- Summaries (2)
The documentary follows Hutt through his much-publicized last season at the Stratford Festival in 2005, as he played Prospero in Shakespeare's The Tempest. As a confluence of biography and artistic profile, Leading Man shows Hutt musing as much about the nature of his craft as the events of his life. Throughout his 57 years on the stage, Hutt has been especially modest, some might say guarded about his personal life. In the film's especially candid moments, Hutt discusses those topics he typically avoids - his family, his war experience, his most difficult acting roles - revealing a life story entwined with rich cultural histories, the story of the rise of Canadian Theatre, as well as touching personal moments. Hutt won the Military Medal for his service with the medical corps during the Second World War. He also had a tumultuous relationship with his conservative parents over the issue of his sexuality. In the late 1940s, Hutt was one of many soon-to-be famous actors involved with the Hart House Theatre community at the University of Toronto. He was later cast in the first season of the Stratford Festival in 1953, when performances were staged in a tent because the theatre hadn't yet to be built. In the decades that followed, he became the resident star of the Festival, appearing in more of Shakespeare's plays than Alec Guinness or Sir Lawrence Olivier. Executive Producer Richard Neilsen says "Hutt's consistent risk-taking indicated to me extraordinary courage. As a young man he was openly gay at a time when being openly gay was a very dangerous identity. He shunned violence, but he volunteered as a medic in the Second World War, and he later won the Military Medal for his services; and, this I found most fascinating: he committed to a career in theatre when such a thing as the "Canadian Theatre" simply did not exist." The documentary also features interviews with the legendary Christopher Plummer, and director Norman Jewison as well as Hutt's family and friends. Together they reflect on the events of Hutt's life, "even the ones," says Director Joel Gordon, "that Hutt doesn't much like talking about."
Leading Man offers fresh, rare insights about the man who has been called "Canada's preeminent actor" and "the world's greatest living classical actor."
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