(Des Moines, IA) – Greetings from Modern American Cinema! We are proud to announce that Kristian Day’s documentary Capone’s Whiskey: The Story of Templeton Rye will begin its theatrical run starting this Friday in Iowa City, IA and will continue the run in select theaters until the end of September. Most cities will only be offering a one or two day showing and a small number of theaters have been selected to include film maker Q&A sessions after the screenings.
Kristian Day’s documentary film chronicles the history of the infamous whiskey cookers of Carroll County from their outlaw days of Prohibition to when the liquor became legal in 2006. During the Prohibition Era, west central Iowa farmers cooked whiskey in their barns and machine sheds to supplement their income in the harsh times. The finished product was of such a high quality that it quickly made its way to speakeasies in Chicago, Kansas City, and Omaha through Italian gangster Al Capone. For almost 80 years the product was considered illegal until it was introduced in 2006 as a legal brand of top shelf liquor. The film made its debut on December 4th, 2011 at the Fleur Cinema in Des Moines, Iowa.
“This film uncovers a part of Iowa’s history that has been kept in the dark for almost a hundred years,” says Day. “I wanted to tell a story of survival and community spirit without taking away the mystique that it has carried with it for so long.”
Theaters who are interested in booking Capone’s Whiskey: The Story of Templeton Rye should contact Kristian Day and Modern American American Cinema, LLC directly at email@example.com.
Day, 26, a native of Rock Island, IL, went to high school in Cedar Rapids and attended the University of Colorado at Denver in the music industry studies program. In 2008, Day began directing and producing his own movies. His short films have played all over the world including Austria, Greece and Italy. His films have also been screened at various festivals in cities across the United States including Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago.
This movie is the third movie in Day’s MADE IN IOWA documentary series, which has previously included Brent Houzenga: Hybrid Pioneer (available on DVD) and Templeton Rye: Iowa’s Good Stuff (30 minute short), which aired along side the Ken Burns’ series Prohibition on Iowa Public Television this past October and is currently available on Amazon’s Video On Demand. The ongoing series tells the stories of the innovative people, places and ideas that have influenced Iowa’s culture.
Modern American Cinema, LLC is an independent film production & distribution company based in Des Moines, Iowa. Founded in 2010, the company specializes in creating full-feature narratives and educational documentaries for international distribution.
Current screening dates include:
March 1st at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA (private alumni/student screening)
March 2nd, 3rd, and 4th at the Bijou Cinema in Iowa City w/ film maker Q&A
March 10th at the Iowa Theater in Winterset, IA
March 10th at the Rialto Theater in Pocahontas, IA
March 22nd at Mayne Stage in Chicago, IL w/ film maker Q&A *Whiskey Fest Event*
March 23rd at The Grand Theater in Eldora, IA
March 24th & 25th at the Central Theater in Geneseo, IL
March 24th at the Grand Theater in Greenfield, IA
March 26th & 28th at the Prairie Cinema in Prairie Du Chien, WI
March 29th at the Orpheum Theater in Marshalltown, IA w/ film maker Q&A
April 10th at the Elkader Cinema in Elkader, IA
April 13th at the Palace Theater in Vinton, IA w/ film maker Q&A
April 28th at the Mindframe Theater in Dubuque, IA w/ film maker Q&A
April 28th & 29th at the New Strand Theater in West Liberty, IA
April 28th & 29th at the Dreamland Theater in Carson, IA
May 11th &12th at the Donna Reed Theater in Denison, IA w/ film maker Q&A
September 28th & 29th at the Temple Twin Theatre in Mount Pleasant, IA
A subdural hematoma is a collection of blood on the surface of the brain, much like what is happening to you right now as you read this amazing article. In this case, it’s the name of our latest and greatest original cocktail and the must have drink while watching Boardwalk Empire. That’s right, if you want to be a real gangster, and not some TV watching little bitch, ya gotta get down with the Subdural Hematoma Cocktail. After all, it was created by a gangster and brought to you by a gangster. Yup, gangster little Jewish kids from the suburbs just created your new favorite drink for the best show on television.
