This film is a true life account of Hal Banks, an Al Capone-like union leader who practically ran the Canadian shipping industry with an iron fist in the 50s and 60s. The film explores his rise to power through physical force as well as the many political contacts he made along the way which no doubt helped ensure his success. The film comes off as realistic but on the other hand, it has a 60 Minutes like feel which pervades throughout. Much of the action takes place in black and white. For a Canadian film, it boasts a half-decent budget and it is professionally made. The film's greatest asset is the casting of Maury Chaykin in the title role. Chaykin not only displays his considerable talents as an actor but also delivers the explosiveness and intimidation required to make this character real. It's one of his few lead roles which seems odd given his versatility. The film as a whole is overlong at almost two hours. Though it sometimes feels like a Social Studies lesson, it does show an unusual side of Canadian history.
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