Based on the True Story
When former Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs is shot by an unknown assailant, rumors quickly spread that the Mormons are responsible for the attempted assassination of the controversial politician. Never a friend of the members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Boggs had four years earlier issued the infamous extermination order that pronounced, "Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State."
Rumors gain new momentum when recently excommunicated member John C. Bennett implicates the Prophet Joseph Smith and Porter Rockwell in the crime. Though these accusations are vehemently denied by Joseph and his supporters, arrest warrants are issued for the Prophet and his protector. Joseph's warrant is dismissed; however, Porter Rockwell, not yet thirty, is arrested. After spending nine months in jail, Porter is finally brought to court for a grand-jury hearing to determine if there is sufficient evidence to indict him—a hurdle the state of Missouri must clear to proceed with a full criminal trial. This taut courtroom drama brings to life the friendship of Joseph and Porter and the original story behind the larger-than-life, legendary Porter Rockwell.
The Son of Thunder, Porter Rockwell, became a hero of mine when I read the book "Stories from the Life of Porter Rockwell" and then his biography. It always bothered me that he played such a unique role in church history but that he is virtually never mentioned. I am grateful that this movie was made. Though short, it is very accurate and I didn't notice any details that they changed in the movie, based off of what I have read about him. Rockwell doesn't say very much in this video but the story and events pertaining to the attempted murder of Gov Boggs is laid out very nicely. The acting is more than tolerable but I wouldn't say it is outstanding. If the makers of the movie see this I am sure that MANY people would love to see a more comprehensive movie about Porter's life. I know my son, that was born 2 weeks ago, Rockwell Brown would love to see it when he gets older.
A few thoughts on the DVD from someone who didn't know a whole lot about Porter Rockwell other than his name. I know a fair bit about Church history from the early days of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yet I always love learning more. In this DVD, the cinematography and acting were spectacular. The costumes, the characters, the situation--all were fascinating to me and appeared well done. The movie was almost over (I had no idea it was going to be this short) when I realized we weren't going to get any more to the story than the trail, really. Other than a couple of minutes at the beginning and the end, the entire script was the trail. That made it very difficult for me to connect to the character. I actually felt more for the attorney than I did the defendant. I would have loved to learn more about Porter Rockwell's background, more about the situation surrounding the attempted murder of the former Govenor Boggs, and especially a resolution to the crime. While well done and enjoyable, it felt too short, missing context and leaving me wanting more. Is that okay? Certainly; maybe I'll go research more about Porter Rockwell. Was it worth my time watching it? Yes, absolutely. Would I have been happy if I bought it? Perhaps, if I realized that the reason it is cheaper than most DVDs is because it is shorter. I received a complimentary copy of the DVD from the producer and have given my honest opinion.
My husband likes to tell us that he's related to Orrin Porter Rockwell-early "Mormon" bad boy, so I couldn't resist the opportunity to review a film about him. Sadly, my husband was out of town when the chance to watch came up, but my daughter watched it with me and we will watch it as a family soon.
I knew that Porter and Joseph were close, but I just thought of Porter as a rough character who was the prophet's bodyguard. The film included a little bit of backstory that explained when and how they met. This shed light on the friendship that the two had.
The bulk of the film is about the trial against Porter Rockwell for the attempted murder of former Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs (don't go into it thinking it will be about much more of Porter's life). There was a lot of hatred against those associated with Joseph Smith, and it was fascinating to see witness after witness discredited.
I thought the film was well done and the acting was good. It was just under 43 minutes, and worth watching.
Oh, and my daughter pulled up the family tree and verified that my husband is, in fact, related to Porter Rockwell.