Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (1985)

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Title: Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (1985)

Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks (1985) on IMDb 7.7/10

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4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Peter Boretski
Donald Brittain ...
Harold Chamberlain Banks
Jason Dean
Marie-Hélène Fontaine
Colin Fox
Sean McCann
Gary Reineke
Larry Reynolds
Barry Stevens
Jonathan Welsh


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Release Date:

8 September 1985 (Canada)  »

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CAD 1,138,000 (estimated)

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Featured in Donald Brittain: Filmmaker (1995) See more »

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Social Studies Lesson
1 July 2002 | by (Toronto,Ontario) – See all my reviews

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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