Wetzel Whitaker

  (Redirected from Judge Whitaker)

"Judge" Wetzel Orson Whitaker (September 30, 1908 – November 1, 1985) was a prominent Mormon filmmaker. Most of the films he was involved in, such as The Windows of Heaven, Johnny Lingo and Pioneers in Petticoats, were made in cooperation with his brother Scott Whitaker. The two of them ran the BYU Motion Picture Studio during this time, receiving commission from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to make films.

Wetzel Whitaker
Born(1908-09-30)September 30, 1908
DiedNovember 1, 1985(1985-11-01) (aged 77)
Years active1939-1980

Whitaker was born in Heber City, Utah and grew up primarily in Utah and Colorado. His nickname came from his brother calling him "Judge", comparing him to the local justice of the peace.[1] He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and became the Art Director for the St. Louis Times. In the 1930s he moved to California, where he worked many years for Walt Disney as an animator.[2]

From 1953 on, Whitaker directed the BYU Motion Picture Studio. In 1971 he was given an honorary doctorate by BYU and he retired from his work at the motion picture studio in 1974. Judge was succeeded by Jesse Stay, his Assistant Director.[3]




  • Up in Smoke (1960)
  • 'Til Death Do Us Part (1960)
  • Worth Waiting For (1962)
  • The Search for Truth (1962)
  • Measure of a Man (1962)
  • The Windows of Heaven (1963)
  • Of Heaven and Home (1963)
  • Bitter Wind (1963)
  • Man's Search for Happiness (1964)
  • How Do I Love Thee? (1965)
  • And Should We Die (1966)
  • Marriage: What Kind For You? (1967)
  • Are You the One?: Choosing a Mate (1967)
  • The Three Witnesses (1968)
  • Worthy to Stand (1969)
  • Pioneers in Petticoats (1969)
  • Never a Bride (1969)
  • Johnny Lingo (1969)
  • Are You Listening? (1971)
  • The Lost Manuscript (1974)
  • Ancient America Speaks (1974)
  • Cipher in the Snow (1974)


  1. ^ Biography for Judge Whitaker (1908–1985) on IMDb
  2. ^ Jones, Alexis (November 26, 2012), "'A Reel Legacy' tells story of LDS Church's early film efforts", Deseret News
  3. ^ "Jesse Eldred Stay's Autobiography, Part 2", StayFamily.org, retrieved 2013-06-30[unreliable source?]

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