Palin biopic now showing in theater not so near you

Fri Jul 15, 2011 11:12pm EDT
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By Mary Milliken

ORANGE, California (Reuters) - "The Undefeated," a flattering documentary about Sarah Palin's rise in American politics, opened in a handful of U.S. movie theaters on Friday, drawing die-hard fans of the Tea Party favorite from far away.

Distributors put the film in just 10 AMC theaters nationwide, mostly in reliably conservative markets like Dallas, Texas and Orange County in southern California.

But if it does well this weekend, it will expand to new and not-so-conservative markets.

A successful roll-out would be a welcome vehicle to whip up enthusiasm for the former Alaska governor as she prepares to tell Americans in the next few months if she will seek the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential race.

Fundraising tallies for Palin suggest she needs the help. Her primary fundraising committee brought in a paltry $1.6 million in the first half of 2011, a fraction of the $18.25 million Republican front-runner Mitt Romney's presidential committee collected in the second quarter alone.

"Run, Sarah, run!" shouted Californian Sherman Roodzant, 64, as the final credits rolled on the 1:10 p.m. showing in a half-filled theater in Orange. Roodzant drove 150 miles to see it and said it was worth every mile.

"It was awesome," Roodzant said. "It showed her life story and showed what a great American she is and what a great potential leader she is. It made me feel stronger toward her."

That kind of fervor is exactly what distributors are banking on. They saw it at the premiere last month in a small town in conservative-leaning Iowa.   Continued...