Somerville on the Silver Screen

by Meghann Ackerman


Georgie! My Georgie!
A young man emerges from the smoke of a battlefield. He’s wounded and losing strength. Despite his injury he pushes forward, closer to the machine gun nest raining bullets on him and his fellow troops. The young man raises his gun, squints at the enemy’s nest and squeezes the trigger.
How has George Dilboy’s story not hit the big screen? Dilboy, of VFW Post fame (371 Summer St), was a Greek immigrant living in Somerville when World War I broke out. Killed in action at age 22, he is the first Greek-American recipient of the Medal of Honor.While Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood have emerged as barons of the modern war epic, Dilboy’s Greek heritage might require the type of political spin a director like Robert Rodriguez could throw in. Think a sanitized Machete.The screenwriter could adapt the script from Georgie! My Georgie! by Eddie Brady, a novel based on Dilboy’s life story.

Lion’s Pride
(from the makers of The Blind Side)
The biography of Gosder Cherilus – a grad of Somerville High School (SHS, 93 Highland Ave) and Boston College who plays offensive tackle for the Detroit Lions – is a great fit for a feel-good sports movie.
First, dramatize a few aspects of his life: his birth in Haiti and a 2007 bar fight ending in assault charges and probation. Mix in a few training montages at Dilboy Stadium (110 Alewife Brook Pwky). Finally, throw in a message about Cherilus’ support for Haitian earthquake victims. Presto, you’ve got a sports flick. DVD extras might include a scene with Cherilus lifting Christmas trees onto waiting cars at the SHS annual fundraiser, or friends and family packed into Mike’s (9 Davis Sq) or the Joshua Tree (256 Elm
St) to see the Lions drafting Cherilus in the first round. The film’s producers would recoup their investment from local theaters alone.
Of course, the ultimate treat for sports geeks would be casting Cherilus in a bit part: perhaps as an assistant football coach for the Boston Militia or as a random Somerville neighbor. And let’s face it: Any decent director would maximize the irony by casting the gridiron goliath as a well-meaning guidance counselor at SHS – preferably one who urges young men to be realistic and pursue something other than football.

The Science of Eight Limbs
(from the makers of The Fighter)

From Rocky to Raging Bull and The Fighter, pugilistic flicks are a knockout with critics and crowds. But who is Somerville’s big-screen boxer? Well, if you broaden the silverscreen scope from boxing to the burgeoning field of mixed martial arts, we have a candidate. He’s none other than Mark DellaGrotte, owner of the Sityodtong Muay Thai Academy (100 Broadway). “Fighters from all over the world come to train with Mark,” says Sean Baker Carter, Senior Vice President of Sales and Development at Powderhouse Productions (212 Elm St). “And with boxing having been in the forefront recently with The Fighter, Muay Thai and other
fighting styles could be a continuation of that trend.”

Archibald Query and the Marshmallow Factory

There’s one Somerville resident whose ongoing legacy makes it criminal that his story has not been told to the masses.That Somervillian is Archibald Query, inventor of marshmallow fluff. The actual events leading Query to discover the sugary concoction in 1917 aren’t important. In the film, Query would be part Willy Wonka and part Nutty Professor, mixing strange liquids and powders. Suddenly, a loud bang rings out and marshmallow-y foam sprays around his kitchen. One glob lands on the peanut butter sandwich Query is munching. A culinary wonderment is born. Throw in a few songs and an animal sidekick and Query’s story – that of a struggling businessman who sold his concoction door-to-door – would be an instant hit.
If you think the “What the Fluff ” festival is popular now, just imagine how jammed Union Square will get if Query’s tale hits the Silver Screen. Our town will never be the same.

We’d like the thank the following people for their cinematic suggestions:
Sean Baker Carter, Ian Judge, Stephen Mackey, John Sapochetti

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