Cast & Crew
John Hogue, his wife, and their daughter Dora are saved from the Indians by the Mormons and taken into their community. Dora falls in love with Tom Rigdon, a youthful convert, but is desired by Elder Darius Burr who conspires to force Hogue into the sect in order to obtain his daughter. Burr informs Dora that her father will be forced to marry a second wife unless she agrees to marry the elder. Dora, ignorant that the ceremony has already taken place, agrees to the sacrifice but tells the sect, untruthfully, that she is not a virgin, disqualifying herself as a bride by Mormon law. When Hogue's second wife is brought to the house, Dora's mother commits suicide and Hogue, Tom and Dora are taken prisoner by the Avenging Angels, a band of masked Mormon militiamen. Left in the desert to die by the Avenging Angels, Hogue makes his way back in time to save his daughter from Burr's advances, and Tom and the three escape from the community.
Paul West's story was originally titled The Deliverance. The film was originally eight reels long but was cut to five reels before its release. It was allegedly produced to capitalize on anti-Mormon sentiment prevalent at the time. Paramount planned to release the film on January 11, 1917, postponed the release to February 1, 1917 at the last minute, then took the film off its release charts in mid-January 1917. The film subsequently appeared in release charts as a February state rights release by Friedman Enterprises; Hiller & Wilk were the film's selling agents.
A modern source claims that Paramount decided not to distribute the film due to pressure from the Mormon Church. Papers in the Cecil B. DeMille Collection at Brigham Young University indicate that Lasky did not feel that the film was up to company standards and the company wanted to release it as a state rights film. Existing prints of the film have retained the Lasky name, however.