The makers of a documentary about a prohibition-era whiskey are promising new revelations about how a small Iowa town became a bootlegging empire. Dan Manatt directed the film “Whiskey Cookers: The Amazing Story of the Templeton, Iowa Bootleggers.”
“The film is really going to rewrite the history of Templeton Rye,” Manatt said. “It introduces so many new characters, so many new plot lines, and so much new back story.” Roughly a decade in the making, Manatt said the documentary draws on never-before-seen files from the National Archives, court documents, and other materials.
Manatt said the secret to Templeton Rye’s success went far beyond the ingredients used to make the whiskey. “In the middle 1920s, Carroll County juries basically started engaging in civil disobedience and refused to convict bootleggers,” Manatt said. An advance screening of the film will be held this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Templeton Community Center in Templeton.
The film’s “world premiere” is scheduled for Saturday at 5:45 p.m. at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City as part of the Landlocked Film Festival. The film will air later this year on Iowa Public Television. Manatt noted that the film is not affiliated with and received no funding or editorial input from Templeton Rye Spirits LLC.