1.5 parts Crown Royal Reserve Canadian Whisky
1 Glass Skull Glass
That’s it! Genius! During prohibition, Canadian Whisky was the most consumed spirit, smuggled over the border from Canada. One more thing, drink your whisky straight like a man, you’re a gangster now.
With a great tradition of drinking in the United States, our fair share of presidents also have a rich history of the party and cocktail lifestyle. With George Washington running a very successful whiskey distillery on his plantation, Jefferson brewing his own beer, Jon Adams being a flat our alcoholic and Ulysses S. Grant leading the troops into battle while being completely lit, our founding fathers knew how to throw down. Some of our more modern presidents like Barak Obama loves charming political rivals with a few beers hoping that will ease tensions and get some bills passed through the senate.
The man who ended prohibition, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was known to mix cocktails in the oval office every single night. Every single night! We at Whiskey Goldmine don’t even drink every night, that’s just insane. Even during the war, FDR mixed his own drinks right at his desk making martinis and old fashions, talking and mixing drinks for others around him. When Truman actually got the news of FDR’s passing, Harry was said to have been sipping a Bourbon when he got a the phone call; a fine tribute to his predecessor.
The man who is credited for passing the civil rights bill but also demonized for starting the Vietnam War, Lyndon B Johnson, was also a hell of a drinker. The main cocktail Johnson mixed was a scotch and soda, specifically Cutty Shark. Johnson used to drive around his ranch with the secret service mixing him drinks in the car behind him. The routine was done so often that Johnson didn’t even have to stop the car to hand off his empty glass and then receive a new cocktail. That’s some professional shit right there.
The man who went down in flames over the infamous Watergate scandal, Richard Nixon was a flat out drunk. The Nixon administration invented cocktail parties for the press but for Nixon this wasn’t a good idea as he didn’t talk to anyone and just got hammered. His only conversation was asking people if they wanted another drink while he was sitting at the bar. Hey, that aint the worst thing to say to a journalist, shit, I encourage people to ask me that very question. It’s been documented that at times Nixon couldn’t take phone calls from some foreign world leaders because he was completely intoxicated. Well, Nixon’s drunkenness didn’t lead to any wars right? I guess we can hope so.
The Death of the Commodore and the Death of Jimmy Darmody
By Matt Goldstein
In HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, season 2 certainly didn’t disappoint in the air of drama, but how do we know the real characters are being portrayed on the screen accurately. From murder and corruption, bootlegging and drug dealing, the historical characters driving the backdrop of the series such as Lucky Luciano, Arnold Rothstein, Al Capone, Meyer Lansky and Waxey Gordon certainly leave a lot of speculation with business deals and gangland politics.
Did Meyer Lansky & Lucky Luciano Break Mafia Rules and Deal Heroin?
Absolutely. In fact, it was so profitable that Lansky and Luciano began shying away from alcohol towards the end of prohibition. Because of heroin, Lansky and Luciano went on to become the richest gangsters in the history of the world and most of that money was because of heroin. Drugs’ being against mob rules is merely a myth. Most mafia families shied away from drugs simply because it brought to much heat and marginalized political connections.
Was Jimmy Darmody based on the real life Jimmy Boyd?
No. The real life Jimmy Boyd was just a small time political operative for Nucky Johnson and Boyd never went to Princeton, never served in WWI and never had anything to do with bootlegging. The name Jimmy seems to be the only thing they had in common. Jimmy Boyd lived and worked in politics until 1974 while Boardwalk Empire’s Jimmy Darmody only lived until what seems to be about 1922.
Was Nucky Thompson a cold blooded killer?
Although Boardwalk Empire portrays Nucky Thompson a murderer, executioner and conspirator, there are no actual links to the real life Nucky Johnson killing anyone. While Nucky did business with Capone, Lansky, Rothstein, Luciano and an array of other mobsters, Nucky Johnson might have actually controlled his criminal power in a political fashion.
Did Nucky Thompson & Arnold Rothstein use the most expensive Jewish Laywer from NYC?
Who knows, but they certainly should have. You can’t ever go wrong with a Jew lawyer, they’re very effective.
Did the Commodore Really Conspire against Nucky Thompson?
No. Commodore actually embraced Nucky as the boss of the city when he returned from prison rather than conspire against him. The real life Commodore Khuenle didn’t father any children and died of natural causes in 1934.
