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A Dangerous Age

Year: 1957
Language: English
Format: 35mm Black & White
Runtime: 69 min
Director: Sidney Furie
Producer: Sidney Furie
Writer: Sidney Furie
Cinematographer: Herbert Alpert
Editor: David Nicholson
Music: Phil Nimmons
Cast: John Sullivan, Kate Reid, Ben Piazza, Anne Pearson, Aileen Seaton, Shane Rimmer, Austin Willis, Barbara Hamilton

Young college students Nancy (Anne Pearson) and David (Ben Piazza) are in love and plan to marry, despite the objections of her parents (Kate Reid and Shane Rimmer). The couple elopes to the United States, hoping Nancy’s forged birth certificate will conceal the fact that she needs parental consent, but discover they must wait twenty-four hours. When they go back across the border, they are pulled over by the police. Nancy decides to return home, but David fears he will lose her unless they marry immediately and convinces her they should make a run for it. But after a car chase, they are again caught by the police, and David finally concedes that he and Nancy should wait to marry.

This low-budget ($50,000) feature was the first by director Sidney Furie, then just twenty-four years old. Originally planned as a television production for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, where Furie worked as a writer, A Dangerous Age was virtually unseen and unnoticed in Canada at the time. The first Canadian feature in many years to win praise at the Festival de Cannes and the Venice International Film Festival, it merited serious international critical attention and remains a landmark of Canadian film production. Its low-key, quasi-documentary style, evocative use of locations and what some British critics called its "honesty" stand in marked contrast to Hollywood’s "adolescent crisis" films of the same period.

The film also represents Furie’s attempt to develop commercially viable feature films in English Canada and thus serves as a precursor to Don Owen’s Nobody Waved Good-bye (1964). Though released in Britain and the United States, A Dangerous Age failed to get a theatrical release in Canada. When a similar fate met Furie’s second feature, A Cool Sound from Hell (1959), he left for Britain where he quickly established a reputation as a major director.