A young naive reporter romances a female reporter who is quietly organizing a journalist union and joins her cause.



(novel), (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Barnes - lead
Julia Martin
Ken James ...
Ronny Waldron
Budd Knapp ...
Fred O'Neil
Philip Butcher
Sean Sullivan ...
Herb Scannell
Patricia Gage ...
Isobel Scannell
Ruben Moreno ...
Senor Gomez
Henry Ramer ...
Club president
Maurice Podbrey ...
Guest Speaker
Barry Baldaro ...
Patricia Hamilton ...
Ian De Voy ...
Basil Fitzgibbon ...


In 1940's Montreal, Canada, a young reporter named Harry Barnes gets his first job at The Daily Witness, the worst paper in the city. A naive man, he struggles to accept the realities of the life of a reporter whether dealing with suspicious stories. or coping with his tyrannical boss. Along the way, he meets and falls for a reporter from a competing paper named Julia who is struggling at her job while quietly forming a journalist union local. Egged on by his worldly comrades, Harry tries to woo her by helping her and learning about her cause. However, events nearly out of his control push him to make a decision on one miserable night that will change his life forever. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance





Release Date:

26 September 1974 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Minek ugrálni?  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 450,000 (estimated)

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User Reviews

love, politics, and newsprint
5 May 2004 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

John Howe's WHY ROCK THE BOAT? is a pleasing comedy that boasts a sharp eye for recreating 1940's era Montreal. Stuart Gillard, who is better known as a writer & director these days, stars as a young man aspiring to a career as a newspaper reporter. The first job at the paper is writing obituary columns, from which he gradually progresses upward. His main ambitions seem to be steering clear of the tyrannical editor (Henry Beckman) and pursuing a relationship with a lovely fellow reporter (Tiiu Leek) on a rival paper. The girl of his dreams is secretly meeting with other newspaper people in hopes of starting a union; Gillard sees involving himself in this as a golden opportunity to win his love over, whether he believes in it or not.

This may not be the easiest movie to see these days, but it is a good little film that is well-written & lovingly put together. Performances are generally good. Both Gillard and Leek are likable leads, but the best work comes from Beckman, Ken James as the carousing photographer who befriends Gillard, and Patricia Gage as the seductive wife of one of the newsmen.

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