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Elvis Spotted in Piermont
Local legend Ric Pantale makes his first feature film
(Original publication: June 28, 2007)

Kathy Gardner / The Journal News
From left, actor Paul Borghese of Tappan, director Ric Pantale of Valley Cottage, and actor Big Jim Wheeler of Nyack, discuss the logistics of a scene they are about to shoot in Piermont for the independent movie "Delilah Rose." The romantic comedy is being made by Piermont Pictures, the celebrated village video shop owned by Pantale.

Time to put the rumors to rest: No, it wasn’t actually the King’s ghost inhabiting The Castle of Piermont in May. It was just an Elvis impersonator recently released from a mental institution, a guy also pretending to be a government agent tracking terrorists in order to impress local charmer, Delilah Rose.

Well, sort of. Actually, it was actor Jim Wheeler of Nyack and the cast of the independent dramatic comedy Delilah Rose ( Wheeler, whose credits include The Manchurian Candidate, was playing the character of Big Al, complete with full Elvis getup and sideburns. Starring alongside him was former Tappan resident Paul Borghese (The Sopranos, Law & Order, and Trans America). The two strolled around the grounds of the grand 1845 home, built for Eleazer Lord of the Erie Railroad, which acts as a rooming house for Wheeler’s mentally unstable Al.

The film is the first full-length feature by director Ric Pantale, a Valley Cottage resident and owner of Piermont Pictures video store. “I wrote it two years ago with the understanding it would all be shot locally,” he explains. In addition to making movies, Pantale also co-hosts a weekly radio show, Ric’s Place, on WRCR 1300 AM (Wednesdays, 5:10–6 p.m.) with Wheeler and Mercedes Kent, of Grand View. After collaborating on Pantale’s previous short film, The Monkey’s Paw, the whole gang reunited for Delilah Rose, with Kent taking on the title role.

Kathy Gardner / The Journal News
Actors Mercedes Kent Ross of Grand View, left, and David Myers Gregory of Nyack rehearse a bedroom scene.

Once the film is finished, Pantale plans to premiere it this fall at Nyack’s Riverspace Theater, after which it’ll go to festivals like Sundance and Tribeca. But does it have breakout indie potential? “It’s a very dark comedy,” says Pantale, “a bit darker than Little Miss Sunshine. But we’ve got so many film industry pros working on it, and they all say it can’t miss.”

Also Shot in Piermont

" The Purple Rose of Cairo": For the 1985 film, Woody Allen gave the village a Depression-era look and erected a movie marquee on Piermont Avenue.

" Hide and Seek": The 2005 thriller with Robert DeNiro and Dakota Fanning filmed at a house on Tree Boulevard.

Kathy Gardner / The Journal News
Pantale of Valley Cottage checks a camera attached to a car.

" At First Sight": A 100-year-old home at 32 Tate Avenue was one of the main locations for the 1999 Val Kilmer film.

" The Juror": Demi Moore’s home in the 1996 film was on Piermont Avenue.

" The Manchurian Candidate": The Head Start School on Depew Avenue was one of the locations in the remake directed by Nyack’s Jonathan Demme.



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