Did Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano operate under the protection of Arnold Rothstein?
Absolutely. Not only did Rothstein protect the two prodigies, Arnold Rothstein gave Lansky and Luciano the gangland connections they needed to take over the entire country, including a business relationship with Nucky.
The Most Powerful and Wealthiest Jewish Gangster of All Time!
By Matt Goldstein
Meyer Lansky took the reigns of power during prohibition and was the mastermind behind the National Syndicate, also known as the Commission. The National Syndicate brought together the most powerful crime leaders in the country in which the mob bosses of all the major Italian mafia families worked in partnership to augment a criminal empire of staggering proportions. Up to that point, most mafia families went to battle for territory and the consequences riddled the streets with bodies. The Commission was the first and last major collaboration of organized crime outfits and will most likely never be seen again.
1902 – Maier Suchowljansky A.K.A. Meyer Lansky is born in Grodno Russia.
1914 – Meyer begins getting involved in corner crap games and street gangs.
1918 – Charlie Lucky Luciano tries to shakedown Meyer Lansky and his gang for protection money. Meyer refuses and incites a brawl. Luciano is so impressed with Lansky that he recruits him and the two end up becoming close friends and lifetime business partners.
1918 - Meyer Lansky meets Bugsy Siegel and the two become close friends. Siegel also becomes a high ranking enforcer with Lansky and Luciano.
1919 – Prohibition
1920’s – Lansky, Luciano and Siegel establish a booze smuggling racquet where they specialize in stealing loads and being hired to protect them.
1931 – Meyer and Luciano orchestrate the assassination of mob boss Salvatore Maranzano.
1931 – Meyer orchestrates the National Syndicate with longtime friend and partner, Lucky Luciano as the head.
1930’s – Lansky runs one of the biggest illegal gambling operations in the world.
WWII – Lansky works with the U.S. government to protect the ports in NYC, a possible target of the Nazis. The mob’s control of the dock workers helped provide naval intelligence and national security.
1947 – Bugsy Siegel is murdered after the investment money for the Flamingo hotel in Las Vegas goes missing. Lansky tries to stop the murder of Siegel to no avail.
1940’s & 50’s – Lansky and Luciano create a heroin empire even bigger than their prohibition booze smuggling and gambling racquets. The drug dealing is what makes Lansky and Luciano the richest gangsters in history. None of today’s mobsters even come close to their riches without even counting inflation.
1957 – Meyer Lansky opens the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Cuba. It’s the first hotel in Cuba with air conditioning.
1959 – The Fidel Castro communist revolution destroys the mobs stronghold in Cuba and Lansky’s ownership in any and all Cuban assets is dissolved.
1974 – Lansky was acquitted of tax evasion charges
1983 – Meyer Lansky dies of heart failure after living his quiet uneventful golden years in Miami beach.
In HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, Al Capone is the young muscle under Johnny Torrio as their attempting to establish territory in Chicago’s bootlegging trade. At the very onset of prohibition, Torrio has boss Jim Colosimo murdered as the Colosimo is apprehensive about the booze trade. Al Capone’s rise to power is as violent as they come. In the HBO drama, Capone is portrayed as brutish, pigheaded and sometimes a little stupid. But to build the biggest bootlegging empire in history, one couldn’t be too naïve to the ways of the world. One of the first nationally recognized gangsters and the most legendary bootleg booze smuggler in history, Al Capone was extremely wealthy and a brutal murderer. At one point in the 1920’s Capone was allegedly pulling in more than $60 million a year off of booze alone and another $40 million in racketeering, prostitution and gambling.
1899 – Alphonse Capone is born in Garden City NY to Gabriel and Teresa.
1914 – Johnny Torrio becomes a mentor to Al Capone.
1917 – Working for mob boss Frankie Yale, Capone was involved in a knife fight and slashed in the face. Hence the name Scarface.
1920 – Frankie Yale sends Al Capone to Chicago because of a rival gang war. Capone becomes the under study of Johnny Torrio.
1923 – Al Capone moves his gang outside of Chicago city limits because of political and police pressure.
1924 – Capone’s brother is killed by police.
