James V. D'Arc, Blaine L. Gale, E. Hunter Hale, and Richard I. Hale
Trapped By the Mormons
When Trapped By the Mormons premiered in London in 1922, it was dismissed by
critics and public alike as "rubbishy melodrama" not worthy of serious attention.
It has, however, carried the reputation of the first wave of anti-Mormon films
(1911-1922) on its shoulders for eighty years. Despite this notoriety, the film has
been nearly impossible to find on VHS, and no decent DVD version has ever been created.
Brothers Richard and E. Hunter Hale changed that in 2006. They decided it was time to
make this little film do some good for the Church. Together with researcher and author
James Dï¿½Arc, they not only painstakingly restored it on a DVD full of worthwhile bonus
features, but donated all the proceeds to the LDS Church's Perpetual Education Fund as
well. The work--which included restoring the picture, creating the score, retyping the
original novel, and other tasks--was truly a labor of love, performed by a group of
Mormons toward a film designed to destroy their faith but which has become an endearing
and, now, enduring, component of their culture. The personnel at Grapevine Video in
Phoenix and the Organ Loft cinema in Ogden, particularly organist Blaine Gale, who
provided the perfect score, all deserve praise for bringing a classic work from LDS
cinema's past appropriately into the present. The Association for Mormon Letters is
proud to recognize their efforts with its 2006 Special Award.