Sister Jane Manning, a free black woman and convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, returns to Nauvoo to find that Joseph Smith, her prophet and friend, has been assassinated. Jane spends a ceaseless night with his widow, Emma Smith, sitting watch over the body of the Prophet, as a whirlwind of memory, loss, and confusion leaves them wondering how either one of them will be able to move forward. Through the long night, Jane wonders if the Prophet's promise to extend the blessings of eternity to her has died along with him. Join these two remarkable women of faith on an imagined night that reveals the essence of their complex, raw, and ultimately beautiful friendship.
Visit the Deseret Book blog to learn more about the story behind Jane and Emma!
Praise for Jane and Emma
"A beautiful and powerful experience. No sugar coating; just honest, vital storytelling."
—Karl Hale (Facebook Review)
"A powerful message that encourages me to become more steadfast in my faith and principles. Jane is my hero!!"
—Elise Bjorkman Plummer (Facebook Review)
"This is a tender, moving story of two brave women. The film lifts them out of the history books and into our hearts!"
—Isabel Storey (Facebook Review)
|Feature Running Time||Approx. 94 minutes|
|Subtitles||English, Spanish, Portuguese|
|Released||Excel Entertainment 2019|
The worst LDS-geared movie I’ve ever seen. The plot line was flat and lackluster. The actor who played Joseph Smith was so creepy that I thought he was gonna try to assault Jane at some point (shouldn’t they have had a more quality actor playing a prophet of God, not some B-movie actor?) The acting was melancholy and mediocre and lacked depth. The costuming looked like it was done by a young women’s group using McCall’s costume patterns and Walmart fabric. And Joseph Smith died in June 1844.... the middle of summer, so why were the outdoor scenes filmed in what looks like late winter?
Maybe T.C. Christensen’s films set too high of a bar for me. I don’t know.
Of all the inspiring stories that could be told about these two great women, the film makers chose pure fiction. A line in the trailer is a veiled admission to the film's fabrication: "One night that MIGHT HAVE been." Emma is portrayed as a crazed and bitter woman who refuses to let the Saints even view Joseph's body and will keep them away at gunpoint. Jane is apparently the only person in Nauvoo that she trusts. The acting is overly dramatic. Continuing flashbacks are not well executed, leaving you to wonder what exactly is going on and when. The film is dark and depressing and left me wondering why the film makers chose to produce this strange and distorted story of a time that is so deeply sacred to the Latter-day Saint community.
Professionally acted and masterfully constructed, Jane & Emma is an amazing movie. It made me laugh. ("Brother James? I ain't come for your tithing" when she calls the man she will eventually marry by the more formal title.) And it made me cry. But more than that, my heart was touched. ("I am a child of God, just like you.") This movie is well-written, giving the audience much to think about. I love how it shows sisterhood, mistakes, forgiveness, and faith. The music is moving and hauntingly beautiful. This is one powerful movie I will watch again and again.
This movie was a little bit confusing to me at first. I didn't realize it would be all about one night (plus flash-backs) and I guess I did not know as much about church history as I thought, some parts of Jane's story, etc were all new to me. I was surprised how mean some of the members were not only to African-Americans, but to Emma as well. They really show you how it was and dont try to cover up the ugly this- I appreciate that transparency. My young children were a bit scared with the scenes and the fact the Joseph's body was on the table during a large part of the movie. I liked and hated the movie at the same time the first time it was watched, mostly because I was a little lost and confused on what was going on. There are great parts of the movie and character development. I loved seeing the bond that Emma and Jane develop. I am really glad I gave the movie a second chance because it made so much more sense. I really did enjoy it the second time and do consider it a 5 star movie. The acting and everything was excellent! I would recommend this for teens and up, it can be a bit scary for young children. It is worth watching!
I saw Jane and Emma and immediately bought tickets to take my college-age children and best friend to see it as well. Such a powerful story told in a unique way. Every Church member needs to see this, know Jane's and Emma's stories, and experience the raw emotion portrayed in this film. I left it with a sense of gratitude for the incredible sacrifices and examples of these women who have faced-down prejudice, hate, and immensely-difficult life circumstances—and lived their lives the best they could in spite of it all. The film shines through the portrayal of relationship and small actions that affect change on an individual level. A wonderful soundtrack and fine production encircle the actors' powerful portrayals in this historical treasure.
This is a type of film that doesn't come along often. It stretches the boundaries of the typical "norm" and has the potential to open up minds and hearts. It is no coincidence this film was released during the 40th anniversary year of the revelation given in 1978. Watch this movie. Be ready to be changed. And share it with others. You will be glad you did.
We loved JANE AND EMMA! A strong film filled with powerful questions of faith, family, and sisterhood. The mighty Jane Manning James was so beautiful depicted by a breathtaking actress. Perfectly cast, well acted, beautifully shot. We will watch and rewatch this film in our home with friends and family until the end of time.
My wife and I absolutely love this movie. What a great story of love and Sisterhood. We know so little about this chapter of our own history, and to be able to see it told in such a beautiful and inspiring way has really been a blessing in our lives. Jane Manning James is an inspiration to us as a pioneer that did whatever her Father in Heaven asked.
Someone finally bothered to ask Emma why she stayed. So good!
My wife and I were thoroughly captivated by Jane and Emma. This is a story that neither of us had heard. Both actresses were superb in their roles and the story really broadened our perspective on early Church history. I was not surprised by the elements of prejudice portrayed in the story, since the fact that we're dealing with an LDS city and culture doesn't negate the reality of systemic prejudice that was often the norm during that time in our country's history. I would recommend the movie to anyone with that caveat... understand that people have prejudices regardless of their religion. Isn't that one of the things that Jesus tried to teach us to do; to overcome our prejudices and to love one another? God bless Jane Manning!
I took my 18 yr old to see this after following posts on Facebook by the producers throughout their filming process. Having spent much time in Nauvoo I am always interested in learning more about the people that lived and interacted with the Smiths. I’m also grateful that we are able to have open and honest discussions about the uncomfortable history. I was impressed at how deeply you could feel the message the actors were trying to portray. At times it felt raw. Emotions run deep. Although this is subject to interpretation I felt Emma’s loss to be realistic and Jane’s faith to be inspiring. Yes it is a little dark, this will not be like any other movie you will have watched portraying Church History. It is not for young children. It will open the doors for a conversation - and one I love having with those I know who have seen it. Powerful & moving.