Presented by the Friends of the Library, the 1997 film is the brainchild of Sean Bridgers and was directed and produced by Nick Searcy. Both Jackson County natives also star in the film, Searcy as the legendary outlaw Jake Kyler and Bridgers as the idealistic young mountain tobacco farmer Henry Bancroft. The production was filmed mainly in Jackson County, with brief glimpses of neighboring Haywood and Macon counties. Set in the Depression Era of 1934, it depicts the story of how Bancroft turns to crime to save the family farm from foreclosure. With the universal Robin Hood theme, Bancroft’s best friend Oshel Hooper (Christopher Berry) convinces him to rob from the rich to help the poor.
“It’s fitting we are showing this film in our historic library,” said Cowen. “This film was a community effort. Neighbors helped out however they could—some gave money, others fed the cast and crew, many rummaged for props and costumes, gave up office space, or allowed filming on their property, and some lent their horses and even their valuable old cars.”
The showing is free and open to the public.