, at least in theory. Non-LDS churchgoers are seen to behave in all sorts of unappealing ways: howling like dogs in church was a new one for me.

The Mormons are persecuted in the Midwest, and eventually Brigham Young has a meeting with President Martin Van Buren, who refuses to get involved to stop the harassment of Mormons by local militias. He can't help; it's an election year after all. Joseph gets the townspeople in an uproar by endorsing polygamy, and his wife goes for it in a big way. Joseph founds the town of Nauvoo, Illinois and becomes mayor. When his policies on polygamy are widely derided he makes a proclamation to shut down the paper and destroy the printing press. While the film tries to make Smith look like the victim of big government persecution in this case, there was an obvious freedom of speech issue involved.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Shea HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 25, 2006
Format: DVD
Savage Journey details how Mormon church founders Brigham Young and Joseph Smith, in the early 1800s, were driven from town to town - and finally out to Utah.

Joseph was the visionary, while Brigham was the solid, sturdy peasant worker. They set up base in Missouri, where they were chased, harassed and finally decided to move to a swamp in Illinois where they would be left alone. They named this area Nauvoo. Peace was still elusive - in this new location they were written about and harassed as well. Joseph destroyed the printing press that was writing against them - and was brought to court. He was killed before the case went before a judge.

In 1846 Brigham brought all of the group out to Salt Lake in Utah, to live in peace there. They began planting - which of course drew in all the crickets in the area for easy food. The native Americans thought the easy abundance of crickets were a great free blessing of food. The Mormons laughed at this silly idea - while at the same time cursing this "plague". They merely tried to squash the bugs. Finally, as tends to happen in nature, birds saw this collection of bugs and gathered for the easy meal. The crops were saved (although the Mormons lost out on a good, nutritious bug stew surplus).

Once they settled in, Brigham pushed polygamy (for men only of course). In 1855 he was quoted as saying "Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned." In the movie Brigham claims that this is a way for every woman to "have a man". However, how about the 500 young men Brigham sent off to the Army, mostly against their will? Apparently this freed up extra women for the Leaders to take on as "extras".
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