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Hollywood North (2003)

R | | Comedy | 12 January 2004 (USA)
A Canadian producer buys the film rights of a famous Canadian novel, Lantern Moon and wants it to reflect his home country. But he soon realizes that once Hollywood becomes involved, his Canadian vision has to take a back seat.


Peter O'Brian
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine ... Bobby Myers
Saul Rubinek ... Paul Linder
Alan Bates ... Michael Baytes
Joe Cobden ... Howard Atkins
Deborah Kara Unger ... Sandy Ryan
Alan Thicke ... Peter Casey
John Neville ... Henry Neville
Lindy Booth ... Molly
Fab Filippo Fab Filippo ... Frankie Candido (as Fabrizio Filippo)
Clare Coulter ... Lindsay Marshall
Sandi Stahlbrand Sandi Stahlbrand ... Leslie Carrington
John Bayliss John Bayliss ... Customs Inspector
Jennifer Tilly ... Gillian Stevens
Audrey Lupke ... Joanne Jennings
Kim Coates ... Scott DiMarco


Former lawyer Bobby Myers recounts his first foray in the Canadian movie business circa 1979, when the then burgeoning Canadian movie industry was going through some growing pains. He wanted his first project as producer to be told by Canadians about issues close to the Canadian heart. As such, he acquired the rights to Lantern Moon, a beloved Canadian novel written by Lindsay May Marshall. He quickly realized that producing a movie in Canada, especially in acquiring financing, required much compromise, most specifically casting a big name Hollywood star in the leading role. The star he signs, Michael Baytes, comes with much baggage. Those compromises lead to many problems between the Canadian vision and the want by some to make the movie more "American", especially by ultra-patriotic and paranoid Baytes. Through it all, filmmaker Sandy Ryan films it all, good and bad, for a "making of" documentary. But Sandy has her own agenda as she concurrently films her own lower budget movie ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The camera never lies ... only the people behind it.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Despite the fact that the screenplay was one of the most famous to circulate amongst insiders of the real Hollywood North, the movie still took an incredibly long time to get filmed. The screenplay was originally written in the mid 1980s. There was a serious attempt to film it in 1987, but the plans were ultimately scrubbed. See more »


Lindsay Marshall: If God were Canadian, he would come down and destroy you and this production in a fiery apocalyptic rebuke!
See more »


References Wuthering Heights (1939) See more »


Performed by Ian Thomas
Written by Ian Thomas
Published by Mark-Cain Music
Courtesy of Anthem Entertainment
See more »

User Reviews

Brilliantly Funny Mock Documentary
13 January 2005 | by BrandtSponsellerSee all my reviews

A mock documentary about a pair of Canadian producers, Bobby Myers (Matthew Modine) and Paul Linder (Saul Rubinek), trying to make their first film in the late 1970s. Hollywood North is the comic tale of their struggle to pull everything together, despite a number of conflicting threads.

Hollywood North works as a film in a way very similar to why This Is Spinal Tap (1984) works so well. Namely, although exaggerated in some ways, it is very close to the truth, and the truth consists of "behind the scenes" facts that are very different than the public face of the industry. It isn't easy to make a film, and it must have been especially difficult in Canada in the late 1970s. Films involve tens, if not hundreds, of people. Many have incompatible desires, motivations and personalities. Especially crucial are the financiers and the on-screen talent, as if either drops out or becomes undependable at any stage while the film is in production, it could jeopardize the whole affair, either necessitating extensive reshoots or abandoning the film altogether.

So it's not surprising that Hollywood North focuses on those kinds of relationships. The result is an excellent film that is both hilarious and tragic at the same time. The script is flawless and the performances are top notch. This is a must-see for any budding filmmaker and anyone with a serious interest in the craft of film-making. It should also be more than entertaining for any viewer with a modicum of intelligence and a sense of humor.

A 10 out of 10 from me.

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Release Date:

12 January 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hollywood North See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Box Office


$7,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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