Film Shot in St. Cloud By Blockbuster Director Stephen Sommers Celebrates 25th Anniversary [VIDEO]
Back in 1989, an ambitious young Central Minnesota film director returned to his old stomping grounds to produce his first full-length movie. Now, 25 years after it’s initial release in St. Cloud, Catch Me If You Can, will enjoy a re-premiere at Parkwood Cinemas worthy of any big budget popcorn flick.
Known more for Hollywood blockbusters than for character-driven teen-rebellion flicks, Tinseltown heavyweight Stephen Sommers, released the movie a full decade before he would take on ‘The Mummy’ and a string of other big budget spectaculars.
Funded entirely by independent money, and with a measly budget of only 800K, Sommers brought an entire production crew to St. Cloud and Central Minnesota to film the movie he wrote in high school.
Based and shot in locations throughout St. Cloud and at Cathedral and Apollo High Schools, the plot follows the antics of Cathedral High School students, and their quest to save the school from closing. As fundraising begins to slow, the resident bad-boy Dylan (Matt Lattanzi) convinces the class president Melissa (Loryn Locklin) he has a way to save the school; take $3000 of already raised funds and bet on an illegal car race through the city, that he was sure he’d win. Of course he doesn’t, and is forced to double-down on a virtually impossible race against the clock that only the town legend has ever accomplished. The film ends with a spectacular stunt: the “star-car” and driver end up jumping through the goal-posts during a big football game between Apollo and Cathedral.
The movie is a favorite of locals, many of who were extras in the production. When you watch it, you’ll notice frequent references to St. Cloud landmarks.
But it just didn’t achieve teen-classic status like the John Hughes movies of the time, because the studio that promised to distribute the movie went out of business shortly after the production was done. Even so, according to some sources, it’s actually made 7 million dollars, mostly overseas.
However, it has become a much sought-after film by hot-rod and classic car enthusiasts because of it’s well-done race scenes and the colorful cast of vintage muscle cars, many of which were owned by Central Minnesota residents.
This Saturday’s celebration of the film is being organized by Pantowners Collector Club member Nick Prom and, by Buzz Cripe, another member who was the lead mechanic on the film.
The film will be shown this Saturday on two screens out at Parkwood Cinemas. You should be there by 9am, because the car that jumped through the goal posts will be there, as will the white Camaro dubbed ‘The Widowmaker‘ along with actor Greg Walker who drove the car, performed some of the stunts and played one a villains in the movie.
A short pre-film will be shown and then the movie in it’s entirety. There is also a private, already sold-out event at the Eagles Club, in conjunction with the anniversary. If you’re looking for the DVD, good luck, it’s extremely hard to find, however, you can see the entire movie right now below.
Both Nick and Buzz will be on The Pete & Doug Show later today around 11:15.