It was inevitable that sooner or later Darryl F. Zanuck would light upon the history of the Mormons for one of those grandoise movie epics on which his name is a U.S. trademark. This picture, from a story by Louis Bromfield, is actually more honest than many other Zanuck epics of the day - which really isn't saying much! The picture cost a whoppin (in 1940) 2.5 million dollars to make; you would think that they could have done more research in order to make the story more historically accurate. It's fatuous, dull and false. Its tepid love story between Linda Darnell and Tyrone Power is irrelevant, as it serves only to "gum" up the flow of action. More serious is its frightened skirting of the subject of polygamy, which for half a century kept the Latter Day Saints and the U.S. Government in state of warfare. Only once - and then in jest - is polygamy mentioned, and only two of uxorious Brigham Young's 27 wives shown (and only one is clearly designated as his wife). The migration of the Mormons across 1,384 miles of prairie and desert in search of religious freedom is a subject interesting to watch on film, however. Many of them walked on foot, were killed by Indians, died of starvation or merely perished in the brutal blizzards. Those who fought their way through mountain passes to Salt Lake Valley were determined to make a great city rise out of arid wasteland; here, at least Zanuck caught the spirit of these intrepid builders of a new world.