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The Bay Boy Reviews

Director Petrie went back to his Canadian upbringing as he wrote and produced this nostalgic look at life in Glace Bay on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The story wanders a bit, as most reminiscences do, and shoots off in many directions, as life does. The result is a modest achievement at best. Sutherland (son of actor Donald) is the "Bay Boy" of the title. The time is 1937, and the Depression has overwhelmed the area. Sutherland lives with his parents (Ullmann and Donat), a poor family, barely able to eke out a living in the harsh area. The parents would like their son to join the priesthood, but the thought of celibacy is unappealing--he likes the two young sisters who live across the road (Pinsent and McKinnon). Further complicating the situation, Sutherland sees the girls' father, a police officer known in the community as a sadist (Scarfe), kill an aged Jewish couple. Sutherland doesn't know how to handle matters. Despite running in several directions at once, the film was obviously made with love by Petrie and won a number of Genie Awards in Canada. The weakest link in the presentation is the vapid performance by Sutherland.