Movie to soon be filmed in McKenzie County

"End of the Rope"
"End of the Rope"(KFYR-TV)
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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MCKENZIE COUNTY, N.D. (KFYR) - In 1931, McKenzie County became the last place in North Dakota where a lynching took place. “End of the Rope” is a book detailing the story surrounding the murder investigation and eventual lynching. It was written by McKenzie County native Dennis Johnson after years of research, and will soon be turned into a movie filmed in McKenzie County.

“End of the Rope” is a book that originates from an exhibit of the hanging that Johnson created for the Pioneer Museum in Watford City. The book describes the events surrounding Charles Bannon’s death, who was accused of murdering a family of six. He was eventually the last person in North Dakota to be lynched. After reading the book, Johnson’s friend reached out to Bismarck film producer Dan Bielinski.

“She had attended one of Mr. Bielinski’s movie premieres, and afterwards, she cornered him, and talked about the Bannon lynching. She suggested that this is a story that a movie should be made about, and she actually put us in touch,” said Johnson.

The jail where Bannon was held is still standing today. A mob broke into his cell and lynched him. Film producer Bielinski thought this was a story that should be heard. Filming starts next August, and will last about a month.

“We’ll be casting the leads from larger markets like New York and L.A., but we’ll also be having casting calls in North Dakota. As much as possible, you know we want to keep this a North Dakota based production, and really make it beautiful with the resources, the people that we have here,” said Dan Bielinski.

If you’d like to be a part of the narrative film or have questions, email

Dennis Johnson gave the Pioneer Museum the copyright to the book, so all royalties made from the movie will go to the museum. The book, “End of the Rope,” is also available at the museum.

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