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Strangers in Good Company (1990)

PG | | Drama | 1990 (Canada)
A busload of women become stranded in an isolated part of the Canadian countryside. As they await rescue, they reflect on their lives through a mostly ad-libbed script.

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4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alice Diabo ...
Alice
Beth Webber ...
Beth
Catherine Roche ...
Catherine
Cissy Meddings ...
Cissy
Constance Garneau ...
Constance
Mary Meigs ...
Mary
Michelle Sweeney ...
Michelle
Winifred Holden ...
Winnie
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Storyline

A bus breaks down in the wilderness. Seven elderly women,average age 71 and one 27 year old are stranded at a deserted farmhouse. The have only their wits, their memories, and eventually some roasted frogs' legs, to sustain them. Through the long days and nights this remarkable group of strangers share their life stories and exchange intimate thoughts; turning the crisis into a magical time of humor and spirit. Featuring non-professional actors and spontaneous dialogue, this memorable film dissolves the barrier between fiction and reality, weaving a heartwarming tale of friendship and courage. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Sometimes the middle of nowhere can lead to the most beautiful of places.

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Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1990 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

A companhia de estranhos  »

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Box Office

Gross:

$1,002,689 (USA)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was mostly ad-libbed by the women, all talking about their real lives. See more »

Crazy Credits

And a Special Thanks to all those who Participated in the Research and Casting of this Film See more »

Soundtracks

A Mighty Fortress
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach (as J.S. Bach)
Courtesy Sony classical
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User Reviews

Funny, Melancholy, Fascinating, Charming and Totally Genuine
12 January 2004 | by (Glendale, CA) – See all my reviews

I don't know where you'll ever find another film quite like STRANGERS IN GOOD COMPANY (or The Company Of Strangers, as the title appears on the DVD). If you want more from a movie than action, special effects and cliche situations and characters, are willing to be just a bit patient (as life sometimes requires) and, most importantly, understand that every human being is interesting in their own way and has their own story to tell, this film will reward you generously.

Eight women - all senior citizens, except for the driver - are on a small bus traveling through the Canadian countryside. We don't know who they are, or where they're going (though the production notes on the DVD explain it), except that they're making a small detour to see the lakeside cottage at which one of them spent summers in her youth, when the bus breaks down and strands them.

As they set about dealing with their predicament, we come to know these women, and learn that each is a survivor of one or more cruel blows: major calamities such as the Blitz, a bad marriage or the death of a child, or the more quiet calamity of illness and the alienation that can come with old age. To put it another way: life. Mind you, these are not tragic, "damaged" people; it's just that they've experienced the range of ups and downs that any full life contains, and therefore assess their situation as not much more than a temporary inconvenience, coping with it in the most practical of manners: attempting to repair the bus, seeking shelter and food, making sleeping arrangements and, yes, even entertaining themselves and each other, until help can arrive or be found.

In the purest sense, this film is about surviving, and living, which can often be two different things. If there is a "message" here, it's embodied in the moment when several of the women gather on the porch of the abandoned house in which they've taken refuge and, both as a call to anyone who might be within earshot, and as a personal affirmation, shout into the wilderness, "We're here....we're alive!"

The characters and their interaction are so genuine and moving, the effect is almost startling. In the midst of idle chit-chat during a mundane task such as picking berries, long-harbored and deeply felt pain can be revealed and shared and, within moments, the small talk is resumed. This is, of course, not the way such things are handled in major studio movies, but it is the way they often happen in real life, and this - along with the 110% believability of the performances - is what gives these scenes their power.

Both the film and the characters are at once open yet enigmatic. This is not the geriatric version of The Big Chill; questions are left unanswered and issues remain unresolved. Without standard contrived crises and manufactured conflict, what this film delivers is so fascinating simply because it's so real. If you possess even half a brain and an ounce of sensitivity, I can't imagine your finding this group of women anything but the very best of good company.


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