THE ROWDYMAN (Peter Carter). 95 minutes. Opens Friday (May 13) at the Carlton. For times, see page 112. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Re-released as a part of the Toronto Film Festival's Open Vault series last year, this 1972 film stars a young Gordon Pinsent as Will, a womanizing Peter Pan who works in a paper mill in a small Newfoundland town.
Pinsent's script lacks the texture and genuine emotion of Goin' Down The Road. If anything, it seems like a quickie Alfie ripoff set Down East. Carter's not much of a director either. We don't get a feel for the town, or even of St. John's when Will makes his regular weekend pilgrimage. And the film takes a sentimental turn that you can see coming like an island ferry.
The performances are uneven, with Linda Goranson's turn as a middle-class woman obsessed with Will's wicked, wild ways especially embarrassing. But Pinsent is exuberantly alive as the mop-haired wild manboy with a twinkle in his eye, and Will (The Waltons) Geer chews up the craggy scenery as an aging former rowdyman who teaches Will - what else? - a life lesson.