Cinema and Kansas City

Mitch Brian, Kaite Stover
Thursday, July 29, 2021
6:30 pm

See a movie scene dominated by skyscrapers and speeding taxis, and you know in an instant that you’re in New York. For Los Angeles, it’s freeways and beaches. New Orleans evokes a Big Easy vibe. 

And Kansas City? What, or who, defines it on the big screen? 

Revisiting releases from Mr. and Mrs. Bridge to Kansas City and Ride With the Devil, the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Mitch Brian explores the hard-to-pin-down film identity of a metro area that spans two states, nine counties, and more than 115 municipalities. How have cinematic representations cast it in the popular mind? 

Brian joins Kaite Stover, the Library’s director of readers’ services, in a public conversation that also could extend to such films as Kansas City Confidential (1952), The Delinquents (1957), Prime Cut (1972), and Bucktown (1975). 

An associate professor at UMKC, Brian teaches film studies, screenwriting, directing, and film adaptation and is an accomplished filmmaker and screenwriter himself. He has written feature screenplays for directors including Chris Columbus and Oliver Stone and teleplays for the major networks, HBO, and FX. 

Watch the presentation live online at