Nobody Waved Good-bye

This award-winning feature-length drama from the 1960s tells the story of a teenage boy who rebels against his parents' middle-class goals and conventions.

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From the playlist : The 1960s: An Explosion of Creativity

Nobody Waved Good-bye was shot in just three weeks in Toronto by Don Owen and a small crew of actors and technicians. The film was originally intended as a short documentary on juvenile delinquents but it grew and grew until it was decided to shoot it as a fiction film. Improvised by the actors, it told the story of teen alienation and became a surprise hit in the United States.

— Albert Ohayon

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Don Owen
Don Owen
Roman Kroitor
Don Owen
executive producer
Tom Daly
John Spotton
Roger Hart
John Spotton
Donald Ginsberg
sound editing
Jean-Pierre Joutel
Ron Alexander
Eldon Rathburn
Julie Biggs
Peter Kastner
Charmion King
Claude Rae
Toby Tarnow
Ivor Barry
Jack Beer
Sharon Bonin
Norman Ettlinger
Lynne Gorman
Robert Hill
John Sullivan
Ron Taylor
John Vernon


  • susiequeue

    “Father McGilvary showed this to us in grade 9. Thank you sir. A thought -provoking piece.” — susiequeue, 8 May 2014


    “Great film. A very good depiction of what it's like at that age. You think it's so easy to live on your own until you realize that it's not. Peter didn't like how everyone lived for the dollar, rather than living for the love. It shines a bright light on a harsh reality that is still exists today. In the end, Peter gives in to how he sees others live: greedy, selfish and miserable, but fails to see that he had the answer the whole time. When you start to live life the way other people want you to live, you start to lose sight of what's really important (love). He loses sense of himself while pursuing the one thing we all are looking for, but can never seem to find, even though it is right in front of our eyes... Happiness.” — YCFWU, 24 Jan 2014

  • MartyL

    “I saw this movie in the late 1960's in high school. That a high school would show it amazes me as I look at the world we created. I had seen nothing like it and have remembered it in various forms ever since. I look forward to watching it again. I struggled to learn guitar in par to play The Water is Wide...” — MartyL, 15 Apr 2012

  • MacLeod

    “This is a really great movie. Early indie Canadian filmmaking at its finest. The kid's mother is a shrew. These days neither Dad nor the son would put up with it. They would both be out the door. She needed some Valium. That's how they dealt with stressed-out Moms in the '60s. Well cast, well acted, well directed. A classic.” — MacLeod, 27 Mar 2012

  • MacLeod

    “The kid's mother is a shrew. These days neither Dad nor the son would put up with it. They would both be out the door. She needed some Valium. That's how they dealt with stressed-out Moms in the '60s.” — MacLeod, 26 Mar 2012

  • Thebd

    “Asberger's? Oh, please. Do we really need to medicalize everything. This is a story about a spoiled self-centered kid and the people he takes advantage of. I've looked for this movie for decades, and am most grateful to the NFB for making it viewable on line. I am chagrined to admit that when I first saw it I closely identified with Peter - in part because I was about the same age and also played the banjo, in part because I, too, felt alienated from my parents and middle class values - didn't we all then? ( I didn't steal from an employer, however, or steal a car, nor did I get a girlfriend pregnant.) Seeing this movie again all these man years later is a bit like re-reading "Catcher In The Rye" 50 years later and thinking, 'I identified with that poor, screwedup Sad Sack? Wow! What a mess I must have been. Thank God things turned out so well.'” — Thebd, 25 Sep 2011

  • neural

    “oh the restlessness of youth having it easy” — neural, 9 Sep 2011

  • ofinso

    “This film may be ahead of its time in portraying a form of Asperger's Syndrome - a milder but often functional form of autism. The symptoms are similar to what I have witnessed and worked with: impulsiveness, mercurialness, rapid speech, obvious intelligence and articulation, mild paranoia / unaccountability, risk taking without thought of consequence, school dropout, etc. Many of these people, mainly males, have gone on to well-paid careers: many are athletes and heads of global businesses. The acting is very accurate - it's as though the actor may have actually had the symptoms himself. Try reading Susan Pinker's book "Sexual Paradox" - an easy but well researched read. Anachronism? If the film was made in the 1960's, why does the sergeant's police uniform carry the King's crown rather than the Queen's crown - 1953 onward?” — ofinso, 21 Feb 2011

  • sixam

    “This film seems to represent the demarcation between the tranquil conformity of the 1950s and the social cataclysm of the late 1960s.” — sixam, 19 Jul 2010

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