Trailer for the movie:
Blue Air Training is opening its hangar for a free movie night featuring “The Rock of Gibraltar,” which tells the story of the police hunt for criminal mind Deacon Marsh in Fort Smith in the 1930s.
The film was an audience favorite at the Made in Arkansas Film Festival and Fayetteville Film Festival, and won the Fort Smith Film Award at the 2021 Fort Smith International Film Festival.
The film’s director, Michael Farris, who grew up in Van Buren, said he admires the history of Fort Smith, as well as gangster films of the 1930s and 1940s.
“We are fortunate to have so many historic buildings and our city has been fantastic trying to preserve those buildings,” he said. “The owners were wonderful and grateful to let us shoot and the donated antique cars allowed us to sell the period in a way I (otherwise) couldn’t get enough of.”
Pharis described the film as a classic good and evil tale set in a police chase gangster thriller inspired by old black and white films.
“(It’s about) the insistence of good triumphing over evil, and for all of us in trying to do good things and treating others, do the right thing,” he said. “It’s Bogart meets the godfather.”
Brandon Chase Goldsmith, CEO of the Fort Smith International Film Festival, said audiences wouldn’t see anything like this in a big movie series.
“It’s a Fort Smith movie,” he said, “in which people from Fort Smith are involved.” “When you watch this movie, you’ll recognize locations, you’ll recognize faces on the screen, and the final scene of the movie takes place in an airplane hangar. And it all came together when we were thinking about this and we were like, ‘This is the perfect movie for that!'”
Blue Air Training provides high-quality close air support training to Ultimate Attack Controllers (JTAC) and fighters from around the world. At the most basic level, JTAC is the one who calls in air strikes and surface fire like artillery and mortars.
John “Slick” Wright, the Fort Smith position commander, said their training facility supports every JTAC Air National Guard in the country at the Razorback Range at Fort Chaffee.
“We’re hosting this event to let the community know we’re here, what we’re doing, and how we’re impacting the local community,” he said. “The relationship with the 188 team and the Razorback staff has been fantastic. We want to celebrate Fort Smith while also supporting local businesses.”
Goldsmith said it’s great that people are finally able to meet again and “movies are a great place for that to happen, especially movies in the hangar.”
Hangar doors open at 5 pm on Saturday and food, drinks and short films will be available. The movie “Rock of Gibraltar” will start at 7 pm