87 minutes – Drama
Release date: July 2, 1970
DVD release date: July 10, 2012 (digitally remastered)
Excerpt from Masterworks of Canadian Cinema
Also see: Down the Road Again.
Goin’ Down the Road begins with the now almost obligatory shots of desolation that have come to mean the Maritimes. Pete (Doug McGrath) and Joey (Paul Bradley) are two uneducated blue collar dreamers from Nova Scotia. On a friend’s promise of jobs and prosperity in Toronto, they load up their rusted out Chevrolet and head out down the road. Just one beer-fueled opening credit sequence later they arrive in Toronto. Their first visit is to Pete’s Aunt, where they hope to stay until they get jobs, but his Aunt and Uncle assume they are vagrants and hide behind a curtain until Pete and Joey leave. Disheartened, Pete calls his friend about getting a job, but is told that they chose to come at a bad time. Goin’ Down The Road started a new movement in Canada. It is often called the “seminal Canadian movie,” but the making of so-called “realist movies” had been going on in Québec for some time. However, decades later it remains a unique blend of fiction and documentary. Leonard Malton, in his Movie and Video Guide wrote, “Goin’ Down the Road puts most Hollywood blockbusters to shame.” Produced for $87,000, it won Canadian Film Awards for Best Feature and Best Screenplay.