95 minutes – Drama
Release date: September 5, 1985
Sandy Wilson’s debut feature has emerged as something of an English-Canadian classic, operating simultaneously as a deeply personal film and as a metaphor for the inferiority complex our national psyche. The film opens as bored 12-year-old Sandy (Margaret Langrick) is preparing for another long summer of cherry picking when suddenly her older, James Dean-cool cousin Butch (John Wildman, pictured above) arrives unexpectedly from California in a red Cadillac convertible. Sandy and her pre-teen friends fall madly for Butch’s rock ‘n’ roll swagger, but he`s more interested in making time with the local girls and getting in fistfights than in playing chauffeur to Sandy. Both have a lot to learn about life and each other, but united under the strict parental rule of Sandy’s dad, they vow to make this summer a truly unforgettable experience. Despite its specific Canadian subject matter, Wilson’s sweet storyline and the charm of her characters gave the film a universal appeal that ultimately led to its international success; it was followed by an indifferent sequel, American Boyfriends. It won six Genie Awards, including Best Picture, Director, Actor and Actress, and was nominated for five more.
The poster and the image above (one of eight) were scanned from an original still set in the Northernstars Collection.