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Stars will come out for Sterling movie premiere

Film featuring Dillon Home debuts this week

STERLING – There may not be a red carpet, but that won't stop the stars from showing up for a movie premiere right here in Sterling.

The biggest star of them all – at least for local folks – will be the Dillon Home. It's featured prominently in "Sons & Daughters of Thunder," which is being shown at 6 p.m. Thursday in Sterling High School's Centennial Auditorium.

Kelly and Tammy Rundle of Fourth Wall Films in Moline made the movie, which is based on the play of the same name. It tells the true story of the 1834 Lane Theological Seminary anti-slavery debates in Cincinnati.

The debates were the first to publicly discuss the end of slavery in America, and Harriett Beecher Stowe's involvement in them led her to write "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

The Rundles are excited to be coming back to Sterling and show off the finished film, which was shot about 5 years ago.

"We'll both be there, and nine or 10 of the actors will be coming as well," Kelly said. "Jessica Taylor, who plays Harriett Beecher, and her husband, Tom, who plays Theodore Weld, are among those coming."

He expects some of the memories from the time they spent filming at the home will come flooding back.

"We were lucky to find something so perfect and so close," Kelly said. "(Former Dillon Home curator) Linda Heckler couldn't have been more helpful. The house looks terrific in the film."

Many of the interior scenes, and a few of the outside shots, were filmed there; it represents Beecher's original home in Cincinnati.

Some exterior shots also were filmed in Cincinnati, where "Sons & Daughters" already has been show. It also was shown in the Quad Cities.

"So far the screenings have been very good and the audiences are enjoying it," Kelly said. "We've had sold-out showings."

Tickets to see the show locally cost $5, and proceeds will be donated back to the Dillon Home.

"It's a great way to say thank you for everything they did for us. It was such a great experience to work here," Kelly said.

The filmmakers and the cast will give a short talk before the screening, and "afterwards ,there will be a chance to chat and reminisce."

See the movie

Tickets to see "Sons & Daughters of Thunder," which will be shown at 6 p.m. Thursday in Sterling High School's Centennial Auditorium, cost $5 in advance and at the door.

The Centennial box office, 1608 Fourth Ave., is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Go to or call the box office at 815-622-3248.

All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the Dillon Home.

Find Sons & Daughters of Thunder on Facebook for more information on the film; go to to see the trailer.

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