Dave Bresnahan was at it again this fall filming another movie in Tooele County.
Following his “Grandpa’s Crazy?” movie, Bresnahan has now taken on a true story about a young man’s time in the United States Army in World War II as part of the first Special Services force as the subject of his movie.
Bresnahan invited the Transcript Bulletin to witness the action of filming on Veterans Day at the Tooele Valley Museum and Historic Park, wrapping up the filming of the movie “Devil’s Men.”
There were two scenes filmed at the museum. The first scene depicted the main character, Sam Byrne, played by Caleb Hafen, on a train on the way to war reading a letter from his girlfriend. The second depicts Byrne and his girlfriend embracing at a train station before he leaves for war.
Bresnahan chose to film at the museum because they have a period-correct Army train car.
Most of the scenes in the movie were filmed in Tooele County, with the exception of one scene filmed at the Utah Transit Authority bus terminal in an antique bus stop in Salt Lake City and one in Oklahoma with a World War II reenactment of paratrooper drops.
“We used locations all the way out to Wendover and quite a few in the Tooele area,” Bresnahan said. “A lot of the battle scenes were done in Middle Canyon. We also had other battle scenes done at White Rock in Skull Valley.”
All 138 cast and crew members are from Utah, with 25 of them from Tooele County.
The story follows Byrne, a Wyoming rancher who was drafted into the Army during World War II who became a member of the first Special Service Force.
“Their assignment was to clear the road to Rome, to eradicate the Germans who were defending the roads leading into Rome,” Bresnahan explained. “They are the ones who liberated Rome.”
During his time in the Army, Byrne meets a girl named Grace in a bar who teaches him to dance. The two stayed in contact via letters during the time he was deployed. They later married.
The movie answers the question, “Why doesn’t my grandfather talk about his time in World War II?”
“Sam represents all those guys who came home from the war and never talked about it, because what they went through was so painful and in this movie, we show all those painful things Sam had to go through,” Bresnahan said.
The film is mostly family-friendly, said Bresnahan, who believes it will be rated PG-13.
During his time in the Army, Byrne’s mother saved letters he wrote and his journal in a box. Later after Byrne’s death, his nephew wrote a book about him from the letters and journal.
Bresnahan decided to make the film after Byrne’s nephew approached him asking about a movie.
“He was holding the book in his hands and he said to me, ‘Everyone who reads my book says it should be made into a movie, will you read my book?’” Bresnahan said. “I told him I would read it but I wouldn’t make any promises. I read his book and two days later, we were sitting at my kitchen table putting together a deal to make the movie, because it was that outstanding.”
“Having a first-person account of a historic event is always tremendous and to have one of a World War Two significant event, such as the liberation of Rome is phenomenal,” Bresnahan said.
The film will be released Memorial Day 2023.