Home 1980s 1984 Movies The Bay Boy

The Bay Boy


107 minutes – Drama
Language: English
Festival release date: September 6, 1984 (Toronto International Film Festival)
Release date: February 15, 1985
Production companies: Bay Boy Productions Ltd., Hachette-Fox Productions
Canadian distributor: Pan-Canadian
U.S. distributor: Orion Classics

The Bay Boy is set in 1937 in the remote village of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, during the Great Depression. Kiefer Sutherland plays 16-year-old Donald Campbell. It`s an interesting time and the story, like so many stories about teenagers, is a “coming-of-age” tale in which events beyond his control force decisions and actions he may not be quite ready to make. For example, his mother, played by Liv Ullman, would like Donald to finish school and become a priest, but Donald is more interested in girls than the Bible. The girls in this case are the sisters, Saxon and Dianna, played by Leah Pinsent in her film debut and Jane McKinnon. We see that Donald is, despite his hormones, a fairly upright guy who spends time helping his father (Peter Donat) make money with a bit of illegal coal mining, while also caring for his sickly older brother. But one night he witnesses what today would be called a hate crime which ends in a murder and the man responsible is the father of Saxon and Dianna, Tom Coldwell (Alan Scarfe), who just happens to also be a police constable. Donald knows that speaking out might well endanger his family as well as his relationship with the man`s daughters, yet he reports the crime while not admitting the fact that he was an eyewitness. And so the pressure builds on Donald who seems too young to bear this weight.

The Bay Boy, a Canada-France coproduction, was shot on location in Cape Breton, and primarily in Glace Bay. It won 6 Genie Awards, including Best Film.

The Bay Boy, movie, poster,



John Kemeny
Denis Héroux

Executive Producer:

Susan Cavan
Frank Jacobs


René Cleitman

Associate Producer:

Paulo De Oliveira


Daniel Petrie


Daniel Petrie


Claude Agostini


Susan Shanks
Peter Wintonick (Additional Editing)


Claude Bolling

Production Designer:

Wolf Kroeger

Art Director:

Richard Harrison

Costume Designer:

Renée April

Cast: Roles:

Liv Ullmann
Kiefer Sutherland
Peter Donat
Alan Scarfe
Mathieu Carrière
Chris Wiggins
Thomas Peacocke
Isabelle Mejias
Jane McKinnon
Leah Pinsent
Peter Spence
Josephine Chaplin
Pauline Lafont
Roy McMullin
Kathy McGuire
Fannie Shore
Sander Zilbert
Robbie Gallivan
Bob Rose
Robert Taylor
Darren Arsenault
David Ferry
Tom Rack
Bette MacDonald
Joe McPherson
Kevin McKenzie
Iris Currie
Francis MacNeil
Michael Egyes
Mary McKinnon
Stéphanie Audran

Mrs. Campbell
Donald Campbell
Mr. Campbell
Sergeant Tom Coldwell
Father Chaisson
Chief Charlie McInnes
Father McKinnon
Mary McNeil
Dianna Coldwell
Saxon Coldwell
Joe Campbell
Marie Chaisson
Janine Chaisson
Paul Ratchford
Sister Roberta
Mrs. Silver
Mr. Silver
Frank Carrey
Danny McIsaac
Paddy O’Neil
Malcolm Broderick
Walt Roach
Sol Silver
Rory McInnes
Mr. Rankin
Mrs. Carrey
Terry O’Shea
Basil Broderick
Aunt Coldwell