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Waking Up Wally: The Walter Gretzky Story (2005)

Based on the Book: Written by Walter Gretzky recounting his recovery from a stroke which left him without any memory of his son Wayne.


Dean Bennett


Walter Gretzky (book), Carol Hay
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom McCamus ... Walter 'Wally' Gretzky
Victoria Snow ... Phyllis Gretzky
Tara Spencer-Nairn ... Kim Gretzky
Matthew Edison ... Ian Kohler
Kris Holden-Ried ... Wayne Gretzky (as Kristen Holden-Ried)
Robert Bockstael Robert Bockstael ... Butch
David Lawrence Brown ... Eddie Ramer (as Dave Brown)
Shaun Johnston ... Rob Coyne
Mark Krysko ... Keith Gretzky
Darren Bachynski Darren Bachynski ... Glen Gretzky
Carey Feehan ... Brent Gretzky
Gill Hawkins Gill Hawkins ... Young Wayne Gretzky
Jessica Renman Jessica Renman ... Kim Gretzky at 10
Lessia Petriv Lessia Petriv ... Mary Gretzky
Brian Paul ... Dr. DeVilliers


Based on the Book: Written by Walter Gretzky recounting his recovery from a stroke which left him without any memory of his son Wayne.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language and thematic elements






Release Date:

6 November 2005 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

La longue absence See more »

Filming Locations:

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based on the book "On Family, Hockey and Healing" by Walter Gretzky See more »


Features Hockey Night in Canada (1952) See more »


I Will Remember You
Written by Sarah McLachlan, Seamus Egan, and Dave Merenda
Performed by Sarah McLachlan
See more »

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User Reviews

more than I expected
8 November 2005 | by anglooSee all my reviews

Although I figured this would be an ordinary biography, I found the Gretzky story to be entertaining, and moving to the point where I cried more than once. McCamus should win a Genie for his portrayal of Walter Gretzky, and the characters were believable and real. I found myself caring more and more as the film went on, which is more than I can say for 90% of the films I watch (both Canadian and American) and cheering for Walter every time he makes progress or remembers something from his past. Since the story isn't over (as the real Walter Gretzky is still recovering) it naturally leaves you a bit unsatisfied at the end with respect to how far he needs to go, but it still stands out as one of the great films (not just documentaries) of the year. Since it just aired on CBC this week, I would be interested to hear what other Canadians (and even Americans) think of this very sensitive story of a kind, compassionate family and their struggle to bring their patriarch back from the void.

========================Slight spoiler follows==============

Well, not really a spoiler but at the very end, they show footage of the real Walter Gretzky meeting the cast and crew and watching the film, and that set the tears flowing freely. It was such a beautiful ending to an already wonderful movie that I am revising my earlier review of 9 and giving it a 10. I mean, what more can you ask for if a movie brings smiles AND tears?

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