The Corner

Mr. Smith Was a Mormon: Latter-Day Culture Late in the Day

An e-mail:

Hi K-Lo,Speaking of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on DVD….Interesting connection between Jimmy Stewart and the Mormon church (FYI, I am NOT a Mormon, but a big Jimmy Stewart fan). Read on–I recently learned via IMDB.com that Jimmy Stewart starred in a half-hour made-for-TV Christmas special back in 1980 called “Mr. Krueger’s Christmas.” I’d never seen or heard of this before, so I went googling to see if I could snag a copy. Lo and behold, I came across a page from the Mormon website that offered a free DVD of this film — just plug in your mailing info (and indicate whether you want a visit from LDS church representatives — I said “no”). We received the movie a couple days ago. Turns out it was actually produced by the Mormons, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir plays a big part in the film. They’re nothing overtly “Mormonish” about the film (aside from the appearance of the choir), and to its credit it contains one of the clearest and most sincere expressions of faith in Christ I think I’ve ever seen from a performer, courtesy of Jimmy Stewart. The DVD has all sorts of other features telling the story of Mormonism, but, heck, for a free Jimmy Stewart film, I don’t mind. FYI, Jimmy Stewart was not a Mormon — he was a member of the Beverly Hills Presbyterian Church.Keep up the great work at the Corner, and Merry Christmas!

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