Pete and his pal Joey are two wistful roustabouts from the Maritimes with 30 bucks and an abused Chevrolet labelled “My Nova Scotia Home.” They pick up and head for Toronto where they find temporary work in a soft–drink factory, drown their troubles in beer, and make various futile attempts to improve themselves. Joey marries a woman he has made pregnant, then loses his job. After robbing a food store, Pete and Joey, still believing there is a better life somewhere, take to the road once again. Don Shebib’s first feature is easily the most influential English–Canadian film of its generation with pitch–perfect performances by Doug McGrath (Pete) and Paul Bradley (Joey), and the film is still an impressive piece of realist cinema. Its intelligent blend of fiction and documentary realism gives it a clarity and insight into the lives of marginal people sharing a universal burden of existence, unable to cope with their own aspirations but never losing their dignity.
Canadian Film Awards – Best Feature Film
Canadian Film Awards – Actor (McGrath and Bradley)
AV Trust – Masterwork
Back to the Cast & Crew of Goin’ Down the Road.
This short review was written by Wyndham Wise and originally appeared in the June 2004, Issue No. 46 of Take One Magazine and is an excerpt from an article titled Masterworks of Canadian Cinema. Northernstars.ca acquired the archives of Take One in 2007.