Saturday, June 13, 2009

War Eagle, Arkansas

I have blogged about War Eagle Mill in the past, but I'd like to tell you about a movie that was made in the community of War Eagle last year. The area lays along the War Eagle River, about 11 miles from where we live. The perfect setting for a movie, it is lush, green country and the river flows fast as it goes under the one lane extension bridge that was built in 1907. It's like a step back in time when you drive down Highway 12 to the small community of War Eagle.

The movie War Eagle, Arkansas written by Vincent Insalaco, stars Luke Grimes, Dan McCabe, Brian Dennehy, Mary Kay Place, Mare Winningham, James McDaniel, Lynsee Provence and is directed by Robert Milazzo. It has won several awards including the Charles B. Pierce Award for Best Arkansas Film in 2008.

Based on a true story War Eagle, Arkansas is about a young man’s choice of whether to leave his family and friends for a career in baseball or stay and redeem his struggling community. The story takes place over a few pivotal weeks in the summer after Enoch Cass’s senior year, and is set against the backdrop of Arkansas’ beautiful Ozark Mountains. Enoch Cass has two gifts; the first is baseball, and the second is the innate goodness he possesses as he holds his family, members of his community, and most of all, his friendship with Samuel “Wheels” Macon, together. However, Enoch’s Achilles heel is the fact that he has a debilitating stutter and can rarely manage a complete sentence.Wheels is Enoch’s best friend and has cerebral palsy. He has been confined to a wheelchair since early childhood, which is how long these two have been inseparable. Wheels’ spirit knows no bounds, and combined with Enoch’s inability to articulate, the two have relied on one another to make themselves one completely functional human being…though without each other, they are nothing. However, the story finds these two at the crossroads of childhood and independence, the moment where Enoch has to decide if he will put away the things of his youth to pursue his own interests, or remain shackled to his hometown and its people.Enoch’s domineering grandfather, Eugene “Pop” Cass wants nothing more than for his grandson to get a baseball scholarship to a major school and get out of the town he feels he himself was sentenced to forty years before after being forced to abandon his own minor league career. Enoch’s mother, Belle Cass, often comes into conflict with Pop over these issues, while Enoch also seeks counsel from Jack, an older African-American man he works with, as well as Wheels’ mother, Jessie.After Enoch performs well in the All-Star game, he is quickly seduced by the new-found attention he’s being given both by interested colleges and Abby, a girl Enoch has had a crush on for some time. As all this happens, Enoch’s friendship with Wheels becomes more and more distant and finally begins to dissolve. As the film reaches its dramatic climax, Enoch must choose between his best friend, a baseball career, his girlfriend, and the inherent love he feels for his community.War Eagle, Arkansas poses important questions that face all young people in rural America. The answers we find could touch us all.

*Movie cover and review courtesy of Downstream People Productions. For a clip of the movie click here

Look for it at the theaters and later when it comes out on DVD!


  1. Sounds like a good movie. I hope it comes to Birmingham.

  2. Hey, thanks for the recommendation; always love movies about true, inspiring stories.

  3. I love your pictures especially the one of the river bridge. What a beautiful place and I will definitely have to look for that movie and rent it. Enjoyed your post.

  4. I will rent the movie. Uplifting and inspiring is a good thing! I loved your pictures. They're like a sleepy tone poem. Have a great day...Mary

  5. I saw this story on the news last night and cannot wait to see the movie! Good Post!!!

  6. jackson said he'd read something about this. looks like a movie that will make me cry!



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