In 1940's Moose Hill, Saskatchewan, outdoorsman Pierre is attracted to saloon-owner Daisy. Hearing of her impending marriage to 'Jap' Durkin, a law officer and rival, Pierre arranges things...
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In 1940's Moose Hill, Saskatchewan, outdoorsman Pierre is attracted to saloon-owner Daisy. Hearing of her impending marriage to 'Jap' Durkin, a law officer and rival, Pierre arranges things so the wedding won't occur. Later, Daisy's brother Val, who is also on Durkin's bad side, accidentally kills a crony of Durkin's. Durkin arrests Val and is determined to see him punished, not so much for the killing, but also for the humiliation of the canceled wedding. Pierre, Daisy, and a couple of visiting campers help spring Val, resulting in more complications and another death. Written by
Ron Kerrigan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well, I just finished watching this movie, and while on the entertainment scale it's nothing but pure C-grade matinée pulp, it certainly was educational. As a Canadian kid growing up in the 1960s I spent quite a bit of time south of the border, and was always baffled by the bizarre perceptions that so many Americans had of their northern neighbours at that time. It's much less of a mystery now . . . the picture of life in contemporary Canada painted by Pierre of the Plains must truly one of the most stunning examples of Hollywood's willingness to throw any semblance of reality out the window in favor of a (perhaps) interesting story.
It's 1942 and Canada is still chock-a-block with buckskin-clad, singing French trappers ambling through the forests on horseback, American bootleggers trading furs for whiskey with the Injuns. Log cabins and clapboard shacks are still the architectural order of the day. The police are still relegated to upholding the law on plodding steeds -- though nearly everyone else seems to have graduated to the latest sedan or roadster. And the nearest bastions of culture, business and civilized society in general are yet thousands of miles away in Montreal. Mon dieu.
Much of the inspiration for the insipid Duddley Do-Right franchise seems to have derived directly from this movie . . . Many of the characters and settings could quite easily have been pulled either intact or as amalgams from Pierre of the Plains, and the Inspector Fenwick of Jay Ward's animated series appears to be virtually a straight copy of Frederick Worlock's portrayal.
This film really should have been a compulsory part of the curriculum of Canadian schools in the '60s and '70s. Even now, it would be instructive for any student of sociology, cultural anthropology or geopolitics interested in seeing firsthand how Canada's world image has come to be shaped more by external forces than internal. (While there are, of course, dozens of other very inaccurate American portrayals of Canada captured on celluloid, they all pale in comparison to this one.)
Despite its inanity, I give this movie three stars just for the pure kitsch value and for giving me and excuse to make a bowl of popcorn and curl up in front of the TV when I should have been preparing for a business meeting. Unlike commentator glen_esq, I cannot give a bonus star for John Carroll's rendition of "Saska-TCHEE-WUN" because notwithstanding the handicap of a born-and-bred Louisiana accent, it surely could not have been THAT hard for him to learn to pronounce the name of the province properly.
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