Great Falls World Premiere of “C.M. Russell and the American West”

The C.M. Russell Museum is hosting the world premiere of the Montana PBS documentary “C.M. Russell and the American West,” on September 9 at the Mansfield Theater. The museum also announced three days of community-sponsored events titled “Raise the Roof for the Russells” to welcome the film that underscores Russell’s place among the great American artists.  

“A young Charlie Russell fell in love with Montana and called Great Falls home. His legacy is an immeasurable inspiration to and influence on the people here,” said Tom Petrie, C.M. Russell Museum chairman of the board. “Our community support and dedication to launching a film that brings Charlie’s fascinating story and timeless message to the world is both exciting and humbling. The spirit of the American West remains impressive in Great Falls.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Great Falls Mayor Bob Kelley, who said, “The community of Great Falls is excited to share the story of her favorite son with all his followers throughout the state and the nation. Charlie’s story is just one of the many things we are proud of. I hope visitors and residents take advantage of such a wonderful celebration.”

The documentary features voice talent from Academy Award winner J. K. Simmons, Bill Pullman and Kathy Baker and is presented in Great Falls by sponsor Benefis Health System. Admission is free to the public.

Community promotional partners supporting the documentary premiere include Great Falls Chamber of Commerce, C.M. Russell Museum, Montana PBS, University of Great Falls, Great Falls College-MSU, Great Falls Public Schools, Great Falls International Airport, City of Great Falls, Central Montana Tourism and Benefis Health System.

Tickets and event details are available online at and by calling the C.M. Russell Museum ticket line at 406-727-1939. The schedule for “Raise the Roof for the Russells” includes the following events. All will be held at the C.M. Russell Museum unless otherwise noted.

  • An invitation-only Josephine Trigg Award Dinner honoring Norma Ashby on September 7
  • The public opening ceremony for the Frederic G. and Ginger K. Renner Research Center on September 8 at 11 a.m.
  • A member opening of the Josephine Trigg Collection Gallery Exhibition and the Strand Collection Exhibition on September 8 at 4 p.m.
  • An auction to benefit the Russell House and Studio presented by Petrie Partners on September 8 at 6 p.m.
  • A Russell Riders Outdoor Sculpture Garden ceremony on September 9 at 2 p.m.
  • A chuck wagon barbecue on September 9 at 3 p.m. presented by Benefis Health System
  • Exclusive early premiere access event at the Mansfield Theater on September 9 at 5 p.m.
  • The world premiere screening of “C.M. Russell and the American West” at the Mansfield Theater on September 9 from 6 – 9 p.m. presented by Benefis Health System

About the Montana PBS C.M. Russell Documentary

“C.M. Russell and the American West” examines the life and art of Charles Marion Russell (1864-1926). The film explores his arrival in Montana as a youth, his apprenticeship and work as a cowboy on the open range, and his self-taught, almost explosive growth into an iconic American artist who affected generations. Russell’s body of work was panoramic and modern in his sensitivity to subject matter, from a reverence for the land and wildlife to his positive depictions of American Indians. The film was created by Producer/Director Gus Chambers and Producer/Writer Paul Zalis. William Marcus and Aaron Pruitt of MontanaPBS are Executive Producers.

About the C.M. Russell Museum

The mission of the C.M. Russell Museum is to collect, preserve, research, interpret and educate on the art and life of Charles M. Russell; the art and life of his contemporaries; and the art of preceding and ensuing generations that depicts and focuses on the culture, life and country of Russell’s West. The museum’s vision is “Sharing Russell’s West with Excellence.”

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