Thursday, November 3, 2011

TV Documentary Depicts the Prohibition Era Experience in South Florida

Premiering Nov. 4, 2011 at 9 p.m. on South Florida’s PBS Station WLRN Channel 17, Prohibition and the South Florida Connection – a WLRN original production by local filmmaker Steve Waxman – tells the notorious tales of the seedy, seductive and often scandalous side of the Sunshine State during the 1920s.

For many, the Prohibition Era conjures up images of some of America’s most infamous criminals from New York, New Jersey and Chicago: Bugs Moran, Meyer Lansky and Al Capone. Yet few realize the prominent role South Florida and its Caribbean neighbors played in the transportation of illegal booze into the United States during this era.

Filling the demand for alcohol were a host of bootleggers and rum runners transcending both gender and racial lines. Suave and sophisticated men, such as Bill McCoy and Cracker Johnson, who along with their savvy female contemporaries, Gertrude Lythgoe and Marie Waite, all relied on their wits and bravado to amass sometimes fleeting fortunes that often were fraught with risks and danger. Pirates, illicit still makers, an unmotivated local police force, along with an undermanned but determined Coast Guard, all added to an intoxicating South Florida cocktail of peril, profits and corruption.

Filmed in an intimate style with telling photographs, obscure footage, vivid recreations, and a lively soundtrack,
Prohibition and the South Florida Connection, reveals yet another fascinating and intriguing chapter in Florida’s colorful past.

Additional broadcasts:

Sunday, November 6 at 7 p.m.
Thursday, November 10 at 10 p.m.
Tuesday, November 15 at 10 p.m.

About Steve Waxman:

Steve Waxman began his career in broadcast journalism in radio in 1981 when he created “WaxTrax,” a very successful weekly album review show in Arizona. Moving into TV in 1993, he has written and produced programming for a variety of national syndicated shows such as Travel Log, Business Today, American Journal, Inside Edition, and Fox Sports. He also received a segment producing credit for a VH1 documentary on Michael Jackson. Waxman’s documentary writing and producing credits include the PBS aired programs: Great Entrepreneurs, Generations in the Sun, and Israel Forgotten Heroes, which won an Emmy in 1999.