Center for Latter-day Saint Arts


Mormon Cinema: Origins to 1952

Mormon Cinema: Origins to 1952

19.95 29.95

By Randy Astle

Softcover: 690 pages, published by Mormon Arts Center, 2018.

Mormon Cinema: Origins to 1952 is the first single-author book to comprehensively treat Mormon film in all its components. The result of nearly two decades of research, it deals with Mormon cinema in greater depth, both historically and theoretically, than any publication has done to date. It covers the complete history of Mormon cinema, from its roots in the 1800s to 1952. 

Initial critical praise: 

“I was fascinated with every page of Randy Astle’s work. He uncovered a world I had scarcely glimpsed before. Movies have been a larger part of Church life than I had dreamed. Fortunately, Astle knows how to tell stories and depict character. His book swarms with intriguing tales and fascinating personalities. It is both analytical and compelling. We don’t know our own history if we don’t understand the place of film.” Richard Lyman Bushman

“What an amazing treasure-trove this book is! We have been waiting decades for its like. It shows how the history of Mormon cinema is also the history of the movement itself during a crucial period of its history. People, places, and things that have languished in the background come to life. In this book, the archives are speaking from the dust! It’s a model of Mormon media history.” John Durham Peters

“Most of us thought that Mormonism and cinema have only intersected sporadically and relatively recently. Astle’s ground-breaking narrative reveals a startling history of cross-fertilization involving technology, actors, directors, and story-lines from television’s invention and early talkies to the present day. Mormons have been edified, vilified, and entertained by film and Astle shows how Mormon culture has itself been indelibly shaped by a filmic lens that has served alternately to reveal how outsiders see us, and most importantly, how we have seen ourselves. This encyclopedic treatment is full of delightful surprises.” Terryl Givens

Add To Cart