Home 1970s 1970 Movies Act of the Heart

Act of the Heart


103 minutes – Drama
Release date: September 24, 1970
US release date: November 25, 1970
Distributor: Universal Pictures

The second of three films by Paul Almond to feature his then wife, Geneviève Bujold, Act of the Heart is the story of Martha Hayes, a deeply religious 18-year-old girl from Quebec’s North Shore who arrives in Montréal and becomes a governess for widowed businesswoman (Monique Leyrac) and her sickly son Russell (Bill Mitchell). Martha joins the church and sings in the choir (pictured). Infatuated with Father Michael Ferrier (Donald Sutherland), Martha suffers a deep and abiding sense of loss and pain when Russell dies in an accident. Questioning her faith, Martha declares her love for Father Ferrier who renounces his orders so that they can live together. To support their life together, Martha takes a job singing at a roadhouse. Consumed by guilt she commits suicide under the cross that stands on the mountain overlooking Montréal.

Act of the Heart won six Canadian Film Awards — director, actress for Bujold, art direction, overall sound, sound editing, and musical score.

Act of the Heart, movie, poster,



Paul Almond
Jennings Lang

Associate Producer:

Peter Carter


Paul Almond


Paul Almond


Jean Boffety


James Mitchell
Donna Nichol (Assistant Editor)


Harry Freedman

Art Director:

Anne Pritchard

Cast: Roles:

Geneviève Bujold
Donald Sutherland
Monique Leyrac
Sharon Acker
Eric House
Ratch Wallace
Billy Mitchell
Gilles Vigneault
Jean Dalmain
Claude Jutra
François Tassé
Jean Duceppe
Suzanne Langlois

Martha Hayes
Father Michael Ferrier
Johane Foss
Russell Foss
Coach Ti-Jo
Party Goer
Party Goer
Party Goer
Parks Commissioner