News From Terre Haute, Indiana

January 6, 2014

Debs film to debut at Indiana Theatre

Mark Bennett
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Set in Terre Haute, based loosely on the legacy of a Terre Haute icon, the movie “The Drunk” has one appropriate place for its premiere.

Terre Haute. Specifically, the Indiana Theatre.

The film, centered on the fictional grandson of social activist Eugene V. Debs, will debut at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, in the historic Indiana Theatre. Details on tickets will be announced later this week, according to Paul Fleschner, who co-wrote and co-directed “The Drunk” with fellow Terre Haute native William Tanoos. Both men act in the film, as well, with Tanoos carrying the lead role as Joe Debs. The cast is headlined by veteran Hollywood actor Tom Sizemore (of “Saving Private Ryan” and “Blackhawk Down” fame) and colorful former Minnesota governor and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura.

The movie was shot entirely in Terre Haute in summer 2011 and spring 2012. It includes numerous local venues, including the Debs Home and Museum on North Eighth Street, and several local residents appear as extras.

 Its plot features Joe Debs (Tanoos) running for Indiana governor against a corrupt prosecutor (played by Sizemore). It reflects on the legacy of Eugene Debs, who ran five times for president on the Socialist Party ticket and championed the causes of organized labor, rights for women and children, and social reforms. Debs died in 1926 in his hometown, Terre Haute.

Details on the film’s distribution plans will also be released later this week, Fleschner stated Monday.

Mark Bennett can be reached at 812-231-4377 or