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Hell on the Border comes to Alabama.

—by: Mary Colurso | mcolurso@al.com


he director yelled “Cut!” The crew scrambled to
prepare the next shot. And “Hell on the Border,” a
movie about the Old West, continued to wrap up
its final scenes in Alabama.

On this particular day in February, a crew from Sweet Unknown Studios, an independent film company from Florida, had just about completed its work at Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park in McCalla. Director Wes Miller and his team were putting the finishing touches on principal photography for the movie, after spending about a month in the state, filming at various locations.

“Coming here was one of the best decisions,” said Miller, who also wrote the screenplay for the film. “It just worked out really great. A lot of the local people that we’ve met have been great and supportive and without the support of all the people, we wouldn’t have made it. It would have just been hard.”

“Hell on the Border” tells the story of Bass Reeves, a former slave who becomes the first black deputy U.S. Marshal west of the Mississippi River. Set in 1875, the movie focuses on Reeves’ attempts to prove his worth by capturing or killing Bob Dozier, an outlaw in what was then called Indian Territory. The action takes place in Oklahoma and Arkansas, as Reeves joins forces with Charlie Storm, a convicted felon who’s trying to earn a pardon, in his hunt for the wily and dangerous Dozier.

Reeves and Dozier are real-life characters who actually had a fatal showdown in the 1870s. Although the central conflict in the movie is historically accurate, and much of the script has a basis in history, Miller said he’s taken creative liberties with some of the characters and parts of the plot.

Hell on the Border comes to Alabama



Jefferson County Historical Association Books

historic birmingham & jefferson county

Historic Birmingham
and Jefferson County
By James R. Bennett
$30 (member discount)

The History of Jefferson County Before 1850

The History of Jefferson County Before 1850
By Will F. Franke, edited by
Thomas M. West, Jr.

Pizitz Genesis of a Retail Giant

Pizitz Genesis of a Retail Giant
By James R. Bennett


About JCHA Publications

The Jefferson County Historical Association offers several books that offer a fresh insight into the rich history of Birmingham and Jefferson County Alabama. They tell the fascinating story of the people and industries that made Jefferson County and Alabama the industrial center of the South.

From first-hand accounts to thoroughly researched narratives, The JCHA publishes books that bring forth rich episodes of Jefferson Counties history in a readable style that engages both scholarly and general audiences.

Ordering JCHA Books

These JCHA books can be purchased at meetings of the Jefferson County Historical Association or ordered by mail.

Click the link below to print or save a book order form. PDF format.

Book Order Form

You may also order by sending your check or money order to the following address along with $5.00 for shipping and taxes (please add $2.00 for each additional book):

The Jefferson County Historical Association
PO Box 130285
Birmingham, AL 35213-0285

Please indicate book title and quantity when ordering.


Other Source Publications Co-Sponsored by the JCHA:

  • Tannehill and the Growth of the Alabama Iron Industry — James R. Bennett, Alabama Historic Ironworks Commission, 1999, available at www.tannehill.org, $45.
  • The Valley and the Hills, an Illustrated History of Birmingham and Jefferson County — Leah Rawls Atkins, Windsor Publications, 1981, available at the Birmingham Public Library Southern History Department, http://www.birminghamarchives.org/ArchivesStore.htm, $30



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