113 minutes – Comedy
Based on William Weintraub’s 1961 satirical first novel about the newspaper world of the 1940s, the story is set at the fictional Daily Witness, which is edited by a penny-pinching, glowering tyrant (Henry Beckman) in the tradition of the pre-union days. He is a hard-nosed reactionary who is out to please his advertisers and not ‘rock the boat.’ A young, ambitious reporter, Harry Barnes (Stuart Gillard), fresh from McGill University, finds his dreams of journalistic fame dampened by the disillusioned older journalists he works with. Harry never breaks a big story, never gets that “big scoop,” but does excel with women. After a brief affair with the publisher’s wife (Patricia Gage) he falls for the beautiful union organizer and reporter (Leek) for a rival newspaper. His comic attempts to court her lead to a drunken, passionate pro-union speech at his own paper. Why Rock the Boat picked up Etrog (Genie) Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Henry Beckman), Best Screenplay Adaptation (William Weintraub), and Best Actor (Stuart Gillard). The film won a Bronze Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival in 1974.