Carry on Sergeant!

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Date: Saturday, September 30
Time: 6:30 PM
Venue: Centre Theatre

  • Director: Bruce Bairnsfather
  • Producer: Bruce Bairnsfather
  • Production Company: Canadian International Film
  • Actors: Jimmy Savo, Hugh Buckler

Carry On, Sergeant! was shot at Trenton Studios in Ontario and in the surrounding countryside by British Director Bruce Bairnsfather, with legendary Canadian filmmaker Gordon Sparling working as his assistant director. With a budget of $500,000,  it was the biggest-budget film produced in Canada up to that time. Much of that budget went to recreating WWI-era France, with sprawling sets and battlefield scenes featuring hundreds of extras.

The story follows a group of workers from Hamilton who join the army to fight in WWI, and the travails and temptations that befall them during the war. The film has excellent production values and presents a drama that may feel surprisingly modern to today’s audiences. Bairnsfather’s insistence on portraying the soldiers as flawed human beings resulted in some criticism from those who expected a straightforward glorification of Canada’s war effort.

Produced as a silent film just as theatres were transitioning to sound, it had only a brief run at the box office before it was removed from circulation in January 1929. It fell into obscurity for many years before Gordon Sparling donated a print to Library and Archives Canada, resulting in a complete restoration of the film.

Quinte Canadian FilmFest is pleased to present this iconic film accompanied by two members of HILOTRONS, performing classic film themes by Ennio Morricone.


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