Hounds Of Notre Dame, The

Release Information
October 10, 1980
Regina (Coronet)
Library and Archives Canada - Canadian Feature Film Database (LAC)
Funding Sources
Budget
Budget: $1,200,000
Distributors
Pan-Canadian Film Distributors
Pan-Canadian Film Distributors

Production Details

Executive Producer
Fil Fraser
Fil Fraser
Producer
Fil Fraser
Fil Fraser
Director
Larry Reese
Zale R. Dalen
Zale R. Dalen
Zale R. Dalen
Zale R. Dalen
Director of Photography
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Ron Orieux
Director of Sound
Zale R. Dalen
Zale R. Dalen
Zale R. Dalen
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Larry Sutton
Music
Maurice Marshall
Maurice Marshall
Maurice Marshall
Writer
Larry Reese
Zale R. Dalen
Ken Mitchell
Editor
Zale R. Dalen
Barry Freeman
Cast
Paul Bougie
Rob MacLean
Bill Sorensen
William C. Morton
Dale Heibein
Jim Brock
Carol Frost
Doug Brown
Frank Germann
Audrey Charge
J. Vernon Buller
J. Vernon Buller
Herb Lahann
John Sexsmith
Bill Ashley
Ed MacIag
Mike Bova
Matt Keegan
Phil Ridley
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
Lenore Zann
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
David Ferry
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Barry Morse
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Frances Hyland
Thomas Peacocke
Thomas Peacocke
Thomas Peacocke
Thomas Peacocke
Thomas Peacocke
Thomas Peacocke
Larry Reese
Larry Reese
Ginny Bast
Bob Scheibel
Greg Heibein
John Weishaar
Chris Kambeitz
95 minutes, 1980

Père Athol Murray’s teaching philosophy was to blend a classical education with the character-building effects of sport, after the tradition of the English public schools. But Murray was uninterested in the pretensions of class. His goal was to provide an excellent education to any child who wanted it, even if they were poor or troubled. During the Depression of the 1930s, Notre Dame developed a reputation as just such a school.

Murray called each boy, “Kid”; and they all had to do chores. He got results. He was a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, single-minded man. But he was also a brilliant and principled teacher and a devoted priest. Notre Dame’s debating teams regularly defeated teams sent out from eastern Canada. By 1933, Père Murray had achieved an affiliation for Notre Dame with the University of Ottawa. What is more, the school’s hockey team, the “Hounds,” was unbeatable, sending over 100 players to the NHL over the years of Murray’s coaching.

There are several fine performances in Hounds of Notre Dame. Aside from Tom Peacocke’s breathtaking transformation into Athol Murray, the child actors are wonderful. Of the older boys, David Ferry gives an over-the-top performance as the spoiled rich boy dumped off at the school by a despairing father. And Phil Ridley is extraordinary as Cormack, the quiet, decent, principled head boy.

Financed largely by alumni of Notre Dame, the movie is one of four feature films based on western Canadian stories produced by Fil Fraser in the 1970s and early 80s. Hounds was actor Tom Peacocke’s first role in a movie, and Director Zale Dalen’s second movie. As Fil Fraser has remarked many times of that era in Alberta – the film business in the West was so young that everyone was learning together.

Hounds of Notre Dame won producer, Fil Fraser, the “Horst Award” in 1981 for best Alberta-made film, and it was nominated for 9 Genie awards in 1981, including best performance for an actor in a leading role (which Tom Peacocke won), the first time that a western Canadian movie had garnered this award. It was also nominated for best direction, best achievement in editing, best sound, best sound editing, best motion picture, best performance by a supporting actor, best performance by a supporting actress, and best original screenplay.

Evelyn Ellerman

Commentaries


  • It is no easy feat to write a movie about a legendary teacher; nor is it any easier to direct, or star in one. The temptation to indulge in eulogy and cliché can be overwhelming. In telling the story of Père Athol Murray, warts and all, Hounds of...

Contributed Notes