SUMMER 2017 / VOL. 17 ISSUE 1
Films

Tommy’s Honour Captures Historical Experience of Golfing Walk Well Taken 

 With a backdrop of Scotland’s stunning "golfscape," the latest film by Wisconsinite Jim Kreutzer, Tommy’s Honour tackles the sometimes tense intimacy between father Tom (Old Tom) Morris and son Tommy (Young Tom) as they popularize the sport. Old Tom, played by noted Scottish actor Peter Mullan, and Young Tom, Jack Lowden, demonstrate that sometimes times get tough on the 19th hole. 

 

As their fame grows, the younger man’s talent outshines his dad’s, even through the elder man founded in the Open Championship in 1860 and was a noted caddie master, greenskeeper and club and ball maker. Tommy ultimately rebelled against the golfing aristocracy exemplified by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews led by Alexander Boothby portrayed by actor Sam Neill. Then, of course there was the passionate relationship with his girlfriend-then-wife Meg Drinnen (Ophelia Lovibond). 

The film is directed by Jason Connery, son of Sir Sean Connery of James Bond fame. It won Best Feature at the 2016 British Academy Scotland Awards, wioth the award being presented at a glam red carpet ceremony at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu Hotel. 

Kreuzter’s film opened to much acclaim last June 15 at the 2016 Edinburgh International Film Festival. The film was released in theaters in the U.S. on March 24, 2017, and has been playing in selected cities since then. Milwaukeean Kreutzer based his production on author Kevin Cook’s book Tommy’s Honour, following a bucket list visit to St. Andrews with a friend ill with ALS in 2010. 

Realizing what a fascinating tale it was, Kreutzer gave the book to his pal for the trip, to plunge him into the world of golf. Subsequently, Kreutzer purchased the movie rights, and produced the movie with his business partner Keith Bank of Highland Park, Ill. Bank put together a distribution deal, which included cable rights on the Golf Channel.

Kreutzer is no newcomer to film production, with a 25-year movie career that began when he was the executive producer and developer of the feature film Fever Lake. In 2007, he founded his Wind Chill Media Group and has produced, developed and consulted on more than 10 feature films, such as Just Write and the Last Great Ride. He acted was supervising producer for the Chicago Cubs’ 100 years of history and music compilation CD. 

His team of co-writers for Tommy included Kevin Cook, author of book and his screenwriter wife Pamela Marin. They worked for almost eight months on the project, with more than 10 revisions. He has another feature in development called The Road Dance, based on a Scottish book plus a TV series entitled The Golf Explorer. "I love the film process in Scotland," he asserted.

For more information, check film’s website: www.TommysHonour.com


The Irish American Post chatted with Kreutzer about Tommy’s Honour and explored with him his interesting concepts about cinema in general.

IAP - What was your role with Tommy?

JK - I am the creator and developer of the project, co-ordinating all the pieces to eventually get the project started and completed 

IAP - How did you research Old and Young Tom; how close to historical fact is Tommy?

JK - The storyline was based on book, yet there are always some controversies in the Hollywood version of the story.

IAP - When did you begin filming? Which golf courses were used?

JK - We started filming in summer of 2015, putting in 33 days 50 locations in and around St Andrews. It was quite ambitious. Luckily, there was only a half day of rain. We used the Winterfield Golf Club, the Castle course in St Andrews and Balcarres near Manchester. Only eight days of the 33 were on a course. I kept golf to a minimum because it is a relationship story. 

IAP - How was the film cast?

JK - We utilized a casting agent and director Jason Connery to select the actors. We wanted to keep the film authentically Scottish

IAP - What UK film entities did you work with re/technical details such as site location, security, support crew/staff?

JK - We utilized Creative Scotland, Visit Scotland, Scottish national and local film councils, Links Trust and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A). Jason Connery treated all people on set with respect and patience and everyone responded very well

IAP - What were some challenges in making Tommy’s Honour? What went well?

JK - Lack of rain helped, as did multiple locations. We used some undeveloped links land near Balcarres which we converted to the 1st tee and 18th green of St Andrews since no current course looks like the conditions of the 1870s and built the famous bridge as well as the R&A as it looked in the 1870s

IAP - Is this a sports story; a dad-son story; a generational competition story; an historical story? How would you describe the theme?

JK - Tommy is a relationship story about a real family with universal themes of all the above set with a golf background

IAP - Can viewers other than golfers enjoy the story

JK - Non-golfers plus golfers will enjoy this emotional look at this small iconic family.

IAP - Why name your company Wind Chill?
JK - I live in Wisconsin, so the name seemed natural. 

IAP - Have you been a longtime fan of film?

JK - Yes and no. I just love the creative process. 

IAP - Are any of your other family members in the movie business. Have they seen Tommy.

JK - My son is in music management in Los Angeles and daughter is radio/television producer on WGN in Chicago. We were selected to be the opening night black tie premiere in front of 1,500 people at the Edinburgh Film Festival last year and my whole family then saw it for the first time. 

IAP - What’s the most fun about making movies? What is the hardest part of filmmaking?

JK - Everything is hard.

IAP - What makes a great film?

JK - Films with a message are my favorites, those that make you laugh and cry at the same time. Being relationship-driven is important for the storyline.

IAP - Have you seen Trainspotting 1 and/or 2 ?

JK - I have. Peter Mullan was our lead, of course.

IAP - Do you golf; if so, what is your handicap.
I
JK - I do golf, play to an 8-9 and love links golf. 

IAP - What is your heritage. Do you have any Scots/Irish background?

JK - I’m Danish! 

IAP - Did you wear a kilt to your April reception in New York?

JK - Did not but I did wear one to the premiere in St. Andrews on June 30, sponsored by the Old Course Hotel in advance of our United Kingdom opening on July 7.

IAP - Do you read your reviews?

JK - Mostly. They help me understand how I can become a better filmmaker.

IAP - How do you view the film scene in Milwaukee and Wisconsin?

JK - Milwaukee has momentum and a core group of talented people behind it .

IAP - Do you have any words of advice to young filmmakers? 

JK - Follow your instincts and passion. 
 
 


Return

© Irish American Post
301 N Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Phone: (414) 273-8132
Fax: (414) 273-8196
Email:editor@IrishAmericanPost.com



Return to front page