WWII vet Eddie Boyd is torn between providing for his young family and an unfulfilled dream of becoming a Hollywood star. He discovers a way to do both, but his dream leads him down a path of danger and tragedy.
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Based on a real WWII vet and family man turned bank robber. Disillusioned by his post war circumstances, Eddie Boyd is torn between the need to provide for his young family and an unfulfilled dream to head to Hollywood to become a star. He discovers a way to do both, robbing banks Hollywood style, but his dream leads him down a path of danger and tragedy.Written by
"Citizen Gangster" from 2011 is an interesting film directed by a first-timer, Nathan Morlando, who also wrote the script. He does an excellent job telling this story.
Set in Canada, Eddie Boyd (Scott Speedman) is a good-looking war hero with a wife (Kelly Reilly) and two children. He's a bus driver, and his wife works as well. One day, after helping a veteran in a wheelchair onto his bus, Eddie walks away from his job. He heads to Lorne Greene's (yes - the star of Bonanza) acting school seeking film work. Not having the money for the classes, unable to support his family, and about to lose his home, Eddie decides to become a bank robber. He disguises himself with makeup and successfully robs a number of banks, all the time telling his wife he has acting jobs. He becomes a folk hero and revels in his publicity.
Finally, he is caught and sent to prison. There he meets other inmates Lenny Jackson (Kevin Durand), Willie 'The Clown' Jackson (Brendan Fletcher), and Val Kozak (Joseph Cross) who have a plan to escape, which they do, becoming The Boyd Gang.
Fascinating story, all the more fascinating because it's true. There is actual footage of Loren Greene on the Canadian network's first broadcast talking about the search for Eddie.
Scott Speedman does an excellent job of portraying Eddie - in the beginning, he looks like the '40s-50s actor Guy Madison, very handsome. He definitely captures Eddie's desire for fame and his lack of interest in the consequences on his family, though he claims he's doing it all for them. Well, not really. Reilly as his long- suffering wife Doreen who can't help but love him is wonderful, as is Brian Cox as Eddie's ex-police officer father, who warned Doreen about his son.
What happens to Eddie later on is amazing - the film covers some of it but by no means all. I suggest the Wikipedia article for some really surprising facts.
A dark film about a post-war dark world. Morlando's first time effort should be applauded.
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