The Book of Mormon Movie

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The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1: The Journey
DVD cover of the movie The Book of Mormon Movie, Vol. 1.jpg
Directed by Gary Rogers
Produced by Bryce W. Fillmore (line producer)
David Hales (co-producer)
Gary Rogers (producer)
Written by Craig Clyde (screenplay)
Gary Rogers (written by)
Starring Noah Danby
Jacque Gray
Bryce Chamberlain
Jan Gardner
Ron Frederickson
Kirby Heyborne
Todd Davis
Michael Flynn
Richard J. Clifford
Bruce Newbold
Music by Robert C. Bowden
Cinematography Neal Brown
Edited by Ira Baker
David Hales
Brad Olsen (assistant editor)
Distributed by Mormon Movies
Halestone Distribution (a division of Halestorm Entertainment)
Release date(s)
  • September 12, 2003 (2003-09-12)
Running time 120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$1,500,000

The Book of Mormon Movie, Volume 1: The Journey is a film version of the first two books in the Book of Mormon. Gary Rogers directed the movie from a screenplay written by himself and Craig Clyde. The movie had a limited theatrical release on September 12, 2003.

The theatrical release was rated PG-13 and contained an image of Nephi with blood splatter on his face after beheading Laban. This image was removed from the scene, and the film received a PG rating for the DVD release.


The movie is based on the first two books of the Book of Mormon. It is the story of Lehi and his wife Sariah and their four sons: Laman, Lemuel, Sam, and Nephi. Lehi leaves Jerusalem in 600 B.C. after having prophesied concerning the destruction of Jerusalem and people wanted to kill him. He journeys into the wilderness with his family. He sends Nephi and his brothers back to Jerusalem after the brass plates and the family of Ishmael. The sons and daughters of Lehi marry the sons and daughters of Ishmael. They take their families and continue into the wilderness. Ishmael dies in the wilderness. They come to the sea. Nephi's brothers rebel against him; he confounds them, and builds a ship. They cross the sea to the promised land in the Americas. Lehi dies in the promised land. Nephi's brethren rebel against him again. The plot concludes with Nephi departing again into the wilderness.


Rogers's inspiration was the Cecil B. DeMille 1956 version of The Ten Commandments. He envisioned The Book of Mormon as one long historical epic. His plan was to make nine movies that cover the entire story of the book.

The movie was produced for $1.5 million. The film ended up earning $1,680,020 in the United States.[1] The movie's running time length was two hours, and it was revealed on the DVD commentary that the first cut of the film was 2 hours 40 minutes long.

Noah Danby was cast as Nephi because of his strong resemblance to the art of Arnold Friberg.[citation needed] He had never read the Book of Mormon before making this film. Danby is a devout Lutheran, and while at first he didn't feel comfortable in making the movie due to religious differences, he has said in an interview for the Hollywood Reporter that he took the role to gain experience as an actor.

The desert scenes were filmed in Utah in the spring, and it was very cold. The "great and spacious building" was a five-foot miniature. The boat does not appear in the theatrical version of the scene in which the family arrives in the promised land. It was digitally added to that scene for the DVD version.

The costume designer used Mormon art and illustrations to guide her selections.[citation needed]

This movie was mentioned in Paul C. Gutjahrs 2012 book The Book of Mormon: A Biography.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

The film was widely panned by Mormon[3] and non-Mormon critics;[4][5] Variety described it as "[w]ell meaning but often as tediously earnest as a Sunday sermon".[6] In the Bloggernacle, A Motley Vision gave it a grade of C–.[7] It is the fourth highest grossing movie in this history of LDS cinema.[8]


The next installment, entitled The Book of Mormon Movie, Volume II: Zarahemla, is currently in development hell.[citation needed]


External links[edit]