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.

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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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Don Haldane
Peter Jones
Charles Cohen
William Weintraub
Reginald Morris
Clarke Daprato
Ron Alexander
John Kemeny
Kirk Jones
William Weintraub
Eldon Rathburn
James Douglas
Don Francks
Frances Hyland
Irena Mayeska
Lester Nixon
Mary Savage
William Fruete


  • 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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