| 1 h 9 min

This epic drama looks at the opening of the Canadian West and the drought that led to the Depression in the Thirties. It is the saga of a family who left Eastern Canada to stake their future in the Prairies. Principle roles are played by Frances Hyland and James Douglas.

For more background information about this film, please visit the NFB.ca blog.

Drylanders was the first feature-length fiction film produced in English at the NFB and came about because the 1-hour documentary on farming in Saskatchewan that was originally proposed was rejected by the CBC. Filmmaker Donald Haldane instead adapted the idea to a dramatic feature. The resulting film would play in over 500 theatres across Canada.

Albert Ohayon
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  • director
    Don Haldane
  • producer
    Peter Jones
  • script
    Charles Cohen
  • commentary
    William Weintraub
  • photography
    Reginald Morris
  • sound
    Clarke Daprato
    Ron Alexander
  • editing
    John Kemeny
    Kirk Jones
  • narrator
    William Weintraub
  • music
    Eldon Rathburn
  • cast
    James Douglas
    Don Francks
    Frances Hyland
    Irena Mayeska
    Lester Nixon
    Mary Savage
    William Fruete

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  • canadianmonster

    sad how the government and the rail roads exploited these people

    canadianmonster, 2 Oct 2012
  • canadianmonster

    i live on the family farm. still has sod house foundation. been hell on the farm. lately i talked to a food company executive and the oought grains knowing the bare minimum to bid to keep farmers on the land . that is up to 1980 when they decided to buy elow growing costs. btw about once every 2 months i drive by the house this movie was made in.

    canadianmonster, 30 Sep 2012
  • bmellorrundle

    This was a great film to show my grade 7 social studies students how the west was settled up to the Great Depression. Excellent film.

    bmellorrundle, 7 Jun 2012
  • HallonTaton

    What a great film. It truly captures how the Canadian West was open, developed only to see all that work blown away by the Great Drought and the Great Depression.

    HallonTaton, 3 Oct 2010
  • edibrennan

    I love history in particular the 1930"s and 40's. When I read books and watch documentaries and movies I try to get the feel of what is was like to be there. The Drylanders did that, put me there. Wonderful movie, looking forward to checking the rest of this website. Thanks so much .. edibrenan

    edibrennan, 8 Sep 2010

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Drylanders, Don Haldane, provided by the National Film Board of Canada

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