Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Moore|
|Produced by||Michael Moore|
|Written by||Michael Moore|
Kevin J. O'Connor
|Music by||Elmer Bernstein
|Edited by||Michael Berenbaum
|Dog Eats Dog Films, Propaganda Films, PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Maverick Films|
|Distributed by||Gramercy Pictures|
|Release date(s)||September 22, 1995|
|Running time||91 minutes|
Canadian Bacon is a 1995 comedy film which satirizes Canada–United States relations along the Canada–United States border written, directed, and produced by Michael Moore. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival, and was the final released film to star John Candy, though it was shot before the earlier-released Wagons East!.
Thousands of former employees are outraged with military businessman R.J. Hacker (G. D. Spradlin), who had closed down his weapons manufacturing plant, Hacker Dynamics. At a conference held at the former plant, he pins the blame for the shutdown of his business on the current President of the United States (Alan Alda), who has just arrived. The President defends his own belief that the future of the children is more important than war, a belief that has caused major decline in his approval rating. However, after the conference, he expresses to his closest companions, General Dick Panzer (Rip Torn) and National Security Advisor Stuart Smiley (Kevin Pollak), his discontent about not having an enemy to engage in war. An attempted negotiation with Russian President Vladimir Kruschkin (Richard E. Council) to start a new cold war with Russia fails.
However, a local American sheriff named Bud Boomer (John Candy) makes a displeased remark about Canadian beer while watching a hockey game between Canadians and Americans in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The ensuing brawl ends up on the news, and is seen by Stuart. After collecting more information about Canada from a CIA agent named Gus (Brad Sullivan), he suggests Canada as a new enemy to the President. Before long, the television channels are littered with anti-Canada propaganda, which Boomer notices and believes to be true. He prepares for war by distributing guns to his fellow sheriffs, including his girlfriend Honey (Rhea Perlman) and their friends Roy Boy (Kevin J. O'Connor) and Kabral Jabar (Bill Nunn). After they apprehend a group of Americans dressed as Canadians attempting to destroy a hydroelectric plant, they sneak across the border to litter on Canadian property, which leads to Honey being left behind and subsequently arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. In a rescue attempt, Boomer, Roy Boy and Kabral sneak into a Canadian power plant and cause a countrywide blackout. When the President learns of this, he orders Boomer's immediate removal from Canada before it's too late.
To make matters worse, Hacker takes revenge on the President for ordering the closure of his business by using a software program called the Hacker Hellstorm to activate missile silos across the country. The President learns that the signal causing the activation of the silos originated from Canada, and summons Hacker. Hacker offers to sell a program to the President that can cancel out the Hellstorm — for $1 trillion. Stuart realizes that Hacker is the one controlling the silos, and takes from him the operating codes required to stop the Hellstorm, killing him in the process. The President orders Stuart's arrest, despite his protests that he is now able to deactivate the missiles. As the launch time approaches for the missiles, which are aimed at Moscow, the President pleads with Canadian Prime Minister Clark MacDonald (Wallace Shawn) over the phone to stop the launch. However, Honey, who was taken to a mental hospital upon her capture and has escaped all the way to the CN Tower, discovers the central computer for the Hellstorm located at the top. She attacks the computer with a machine gun, destroying it and subsequently aborting the launch sequence, much to the relief of the President and his staff. She then reunites with Boomer, who had tracked her to the Tower, and they return to the United States via a speedboat.
An ending montage reveals the fate of all of the characters: Boomer realized his dream of appearing on Cops, Honey has been named "Humanitarian of the Year" by the National Rifle Association, Kabral has become a hockey star, and MacDonald is "still ruling with an iron fist."
