The Courier Gazette knows how to get me where I live (pun fully intended). In their article posted on March 2nd, they announced that a couple of downtown McKinney businesses, The Book Gallery and Churchill’s British Pub, will be featured in the film “The Language of a Broken Heart”. (click here for the article). Kudos to Mr. Snyder for a great article!
That got me to thinking that I know that there have been a lot of film-makers who have realized McKinney’s unique qualifications as the quintessential small town setting. We need a Filmography!
So here are the films that I know of … please leave comments and tell me the one’s I don’t!
2010 – The Language of a Broken Heart, used The Book Gallery and Churchill’s British Pub
1999 – Boys Don’t Cry, used the McKinney Grain Company and the grain elevator as a backdrop. Hilary Swank an oscar for her role in this film.
1990 – A Killing in a Small Town, used the historic courthouse. (update to list 3/3/10)
1988 – Dakota, filmed in the spring of 1987, used the town square.
1974 – Benji, used The Dowell House Bed & Breakfast
??? – Walker, Texas Ranger – various episodes used different backdrops. I can find “documentation” (a google) that they used the grain elevator but I think that they once used the North Texas History Center building as well. I swear I remember being told that the side door was used as a Sheriff’s office door? Can anyone confirm this? (Update: Also heard from MPAC that they used MPAC as well.)
??? – Prison Break – used MPAC (updated 3/3/10)
One of Governor Perry’s initiatives that I thought was really good was to promote Texas for the Silver Screen. The Texas Film Commission is the official State website that promotes specially certified cities. McKinney is not listed on this site but I had an informative e-mail conversation with our Convention & Visitor Bureau who assured me that there are several different community listings and McKinney is part of a larger area that is properly listed so that we can be found by the right people. The subject is more complex than first meets the eye. (I wish I had saved the e-mails because she had such a really good answer and I am not doing her justice).
I think, though, that we may have a bit of the “Arlington dilemma”. Dallas draws people in, for sure, but we are not the same as Dallas. I am sure that I could find more films but they are probably listing Dallas as the setting instead of McKinney. Arlington has had this problem for years and has finally started putting its foot down and demanding the proper credit. At some point in time, McKinney will have to do the same.
I found a list on the Dallas Film Commission’s web site of movies shot in “the DFW area”. I know some, like “JFK”, probably were really shot in Dallas. Others, like “Bonnie and Clyde”, were probably shot in McKinney, in part or in whole. If you know, one way or the other, please leave a comment or e-mail me.
Update (9/15/10): I have compiled the comments received so far into a separate page called “Filmography” and included links to where you can get a copy of the film if possible. See the available pages at the top of this page (just under the header image).