Hollywood Comes to Cow Town
In the early 1970s, Vacaville was a charming little town with big all-American vibes — the perfect backdrop against which to film the 1973 movie titled, “The All-American Boy.” It’s still available on Amazon Prime.
Jon Voight (Angelina Jolie’s dad) was just 30 years old when he was cast to play Vic Bealer, a talented young boxer from a small town in Texas struggling to find himself. The Texas town is called “Buddy” in the film, but Vacaville, California, played the role.
Shooting lasted seven weeks over the Summer of 1970. The Warner Brothers crew filmed mostly at the Timm Ranch in rural Vacaville, but that didn’t stop local gawkers from showing up to catch a glimpse of the set and famous actors. Solano County Sheriffs assisted with security.
A thousand Vacaville locals reportedly applied for various parts in the film. Among those selected were members of the Vacaville High School Drill Team. One Vacaville man earned a speaking cameo appearance, playing a local bartender.
Filming wrapped that summer, but the movie’s release was delayed a few years. Hollywood was reportedly unhappy with the product, which was eventually released to little fan fare in 1973 after some retooling by the studio. The film ranked in at 174 at the domestic box office that year, according to IMDB.
So it wasn’t quite “American Graffiti,” which ranked #3 at the box office that year and gave bragging rights to the city of Modesto, California, where “American Graffiti” was filmed.
But an analysis of critical reviews of “The All-American Boy” reveals that the film’s “dour, downbeat, and depressing” storyline, as one critic put it, had everything to do with the film’s failure, and not the picturesque scenery and small-town charm of Vacaville. So Hollywood should give Vacaville another shot.
Check Out: The Most Famous People From Vacaville
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