The Work and the Glory II: American Zion (2005)




Movie Info

The true story of how the Church of Latter Day Saints made its way to the American West in search of a home free from persecution informs this historical drama, based on the novel by Gerald N. Lund. In 1833, Benjamin Steed (Sam Hennings) and his wife, Mary Ann (Brenda Strong), were the leaders of a family of Mormons living in Missouri, but they and their fellow followers of the teachings of Joseph Smith (Jonathan Scarfe) knew little peace, as fierce anti-Mormon factions took violent action against the settlers. When several hundred LDS members were forced from their homes by vigilantes, Smith and his loyal second Brigham Young (Andrew Bowen) set forth to find a new home for their growing flock. Benjamin and Mary Ann join the migration west, but not everyone in their family joins them; their eldest son Joshua (Eric Johnson) has turned his back on the Mormon faith, and has joined forces with the men seeking to put a stop to Smith, Young, and their new church. The Work and the Glory: American Zion was the sequel to the 2004 film The Work and the Glory, also based on a novel by Gerald N. Lund.
Rating: PG13 (for some violence)
Genre: Drama , Faith & Spirituality
Directed By: Sterling Van Wagenen
Written By: Matt Whitaker
In Theaters: wide
Vineyard Productions - Official Site


Sam Hennings
as Benjamin Steed
Brenda Strong
as Mary Ann Steed
Eric Johnson
as Joshua Steed
Alexander Carroll
as Nathan Steed
Andrew Bowen
as Brigham Young
Brighton Hertford
as Melissa Steed
Kimberly Varadi
as Becca Steed
Sera Bastian
as Lydia Steed
Emily Podleski
as Jessica Roundy
Jim Grimshaw
as Josiah McBride
Jonathan Scarfe
as Joseph Smith
Melanie Harkings
as Emma Smith
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Work and the Glory II: American Zion

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

Unless the filmmakers can heighten the drama (this was filmed and rushed through editing) and ratchet up the emotion, these movies should go straight to video, or a Mormon church near you. They aren't effective outreach, or entertaining drama.

Full Review… | October 21, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

To call this drama heavy-handed would be stating the obvious.

Full Review… | October 20, 2005
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 27, 2006
Film Threat

While a minor improvement over its promising but sluggish predecessor, "American Zion" despite its authentic look, feels shallow and hastily edited.

Full Review… | November 13, 2005
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Scales back on the fictional characters and focuses on the more interesting historical figures.

October 30, 2005
Tooele Transcript-Bulletin (Utah)

The movie looks good, but it has that feeling of a pageant or passion play put on every year during the holidays, just on a bigger scale with more money.

Full Review… | October 26, 2005

Audience Reviews for The Work and the Glory II: American Zion

I think i've seen it. Not too memorable.

Curtis Lilly
Curtis Lilly

Oh my gosh Eric Johnson is my hero, there is no better Joshua in existence, & Jonathan Scarfe & Alexander Carroll are awesome as well

MJ Law
MJ Law

i saw it in theatres but haven't seen it since, but i remember loving it, and crying most of the way through it

Chelsea M
Chelsea M

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