Life imitates art in Chicago-made ‘Working Man’


The story of a life-long factory worker who searches for purpose after his plant closes, Working Man arrives at an unexpectedly poignant moment for America’s working class.

Working Man was filmed entirely in Chicago, including—a moment of life imitating art—at the now-closed Makray Manufacturing plant in Norridge, IL.

When the last factory in a small Rust Belt town closes its doors, an unlikely hero emerges in dutiful, quiet Allery Parkes (Peter Gerety.) A career employee of the factory, the aging Allery can’t reconcile how to live a life simply sitting at home doing nothing. Against the advice and pleas of his loving wife, Iola (Talia Shire) he forms an unlikely friendship with his charismatic neighbor, Walter Brewer (Billy Brown) in order to revive the defunct factory. As their community rallies around them – and as their former corporate bosses strategize how to implode this unexpected movement – Allery learns that he might be something he never thought possible: a leader.

working man

Filmed in Chicago in 20 days (plus one day in Joliet), locations in the film include Makray Manufacturing in Norridge; Ed’s Way Food Mart in Forest Park; and Las Palmas Restaurant in Wicker Park. The film’s ensemble cast is populated entirely by Chicago talent, including Bea Cordelia (“The T”) Patrese McClain (Widows,) Kristen Fitzgerald (the upcoming Killing Eleanor and Artistic Director at A Red Orchid Theatre) and J. Salome Martinez (The Messenger, Goodman’s A Christmas Carol.)

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Chicago-made Working Manarrives on VOD on Tuesday, May 5. Starring Peter Gerety (Charlie Wilson’s WarFlightPublic Enemies,) Talia Shire (The GodfatherRocky) and Billy Brown (“How to Get Away with Murder.”) 

Written and Directed by Robert Jury
Starring Peter Gerety, Talia Shire, Billy Brown
Produced by Clark Peterson, Robert Jury, Maya Emelle and Lovell Holder 
Executive Produced by Katherine Eslao, Tim Ranzetta, Lee V. Stiff and Morgan R. Stiff
Edited by Morgan Halsey

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