DETROIT (WWJ) – Imagine someone concocting an elaborate scheme to get their hands on a one-of-a-kind pickle recipe. While to some it may seem far-fetched, the new movie, “The Pickle Recipe,” is actually based on a true story, co-written and co-produced by Gary Wolfson, who based it on his experiences growing up in Detroit.

“My grandmother, who had this amazing kosher dill pickle recipe that I remember as a kid fondly when I would go over to her house in Detroit and she would make them,” Wolfson told WWJ’s Terri Lee via phone.

In the movie, one of the lead characters, Joey (portrayed by Jon Dore) — who suddenly finds himself in need of some fast money — conspires with his uncle Morty (David Paymer) to steal his grandmother’s prized recipe. Little do they know, it won’t be as easy as it may seem. Rose is no pushover and getting that recipe is almost like breaking into Fort Knox. As part of their scheme, Joey goes to work at Rose’s deli in Detroit.

To play the part of Rose, the filmmakers called in veteran actress Lynn Cohen, who loved the script, but Director Michael Manasseri says, she did have one condition before she would agree to accept the role.

“She said my husband is an actor; I want him to be in the movie, and I want him to play the part of Arnie,” Manasseri said. “We thought it was a great idea, and even though we had not seen Ron’s work, we just felt that obviously, these two characters have to have a connection; they’ve known each other for a very long time, and obviously, that’s the same for Lynn and Ron.”

The filmmakers also called in plenty of local help to make the movie, including hundreds of students from Oakland University’s Cinema Study program in Rochester. Local talent was also hired to work in front of the camera.

According to Manasseri, the movie is also a love letter to Detroit.

“What we really wanted to make sure that we showed in our film,” Manasseri said, “was a real respect and love of working-class Detroit, for everything from the Hygrade Deli, which stands in for Irv’s Deli in the movie, to Michigan Avenue to Eastern Market.”

And, indeed, from the very start, it’s perfectly obvious that “The Pickle Recipe” was filmed in the metro Detroit area. It’s enough to make any fan of Detroit smile.

“The Pickle Recipe” opens locally at the Emagine Novi and at The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Twp. on Thursday, November 3rd.

See you at the movies!

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday for my weekly look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
Digital Arts, Film & Television (DAFT)
National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)


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