The Ernie Game

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The Ernie Game
Directed by Don Owen
Produced by Robert Allen
Gordon Burwash
Written by Don Owen
Starring Alexis Kanner
Cinematography Jean-Claude Labrecque
Edited by Roy Ayton
Release dates
  • 1967 (1967)
Running time
89 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

The Ernie Game is a 1967 Canadian drama film directed by Don Owen.

Called "One of the most innovative examples of personal cinema to come from English Canada in the Sixties" by the Cinematheque Ontario, The Ernie Game was part of a proposed trio of works intended to celebrate the Canadian Centennial. The film centres on Ernie Turner and his attempts to survive in the world after he's released from an asylum. He grows increasingly alienated and his fragile mental state declines, moving between two women, ex-girlfriend and current lover. "The Ernie Game provides a resonant portrait of mental illness," writes Steve Gravestock of the Cinematheque, "its pathologically narcissistic protagonist representing Owen’s most nightmarish vision of the artist as fraud and pariah."[1]

Owen risked his career at the NFB when he surreptitiously turned what was to have been a half-hour educational film into the of the few English-language dramatic features made in Canada during the 1960s.[2]

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, The Ernie Game received the Etrog Awards, now known as Genie Awards, for Best Direction and Best Feature Film in 1968.[3] It was also entered into the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.[4]



  1. ^ Gravestock, Steve (Fall 2008). "A FORTNIGHT AT CANNES: FORTY YEARS OF THE QUINZAINE". Cinematheque Ontario. Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  2. ^ Wise, Wyndham (Sep 8, 2001). "Ernie Game, The". Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film. University of Toronto Press. p. 71. ISBN 0-8020-8398-6. 
  3. ^ "The Ernie Game". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 15 March 2010. 
  4. ^ " Awards for The Ernie Game". Retrieved 2010-03-05. 

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