1925 – Johnny Torrio steps down and appoints Capone as the boss. Torrio still advises Capone and Capone goes to war with any gang that won’t cooperate.
1926 – Rivals Bugs Moran and Hymie Weiss fail at an assassination attempt on Capone, spraying a hotel eatery with Thompson machine guns and shotguns.
1926 – Capone has Hymie Weiss assassinated in broad daylight on the street with machines guns and shotguns.
1928 – Capone buys a 14 room mansion in Palm Island Florida.
1929 – The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre becomes the most infamous gangland murders in history. On February 14th, Capone’s men disguise themselves as police and enter the Bugs Moran warehouse headquarters. Seven members of the North Side Gang are lined up against the wall and executed.
1929 – Capone is arrested in Philadelphia on weapons charges and jailed in the legendary Eastern State Penitentiary for 9 months.
1929 – Elliot Ness and prohibition agents begin chipping away at the Capone empire by seizing shipments, and shutting down bars and speakeasies. Enormous federal pressure is an after effect of the St Valentine’s massacre.
1931 – Capone is convicted on Tax Evasion charges and sentenced to 11 years.
1939 – Capone is paroled and released from Alcatraz.
1947 - Capone dies from complications of syphilis.
FRANKFORT, FRANKLIN COUNTY, KY – Apparently there are more spirits at Buffalo Trace Distillery than those aging in the warehouses, at least according to the investigators from a popular ghost hunting show that airs on the SyFy network. Buffalo Trace Distillery was investigated by television’s number one paranormal reality series, “Ghost Hunters®” and the episode will air on Wednesday, Nov. 16th at 9:00 p.m. EST on the SyFy network.
The show’s two lead investigators, Jason and Grant, said Buffalo Trace was one of the few sites they had been to where all of the investigators on the team had a paranormal experience. The show’s producers came to Buffalo Trace asking to film there, due to viewer demand. It is the first time the TV show had ever filmed at a distillery.
Although the Ghost Hunters® findings are confidential until the show airs, it did prove to be a “touching” experience for Jason and Grant.
Now visitors can have their own experience as Buffalo Trace Distillery kicks off its Ghost Tours on Thursday, Nov. 17th at 7 p.m. The tours will run Thursday-Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. each evening, starting Nov. 17th and running indefinitely. (No tours Thanksgiving evening, Nov. 24th, Dec. 1st, or Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve.) Admission to the tours is complimentary, but guests do need a reservation, which they can make at 1-800-654-8471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Children are permitted, but those under 18 do need to be accompanied by an adult. The tours will conclude with a tasting.
The Ghost Tours will last approximately an hour, and follow the path as seen on “Ghost Hunters®,” including some rarely-toured areas of the Distillery. “We’re really excited to be able to offer this new tour to complement our other three tour offerings,” said Elizabeth Hurst, visitor center manager for Buffalo Trace Distillery. “In addition to our Trace Tour, Hard Hat Tour, and Post Prohibition Tour, we now have a Ghost Tour that will undoubtedly appeal to a whole different audience. We’re hoping it will really increase visitation to this region in Kentucky.”
About Buffalo Trace Distillery
Buffalo Trace Distillery is a family-owned company based in Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky. The distillery’s rich distilling tradition dates back to 1787 and includes such legends as E.H. Taylor, Jr., George T. Stagg, Albert B. Blanton, Orville Schupp, and Elmer T. Lee. Buffalo Trace Distillery is a fully operational distillery producing bourbon, rye and vodka on site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Distillery has won seven distillery titles since 2000 from such notable publications as Whisky Magazine, Malt Advocate Magazine and Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It was named Whisky Magazine 2010 World Icons of Whisky “Whisky Visitor Attraction of the Year.” Buffalo Trace Distillery has also garnered more than 200 awards for its wide range of premium whiskeys.
Bugsy to Be Introduced in Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire
By Matt Goldstein
Benjamin Bugsy Siegal was the muscle for Meyer Lansky since they were teenagers running the streets of New York City. Just as Luciano and Lansky rose to power, Bugsy rose to power with them. During Prohibition, Siegal ran bootlegging rackets in New York, Atlantic City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and muscled and murdered anyone who stood in the way of Lansky and Luciano. Siegal is also alleged to have close ties with the Commission, the National Syndicate, Murder Inc. and is considered to have invented Las Vegas.
