Silent Night


The proposed Algona, Iowa Prisoner of War movie “Silent Night” is getting on the fast track with ongoing development of the feature length screenplay. Based on actual events with details taken from letters, stories and personal interviews, this story will highlight a nearly forgotten piece of US history. The movie will follow two parallel story lines from 1944 that are fictional but reflect the realistic feelings and sentiments present in the Algona area.

The first story line follows the evolving mindset of the Algona community as its members deal with the duty and hardships placed upon them by WW II. These duties include playing host to German prisoners and supporting the US military that sprang up in its midst with the creation of the Algona PW Camp. The second story line follows life inside the fences of the Algona Prison Camp for both the military personnel and the German captives.

The script is filled with a wide range of human drama and emotions as all these various elements collide in this small rural farm community. Suspense and action carry viewers through various conflicts ending in a thought-provoking conclusion. That conclusion includes the real-life creation and gifting of a spectacular Christmas nativity scene. This incredible work crafted by German artists was meant to be a symbol of hope for a better future for all mankind.

This is a very unique story that I believe will become an instant war and Christmas classic. The themes and lessons woven deep inside the story should serve as a reminder not to fall victim to mistakes of the past. It also harkens back to a day where a higher standard of honor, parenting and patriotism was the order of the day.

Hollywood legend Rance Howard, father of Ron and Clint Howard, is a close friend of mine who has graciously offered his insights on the script and life during WW II. He has also given his interest in playing one of the film’s main characters. Other legends such as local Dick Dale (The Lawrence Welk Show) and astronaut Buzz Aldrin may also be providing cameos in the movie.

With Don Tietz leading the way, we have been in discussions with many of the local Iowa politicians and boards that would all benefit in many ways from the proposed filming. It would be good for the city and the state. It is also the sincere hope of all the producers that by bringing this story to the world stage, we can once again provide an example from past days that will speak loudly and clearly to a new generation.

Rance Howard said it best after reviewing one of the most recent drafts of the “Silent Night” script. He said, “You’re doing good work on a powerful story.” If all works out we will be bringing this film to the big screen.

— DJ Perry, Screenwriter/Producer “Silent Night”

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