Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks

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Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks
Directed by Donald Brittain
Produced by Donald Brittain
Adam Symansky
Written by Donald Brittain
Richard Nielsen
Starring Peter Boretski
Donald Brittain
Maury Chaykin
Jason Dean
Music by Eldon Rathburn
Cinematography Andreas Poulsson
Edited by Rita Roy
Richard Todd
Release date
  • 8 September 1985 (1985-09-08)
Running time
115 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Canada's Sweetheart: The Saga of Hal C. Banks is a Canadian docudrama, written and produced by Donald Brittain. It aired in 1985 on CBC Television.

The film was about Hal C. Banks, a controversial American labour union leader who came to Canada in 1949 to lead a sectarian fight between rival shipping unions. Banks left Canada in 1962 after being brought up on criminal charges.

Banks appeared before the Norris Commission, which was set up to investigate his strongarm tactics and links to beatings of opposition unions, and non signed shipping companies. In particular was the ULS and the Maritime Union run by his former lieutenant Michael Sheehan, who had testified before the Norris Commission against Banks, and led the push to loosen the SIU grip on the Great Lakes.

Maury Chaykin played the role of Banks in dramatic reenactments.


Winner of five awards, including Gemini Awards for best screenplay and best direction.[1]

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