Perhaps long overdue, Bugsy will be introduced in season 2 of Boardwalk Empire and most likely in episode 8. Michael Zegan from ‘Rescue Me’ will be playing the legendary gangland hit man. Zegan’s portrayal is said to be of a “tough, smart, urban kid.” With Lansky, Luciano, Capone and Darmody expected to emerge as major gangsters in Prohibition, the arrival of Bugsy in the HBO drama could set this show on fire. Already the best television show on TV, there are so many directions HBO can go with the series, we just hope it goes on for season after season after season.
HBO’s Boardwalk Empire introduced 2 new prominent prohibition gangsters in season 2, Joe “the Boss” Masseria and Waxey Gordon. Both gangsters were infamous, brutal and champion bootleggers. While Masseria was a Capo in 1922, there was an attempt on his life in the streets of Manhattan. Joe famously evaded the attackers and became known as the “Man who can dodge bullets.” This legend helped Joe become Joe “the Boss” Masseria, arguably the most powerful mom boss in New York during prohibition.
When Masseria is introduced in Boardwalk Empire, Arnold Rothstein is negotiating peace between Masseria and Luciano and Lansky on what is perceived to be a territorial encroachment. However, as Lansky and Luciano grew in power, they worked for Masseria multiple facets of bootlegging, drug dealing, and muscle. Eventually, when Luciano and Lansky were trying to create the commission, Masseria was simply in their way. In 1931, Luciano and Lansky had Masseria killed monopolized their power, paving the way to become the richest gangsters of all time.
Waxey Gordon, a Jewish gangster from Philadelphia, was a bootlegging and gambling associate of Arnold Rothstein, Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky. Gordon ran Rothstein’s east coast bootlegging operation and aligned himself with the National Syndicate after Rothstein’s death. Arrested for tax evasion in 1933, Gordon was sentenced to 10 years. Upon his release, Waxey moved to the west coast where he became a drug smuggler. Gordon was arrested in 1951 and died in Alcatraz a year later.
Nucky Thompson and Jimmy Darmody lead a cast of Irish hoods in Boardwalk Empire, and although we can’t be sure, the real life Nucky Johnson was most likely not even Irish. Not to mention, Jimmy Darmody actually never existed. Read below about the real life Irish Gangsters of prohibition, with Capone rival Bugs Moran, Road to Perdition’s John Looney, and Hell’s Kitchen’s Owney Madden.
John Patrick Looney
Looney is portrayed by Paul Newman in the Oscar winning film Road to Perdition as the gangster connected to Al Capone’s empire. An underrated movie in and of itself, Newman puts on a classic performance as the iconic Looney. However, in real life, Looney fled the feds on murder, gambling and racketeering charges, eventually being apprehended and sentence to 14 years in prison.
The chief rival of Al Capone, Bugs Moran never cowered in the wake of Capone’s wrath to control Chicago, even after Moran’s men were gunned down in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The most vicious and famous gangland style murders of all time, Capone’s men dresses as police, entered Moran’s headquarters and forced the Moran gang to line the wall, and they were brutally executed. Seven men were killed bringing national attention and forcing the feds to come after Capone in every way possible. As for Moran, he made it his personal mission to destroy Capone, killing as many members Al’s gang as he could, even after Capone was in prison. Moran was a full fledged criminal his entire life, in and out of prison from when he was a kid until his death, making and losing millions of dollars.
Nicknamed the “Killer,” Owney Madden, actually born in England, was the boss of the Westies and Hell’s Kitchen throughout prohibition. A bootlegger and a boxing promoter, Madden is one of the most infamous mobsters of all time. A stone cold killer, but also a well minded businessman, Madden promoted fighters such as heavyweight champions Max Baer and Primo Carnera. As well, Madden owned Harlem’s Cotton Club, literally the hottest club in NYC hosting an array of legendary musicians from Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne and more. Madden retired a rich man in 1935 and opened a hotel in Hot Springs Arkansas, a hideout used by many gangsters including Boardwalk Empire’s Lucky Luciano.