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Dief! (1981)

The life and career of the charismatic and controversial Canadian Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker.


William Canning


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Credited cast:
Lincoln Alexander Lincoln Alexander ... Self - Funeral Service
Joe Clark Joe Clark ... Self - Delivers Eulogy
John Crosbie ... Self - Funeral Service
Bill Davis Bill Davis ... Self - with Dief (archive footage)
John Diefenbaker John Diefenbaker ... Self - Lies in State
Peter Lougheed Peter Lougheed ... Self - Funeral Service
Flora MacDonald ... Self - Funeral Service
Maureen McTeer Maureen McTeer ... Self - Funeral Service
Roland Michener Roland Michener ... Self - Funeral Service
Brian Mulroney ... Self - Funeral Service
Robert Stanfield Robert Stanfield ... Self - Funeral Service
Pierre Trudeau ... Self - Funeral Service
Jon Vickers Jon Vickers ... Self - Sings at Service


Thirteenth prime minister of Canada, John George Diefenbaker's political career spanned six decades. When he died in August 1979, his state funeral and final train trip west across the land he loved became a celebration of his life. By interweaving scenes from past and present, the film crafts a moving tribute to an illustrious Canadian and records how a nation paused to pay homage to "The Chief." Written by Anonymous

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Could've use a bit more substantiality
1 May 2001 | by LeRoyMarkoSee all my reviews

For the one who doesn't know who Diefenbaker was or what was his achievement while he was prime minister of Canada (from 1958 to 1963), this short documentary film by the National Film Board will be of small or no interest at all.

The film presents Diefenbaker by showing clips of some of his quotes and of his funeral in 1979. Archive footages make the film.

What's missing from this documentary is a recap of the politics of Diefenbaker. Raised in Western Canada, he was seen as a populist, a leader that listen to the people. That's why his party wins, in 1958, the largest majority of seats in the Canadian parliament since Confederation (1867). The Diefenbaker-era begins. In May 1979, a few months before his death, he wins a thirteenth mandate from the voters of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

Out of 100, I gave this documentary a 74.

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NFB (english) [Canada]





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