MovieChat Forums > Bear IslandĀ (1979) Discussion > the Heaven's Gate of Canadian movies?

the Heaven's Gate of Canadian movies?

If the budget data for Bear Island is accurate, then $12,000,000 was a hell of a lot of money for a Canadian movie in the late 70s. Heck, even for an American movie that was a large chunk of change back then. I remember when this was released in the theatres and I don't think it lasted more than a week. Maybe two weeks at the most, I can't exactly remember. So this must have been a real kick in the balls for whoever put up the money for this.

I saw this on VHS many years ago, but I just don't remember it very well. I don't think I was too crazy about it, though. I was trying to hunt the tape down to rent again, but no such luck. A DVD release would be great.


The Wikipedia page for Bear Island says:

"This was the most expensive Canadian film ever made up till then."

"One critic panned the casting of British actress Redgrave in a Norwegian role and of American actor Widmark in a German role, having to adopt "hilarious" accents, while Sutherland (a Canadian actor) had to play an American role. He stated that the film returned very little of its $12 million production cost."

I think it was a requisite at the time, and for a very long time, that the Canadian productions had to have a Canadian actor in the lead. And that's why Donald Sutherland did so many leads in bad movies during the 70's, because he was the most reknown Canadian actor out there.


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