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Montreal Main

(Boulevard Saint-Laurent Montréal)

Year: 1972
Language: English
Format: 16mm Colour
Runtime: 88 min
Director: Frank Vitale
Producer: Allan Moyle, Frank Vitale
Writer: Stephen Lack, Allan Moyle, Peter Brawley, John Sutherland, Dave Sutherland, Ann Sutherland, Jackie Holden, Pam Marchant, Frank Vitale
Cinematographer: Eric Bloch
Editor: Frank Vitale
Sound: Pedro Novak
Music: Beverly Glenn-Copeland
Cast: Stephen Lack, Allan Moyle, Peter Brawley, Frank Vitale, John Sutherland, Dave Sutherland, Ann Sutherland, Jackie Holden, Pam Marchant, Tony Booth
Production Company: President Films
Frank (Frank Vitale), a gay artist hanging on to the sixties, lives on Montreal’s cosmopolitan St-Laurent Boulevard – the Main – in Montreal, where he and his friends have established an enclave outside the bounds of liberal society. Into this world comes Johnny, (John Sutherland), a young adolescent emerging from the suburbs. He and Frank meet by chance in a strange moment of mutual need and gradually develop an unconventional but deeply touching friendship. But Johnny’s pseudo-hip, intellectual parents (Dave Sutherland, Anne Sutherland) and Frank’s gay friends (Allan Moyle, Stephen Lack) intervene, refusing to allow the relationship to continue.

Distinguished by its improvised performances, confessional tone and lyrical construction, this autobiographical film was widely praised by critics as an intensely personal and honest work. Its theme of sexual diversity, its depiction of a place and people on the fringes of society, and its remarkable portrait of the gentle and understated relationship between Frank and Johnny were all revelations. An auspicious debut from Frank Vitale, who has failed to produce anything noteworthy since, Montreal Main was produced on a modest $20,000 budget and enjoyed considerable success with audiences in non-commercial theatres.

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