- John Candy as Sheriff Bud Boomer, Sheriff of Niagara County
- Alan Alda as President of the United States
- Rhea Perlman as Honey, Deputy sheriff of the Niagara County Sheriff Department and girlfriend and colleague of Sheriff Bud Boomer
- Bill Nunn as Kabral Jabar, Deputy sheriff of the Niagara County Sheriff Department and friend and colleague of Sheriff Bud Boomer
- Kevin J. O'Connor as Roy Boy, friend of Sheriff Bud Boomer
- Kevin Pollak as Stu Smiley, National Security Advisor
- G. D. Spradlin as R.J. Hacker, Owner of Hacker Dynamics
- Rip Torn as General Dick Panzer, U.S. Army Chief of Staff
- Steven Wright as Niagara Mountie
- Jim Belushi as Charles Jackal, news reporter for NBS News
- Richard E. Council as Russian President Vladimir Kruschkin
- Brad Sullivan as Gus
- Stanley Anderson as Edwin S. Simon, news anchor for NBS News
- Wallace Shawn as Canadian Prime Minister Clark MacDonald
- Michael Moore as Redneck guy
- Dan Aykroyd (uncredited) as Ontario Provincial Police officer
- Ed Sahely (uncredited) as Mountie
The film was shot in fall 1993, in Toronto, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls, Ontario; and Buffalo and Niagara Falls, New York. Scenes depicting the rapids of the Niagara River were actually filmed at Twelve Mile Creek in St. Catharines. Parkwood Estate in Oshawa was the site for the White House, and Dofasco in Hamilton was the site for Hacker Dynamics. The scene where the American characters look longingly home at the US across the putative Niagara River is them looking across Burlington Bay at Stelco steelworks in Hamilton, Ontario.
The hockey game and subsequent riot (due to insulting Canadian beer) were shot at the Niagara Falls Memorial Arena in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the actors portraying the police officers (who eventually join in the riot upon hearing that Canadian beer "sucks") are wearing authentic Niagara Regional Police uniforms.
Stephen Holden in a 1995 review concluded "The movie is so busy spearing the dragons of American aggression that its cartoonish vision of Canadians as wimpy Pollyannas has little resonance."
- Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, a 1964 Stanley Kubrick comedy about a fictional element of the cold war
- The Mouse that Roared
- The Canadian Conspiracy, a 1986 fictional documentary about how Canadian entertainers are conquering TV and movies in the United States.
- Wag the Dog, a 1997 film about a war devised for similar reasons
- War Plan Red, also known as the Atlantic Strategic War Plan, was a plan for the United States to make war with Great Britain, by attacking Canada.
- Canadian Idiot, a parody of Green Day's "American Idiot", by "Weird Al" Yankovic, which explores similar themes, and actually mentions the idea of a "preemptive strike" against Canada.
- "A Speculative Fiction", a song by Canadian band Propagandhi that explores a war between Canada and the U.S.
- South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut, the 1999 South Park film about a similar war (though in this case the war's reason is a moral panic rather than explicitly to boost a president's sagging poll numbers).
- The real life War of 1812 between the United States and British North America (now Canada).
- Fine, Marshall (1993-11-28). "Movies: On Location: Will His 'Bacon' Sizzle? : Sure, Michael Moore can get a rise out of former GM honcho Roger Smith, but let's see how the documentarian does with his first feature". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-03-29.
- "Festival de Cannes: Canadian Bacon". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- :: ETM :: Edna Talent Management Ltd ::: Ed Sahely - PDF Resume
- Bradley, Ed (April 26, 1995). "Moore Gets to 'Super Bowl' of Film Makers". Flint, Michigan: The Flint Journal via Dog Eat Dog Films (Michael Moore official site). Retrieved August 2, 2012.
- "Rhea Pearlman at the Niagara Falls Arena During the Filming of Canadian Bacon". Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "John Candy at the Niagara Falls Arena During the Filming of Canadian Bacon". Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- Dan Aykroyd's cameo can be verified by watching the film. 63 minutes into the film, he can be seen on a motorbike, gesturing for a van, which is driven by John Candy, to pull over. The fact that this is uncredited, can be verified by watching the credits at the end of the film, where no credit appears for Dan Aykroyd.
- "Canadian Bacon". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Holden, Stephen (September 22, 1995). "Canadian Bacon (1994): America's Cold War With Canada. Just Kidding!". The New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2012.
- Canadian Bacon at the Internet Movie Database
- Canadian Bacon at AllMovie
- Canadian Bacon at the TCM Movie Database
- Canadian Bacon at Box Office Mojo
- Canadian Bacon at Rotten Tomatoes