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John Ford's "Wagon Master" at BYU film series Nov. 18

“Man’s Search for Happiness” and “The Three Witnesses” also to be screened

The Special Collections Motion Picture Archives Film Series will present the 1950 production “Wagon Master,” which acclaimed director John Ford often cited as his favorite film, Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium at Brigham Young University.

After the showing, two short films from the 1960s, “Man’s Search for Happiness” and “The Three Witnesses,” will be presented as well. Bryce Chamberlain, who starred in the original “Man’s Search for Happiness,” will be in attendance and provide commentary for that film. It was originally produced for the New York World’s Fair in 1964 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Children 8 years and older are welcome.

Wrapping up the “Mormonism in the Movies: The First 100 Years” series, “Wagon Master” focuses on a group of Mormons, often referred to as the Hole-in-the-Rock Saints, destined for the San Juan River area of southern Utah who fall in with a band of outlaws before arriving at their promised land.

Director John Ford said the film “came closest to what I had hoped to achieve.” It stars Ben Johnson, Joanne Dru, Harry Carey, Jr. and Ward Bond. The movie also inspired the successful television series “Wagon Train,” which aired from 1957 to 1965 and starred Ward Bond.

This was the first motion picture filmed in Moab, Utah, and started the small southeastern town’s thriving business as a frequent movie location. Moab boasts of having the longest continuously running film commission in the United States.

The event is co-sponsored by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, the Friends of the Harold B. Lee Library and Dennis and Linda Gibson. Films come from the permanent collection of the Motion Picture Archives in Special Collections.

For more information, contact James D’Arc at (801) 422-6371 or visit sc.lib.byu.edu for a complete season schedule.

Writer: Brian Rust

WagonMaster-h.jpg
Photo by BYU Permanent Collection

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