This short documentary offers a ringside view of the chuckwagon race, star attraction of the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Once ponderous Percheron and Clydesdale draught thundered around the course. Now they are racers, and it takes a firm hand to guide such horsepower.
This short documentary offers a look at Stampede Week in Calgary and the show’s main performers – the cowboys and their horses. After the herds come thundering in, the focus shifts to one cowboy in particular, and we follow him as he travels from rodeo to rodeo, always reaching for the grand prize on the back of a bucking bronco.
This documentary follows the rodeo circuit as experienced by Canadian world-champion cowboy Kenny McLean. The film follows him on the stampede trail from Texas to Alberta, with scenes of bronco busting, calf roping and steer wrestling. It is what he does for a living, but his real life is with his wife and infant son on his ranch in British Columbia.
A short, classic documentary that takes us to Calgary's famous stampede of the 1940’s. In the rolling foothills of Alberta, the colts and horses run free with wild grace and speed, until it’s round-up time. Some are destined for the Calgary Stampede, the most exciting time for cowboys and ranchers who compete in the dusty ring to win at roping, bronco-busting, bulldogging a steer, and chuck-wagon racing, risking life and limb.
Western ballads played on guitar are the only sounds used in this romantic portrait of a cowboy. He rounds up wild horses, lassoing one of the high-spirited animals in the corral, and then goes for a glorious plunging ride across the spectacular Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta.
From the ranchlands of Alberta, a picture of the cattle drive as it is today, when big cattle-liners truck the livestock to receiving stations on the summer range. But archival photographs tell how it was in the old days when the cowboy was king, driving his herd by easy stages to distant, greener pastures. Big sky, undulating hills and distant mountains still hold the spell and romance of the West that old-timers remember.
This captivating short documentary profiles the young Canadian long-distance runner Bruce Kidd at 19 years old. Kidd eventually went on to win a gold and bronze medal at the 1962 Commonwealth Games, and was a competing member of the 1964 Canadian Olympic team. Directed by Don Owen (Nobody Waved Good-bye, Toronto Jazz), the film is luminously photographed by John Spotton and features poetic commentary composed and spoken by the great Anglo-American poet W.H. Auden. The camera follows Kidd’s sprightly movements as he runs on piers, practice tracks, and finally, in an international race. Oblivious to the clapping crowds and the flash of cameras, he knows full well that in the long run it is the cold stopwatch that tells the truth.
Bareback bronc riding is not for the faint of heart. The risk of serious and possibly fatal injury looms with each buck and kick. For Liam Marshall, it’s a thrill he’s always known growing up in the Big Muddy Valley, in rural Saskatchewan. Training to compete and become a bareback champion requires his complete focus. It’s clear that it fills his every waking moment (when he’s not checking his cellphone). Surrounded by family and providing inspiration to his three younger brothers, this brave teenager holds on tight to a tradition that’s been passed down through generations.
Boys from the city get a taste of the life of a cowboy. The film catches the enthusiasm and humour of this Alberta riding holiday in which 'tenderfeet' quickly become horsemen, ride herd, help brand calves and, best of all, spend a night in the teepees of the Kainai (Blood).
The International Ox Pull, highlight of the Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, annual fair, is a holdover from the pioneer past when oxen cleared the land and tilled the soil. These beasts of burden have lost none of their pulling power, as demonstrated when they drag tons of weight loaded on sleds (the winner pulls up to 6 tons!). Competing teams come from various parts of the Maritimes and the Northeastern United States.
This feature-length documentary introduces viewers to Ken Carter, a Montreal-born stunt driver who made a living by risking his life. The film shines a light on the intense preparation that led to Carter’s first attempt to jump a car across a mile-wide stretch of the St. Lawrence River – a 5-year period during which the dare-devil raised a million dollars, erected a 10-storey take-off ramp and built a rocket-powered car.
For more background information on this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.