Film: 3867

Social History | 1950 | Sound | B/W

Synopsis:

Canada. Set in British Columbia

A mature, handsome fit man is fishing with rod and line, standing in a fast running river. A member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), in immaculate uniform, is guided to the man by the 10 years old son of the fisher man and we learn that he is the local magistrate and has documents to sign so that the policeman can do his duty. After signing the summonses the man leaves the river and walks across manicured lawns to a lovely house. The commentary tells us he has lived there for 30 years and everybody knows and respects him. He sits in his study at a desk. We are
told his area is about 10,000 square miles of rugged forest and lakes. The scene becomes a small fishing harbour with about 20 boats. A boat carries the magistrate to a forest clearing. We see commercial logging with the felling of a huge tree by two men with a motorised chainsaw. The Magistrate greets an old friend who shows him a similar saw to the one that has been stolen. They see a young man, aged about 19/20 who we are told is proving to be a good “cat driver” after problems earlier in his youth. The scene becomes driving through town in the rather splendid white convertible that is the magistrates, where he parks the car and enters the busy police station. Discussions with a corporal of the RCMP precede the bringing from a cell of a middle-aged working man who admits guilt and is fined.
The scene becomes a group of fishermen sitting on the dock, smoking, drinking and talking. The group include the young man from the caterpillar tractor who boasts that he got off last time and will get off this time for his father knows the magistrate.
The magistrate visits the father of the young man at his home and they go together shooting grouse in the woods. Father and JP sit on a fallen tree and discuss the wayward son without reaching any conclusions. Rather shadowy night scenes possibly show a chain saw being moved by boat. Breakfast with his full family of about 6 people is taken by the JP on the lawn. It is interrupted by a male visitor’s arrival by car and then by police who bring with them a woman who wishes to bring an action against her husband of many years. JP seeks to dissuade her and gives advice. Between the visitors the JP energetically chops logs, probably to ease his tensions. We are in court, a formal situation with all persons present correctly and soberly dressed. The young tractor driver is found guilty of theft and told that he had his chance when a youth and now needs the shock of a prison sentence to get him back on the right life-style. The man is sentenced to six months in prison and led away to the cell. We see the older man and woman from previous scenes happily reconciled. The JP leaves court and drives away in his white car and we see him return to fishing in the same fast flowing river that we saw at the start. Roderick Haig-Brown or Roderic Haig-Brown


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