World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

The Bay Boy

The Bay Boy
Directed by Daniel Petrie
Written by Daniel Petrie
Starring Liv Ullmann
Kiefer Sutherland
Peter Donat
Music by Claude Bolling
Distributed by Pan-Canadian (Canada)
Orion Classics (US)
Release dates
6 September 1984 (1984-09-06) (TIFF)
15 February 1985 (United States)
Running time
107 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
Box office $162,364 (US)[1]

The Bay Boy is a 1984 Canadian film. It is a semi-autobiographical film based on director Daniel Petrie's experiences of growing up in Glace Bay, a mining town on Cape Breton Island, during the Great Depression. It features the screen debut of Kiefer Sutherland as the film's central character, alongside Liv Ullman as his character's mother.


  • Plot 1
  • Production 2
  • Awards 3
  • Cast 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Donald Campbell (Kiefer Sutherland) is a sensitive teenage boy coming of age in a dark and uncertain time for both his community and life. His mother (Liv Ullman) wants him to continue his education after high school and become a priest, but Donald is more interested in girls than prayerbooks. After an unsuccessful attempt by a visiting priest to molest him, followed by his first sexual experience with a local girl, Donald politely informs his mother (without revealing why) that he is not going to be a priest.

Meanwhile, when he is not in school, Donald spends his time helping his father (Peter Donat) dig a Bootleg Pit; helps care for his older brother, Joe, who was the brightest boy in his grade until he got sick and was left disabled; and pursues Saxon Coldwell (Leah Pinsent), one of police Sergeant Coldwell's two daughters. Sergeant Coldwell's wife died a few months earlier.

Donald lives a hard-working but fairly happy life, until the night he witnesses Sergeant Coldwell shoot and kill the Jewish couple who are his landlord and landlady. The chief of police is a relative, so Donald feels comfortable admitting he saw the killing but he says he did not see who did it, because he is afraid of Sergeant Coldwell - especially after Sergeant Coldwell lets Donald know that he is aware that Donald did see who committed the murder (because he could not have seen the shooting without also seeing who did it). When the Sergeant comes home and finds Donald (innocently) visiting with his daughter Dianna, he snaps mentally and tries to kill the boy - with the result his secret is revealed and he is arrested.

The film also depicts the daily lives of the eccentric locals and tight-knit families.


The movie was filmed entirely on location in Cape Breton, and primarily in Glace Bay. Many of the extras are performed by local residents.


The film won the Genie Award for Best Canadian Film, Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Alan Scarfe), Art Direction, Costumes and Sound



  1. ^ "The Bad Boy (1985)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 

External links

  • Canadian Film Encyclopedia [A publication of The Film Reference Library/a division of the Toronto International Film Festival Group]
  • The Bay Boy at the Internet Movie Database
  • The AV Trust's newsletter PreserVision. Issue 7 (Spring 2006) features an article on The Bay Boy and "losing" films.
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.