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Cornet at Night (1963)

| Short, Drama, Family
A farm boy, to his parents' dismay, chooses a trumpet player for a harvest farm hand.


Stanley Jackson


Sinclair Ross (based on a story by), Stanley Jackson


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Adult Tom Dixon is remembering back to a time when he was ten years old living on a farm with his parents outside of Poplar Bluffs, Saskatchewan. Behind in his work, Tom's father needed to cut the wheat stalks on a Sunday - a disgrace to Tom's God fearing mother who believed Sunday is the Lord's day - meaning that Tom needed to go alone into town, fifteen miles away, to hire someone to stook the cut wheat stalks. Instead of hiring someone who knew farm work, Tom hired a young urban looking man named Phillip. Tom became enthralled with Phillip when he learned that Phillip was a professional cornet player, Tom who had an interest in music. Conversely, Tom's parents were appalled at Tom's choice. After hearing Phillip play, Tom knew he made the right choice and decided to do whatever he could to help Phillip so that his father wouldn't send Phillip away. But Phillip ended up having a profound effect on the entire family, which had nothing to do with the farm work. Written by Huggo

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Short | Drama | Family

User Reviews

The original filming of the charming Sinclair Ross memory story.
2 June 2004 | by ram-30See all my reviews

20 years later, the National Film Board of Canada remade this well loved Sinclair Ross story with R.H. Thompson and a bit more action. However, the original black and white video, with it's low-key, realistic cast of simple farm folk and their emaciated visitor(Thompson is much too muscular for the role of the sickly musician) is a much more vivid account of what life on the prairies during the Dirty Thirties was like. The earlier film seems to be the easier of the two to locate through film catalogues. It is directed by Stanley Jackson, a jack of all trades for the NFB(he was the voice of the nerdy, nervous depositor in the Oscar nominated animated short "My Financial Career"). The film begins with a banner announcing the setting: a farm in Northern Saskatchewan. Indeed, the newer version seems to be set on the bare southern part of the province. The pine filled scenery of the 1963 version is also much truer to Sinclair Ross's life, having grown up in the Prince Albert area. I prefer the original film version but you decide. Watch them both or, better yet, read the short story. Sinclair Ross's character development and symbolism are lacking in both video versions.

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