A dinner event called Hometown Hollywood is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, June 4, will welcome home local stars of the movie and provide an opportunity to share stories and photos. Local author David Swafford, who is working on a book about the community’s Hollywood experience, will share research and intriguing facts about the filming.
A few of the locals in the movie will share their experiences of being involved and a slide show of movie memories and photos is being developed to show at the event.
“Hometown Hollywood will be a nice evening of reminiscing about old times and sharing stories with residents like me who weren’t around during the filming,” said Melissa Woody, vice president for Convention & Visitors Bureau at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce. “I love to hear about Montgomery Clift staying at the Cherokee Hotel and Lee Remick borrowing someone’s baby buggy for her young child who was with her on location. These stories need to be archived for future generations. Plus it will be a fun night!”
A preview of a documentary currently being produced by Life Care Centers of America Media Center will premiere at the Hometown Hollywood event. The documentary focuses on the making of the movie, stories that came from filming in a small town and celebrates this history. The documentary will feature many hometown faces and locations. The full documentary is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The 1959 filming of “Wild River” left a memorable impression on the local community. More than 40 local residents were cast with speaking parts in the film and many others appeared as extras or were simply captivated by a piece of Hollywood in their own hometown. Even after 50 years, memories of movie stars and Hollywood “big wigs” in Charleston and Cleveland are still exciting.
Tickets for Hometown Hollywood are available at the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, Museum Center at Five Points and Callaway Antiques. Tickets are $35 and include dinner and admission to the “Wild River” exhibit and a souvenir program. Proceeds for this event will benefit the Charleston-Calhoun-Hiwassee Historical Society and the Museum Center at Five Points.
Other celebration plans include:
n The “Wild River” exhibit at the Museum Center at Five Points through July 3.
n Free Film Festival featuring the works of director Elia Kazan, June 1-3.
n “Wild River Days Festival” in Charleston June 5 will feature a vintage car show, music, continuous showing of “Wild River” throughout the day, food vendors in the park, and shuttles to Wild River Retreat for ferry rides to the island filmed in the movie. The festival in Charleston is a free event.
Sponsors of the “Wild River” celebration include Bank of Cleveland, Life Care Centers of America, Haney Meat Company, Arch Chemicals, Inc., SkyRidge Medical Center, Easy Auto and Cleveland Utilities.
Details of all “Wild River” events can be found at www.visitclevelandtn.com.