In Broad Daylight — New Movie

There is a possibility of a new movie of In Broad Daylight — this one a full length feature. I was contacted a few weeks ago by a very successful producer who expressed keen interest in making a full length feature of the book–actually more than a keen interest. He had read the article last summer in the New York Times about the story, and had’t been able to get it out of his head. I’ve seen two of his previous movies, and they are very creative and original, atmospheric. He thought the TV movie, starring Brian Denehey as McElroy, did not do the story justice. He sees a different way of telling the story, one with more subtelty and nuance, more an explanation of character, a deeper exploration of the less violent themes.

The original movie was made for TV. At first it was slated for two nights. Basically, the first night would have set up the killing with a showing of many of McElroy’s past crimes, such as the shooting of Romaine Henry.  When the first night was cut, so were these stories. It left it up to Denehey to portray the violent history through his acting. There were references to McElroy’s past crimes, such as Romaine Henry pulling up his shirt and showing his scar, but they seemed merely anecdotal. Denehey basically saved the movie; he made you feel the fear the town felt that justified the killing.

So now, it seems, it’s time to tell the story again in film. I’m excited by the possibility of someone telling the story from  a different perspective. We understand the battle between good and evil; what else does the story tell us about human nature?

There’s a way to go, of course. From the idea to the reality is a long road. This guy seems quite determined, though.

16 thoughts on “In Broad Daylight — New Movie

    • I certainly will — although, as they say, there’s many a slip between cup and lip (not a good fit, I admit, but you get the idea).

  1. Hi Harry, I think you would do a great job telling the story of Will Lynch. This is a guy here in Santa Clara County that beat up a Jesuit priest that molested him and his brother. He refused a plea bargain and went to trial and won a complete acquittal. He admitted he beat up the priest. As a true crime fan, this was a spellbinding story in the newspaper for several weeks, with the trial judge widely criticized for making and then reneging on rulings. The DA was also widely criticized for her handling of the case. You have a guy that got a settlement but was never able to move on from the shame of being molested.

    • Very interesting. In a way it’s a form of vigilante justice–the man takes the law into his own hands–and get acquitted of the crime. The rule of law is a fluid concept in American justice.

  2. It appears that this story could also be called, “The Past is Never Dead”. If the new movie expounds on the less violent themes, hopefully that will cover the people of Skidmore, and NOT Ken McElroy’s less violent themes. We didn’t see any of those.

      • That would be a refreshing change. I hope he does a better job on Mom’s character than the last movie did. I am also interested in seeing the book about the writing of “In Broad Daylight”. That should be very interesting, too.

        • Cheryl — you didn’t like Cloris Leachman? She was a little rough on your Mom. This guy has a different approach in his movies, less harsh, more atmospheric. I’ll see you in September when I’m in town.

  3. Harry I was wondering if you knew about the song
    made about this incident. It was by a great band called
    UFO and it is called “Diesel in the Dust”. One of my favorite
    songs. More hard rock

      • Hi Harry

        Yes. UFO was a very influential heavy metal
        Band in the seventies and eighties. Not hair metal but more
        Metal from the Uk. They started losing popularity
        In the early eighties so they went to a new label. So they wrote
        That song diesel in the dust. I watched an interview with them
        Around the time of your movie. The lead singer Phil Mogg said it was about
        The incident with Ken. The lyrics are very clear

        Example of chorus

        The killer sat behind the wheel of his truck
        The engine roared before it seized up
        Nobody heard a thing not a sound of gunshot brings
        Just the smell of diesel in the dust.

        Download it.

  4. It would certainly be interesting to see a version that shows all of the elements that came together and led up to that fateful day. Hopefully Skidmore’s struggle under the weight of being labeled a “vigilante town” all these years will be portrayed as well.

  5. I think the people who told all these things that ken did may have been a bit over board I have read the book and im sorry but there is no way a man can do all those things by himself im sorry this man was not as bad as everyone makes him out to be my grandmother knew him and said he was a nice man and this is all wrong

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