Toledo In Reel Life : Five flicks for the big screen

. January 4, 2018.

The Hollywood we know today exists because of an Ohio native; born in Hicksville, Daeida Wilcox Beveridge is known as the “mother of Hollywood.” She went west in 1886, and following her vision of utopian wealth, developed the land for the Hollywood library, post office, and city hall, and many other landmarks. Ohio always seems to be where characters hail from, and while it may be pure coincidence, Beveridge’s story is something to consider.

Here are five films for the big screen with a Toledo shoutout.

The Lost Weekend (1945)

Starring Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, this film spurned a focus in filmmaking on the dangers of addiction and alcoholism. The Lost Weekend, directed by Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard (1950), Some Like it Hot (1959), and Double Indemnity (1944)), tells the story of how writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) finds a cure for his alcoholism in his relationship with Helen St. James (Jane Wyman).

Toledo shout-out: About a half hour into the film, Don sees the tag on Helen’s beautiful coat, which reads “Alfred Spitzer, Fine Furs, Toledo, Ohio.”

Kiss Toledo Goodbye (2000)

Michael Rapaport, Christopher Walken, Robert Forster appear in this film where Kevin Gower (Rapaport), a young Ohio investment advisor, has to impersonate a Mafia godfather, following the death of his biological father. He has to prove his worth to the Mob while also keeping the whole situation a secret from his family and fiancee. The tagline for this movie is often repeated: “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

Toledo shout-out:
Aside from the title (rare!), the film is supposedly shot in Toledo, and it makes brief references to Perrysburg and the Toledo Blade—but anyone who’s lived here for 15 minutes can tell it was shot in L.A.

Brewster’s Millions (1985)

Richard Pryor, John Candy star in this Walter Hill directed comedy, featuring Pryor as Monty Brewster, a minor-league baseball pitcher who learns of an inheritance deal. Brewster has to spend $30 million in order to inherit $300 million (a weird deal, yes), and in typical 1980s-comedy fashion, hilarity ensues.

Toledo shout-out:
We learn that Monty Brewster’s biggest salary prior to the inheritance was during his stint playing for the Toledo Mud Hens.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

This famous Francis Ford Coppola flick, featuring Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, is hailed as an epic war film, set in 1969 during the Vietnam War. Special Forces Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando) has gone vigilante and begun ruling his troops as a godlike figure.

Toledo shout-out: Captain Benjamin Willard (Martin Sheen), who is from Toledo, is sent in to stop the madness.

Roger & Me (1989)

Michael Moore stars, also serving as director/producer, in this pursuit of the General Motors CEO Roger B. Smith, to confront him about downsizing and its effect on workers in the city of Flint, Michigan.

Toledo shout-out: Moore and his film crew actually impersonate a film crew from Toledo, Ohio when they interview workers in Flint about their attitudes toward Smith.