BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than a year ago, the producers of Marshall came to town. Saturday, the Buffalo International Film Festival held the movie's largest premiere event.
"We knew if any place was going to be a big deal, it should be in Buffalo,” Jonathan Sanger, the producer of Marshall, said. “We had an amazing experience filming here"
So much went into making Marshall. The movie solicited old cars, and that's how Bob Manke's 1935 Plymouth made the cut. He even played the main character's double when driving it.
"And they put the hat on, and I said ‘this is too big.’ And they said ‘no it's supposed to be that way,’ they want it to rest on the glasses,” Manke, of Pendleton, said. “They wanted to hide as much of my face as they could."
The crew helped the local economy, too. John Rigney of The Second Reader Bookshop on Hertel Avenue said the propmaster bought several old books at his store.
"It was so cool. We were just over the moon,” Rigney said. "They stay here and they shop here, and they get to take Buffalo away with them and share it with the rest of the country, and the world, which is really cool."
At the heart of it, Marshall brings attention to a pivotal moment in history. Irene Mcvay, a very special guest at the premiere, helped organize a school walkout in 1951 to bring attention to the inequality in education. The real Thurgood Marshall paid her a visit and helped their case.
"He sort of…talked to things people hadn't really heard about integration and segregation and what not, and that was the best part of it,” Mcvay said at a red carpet welcoming.
When asked if she’s proud to be part of history, Mcvay became emotional.
“Yes. It's very personal to me because I saw it. It wasn't something that you read in a comic book. It really happened,” she said.
As we've heard before, the crew found unmatched hospitality in the City of Good Neighbors.
“In Buffalo, when we parked in people's driveways, they would come out if the house with cookies to give to the crew,” Sanger said. “Now that was unlike any other place we were.”
More than 600 people attended Saturday's premiere. Now, the producers wait and see if Western New Yorkers enjoy it. It debuts in theatres regularly starting October 13.
"I'm kind of waiting to see their reaction after the fact because I think this is an incredible postcard for Buffalo,” said Chris Bongirne, the movie’s executive producer.