Corral (film)

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Directed by Colin Low
Written by Colin Low
Wally Jensen
Cinematography Wolf Koenig
Edited by Tom Daly
Release dates
Country Canada
Language English

Corral is a 1954 National Film Board of Canada documentary by Colin Low, partly shot in the Cochrane Ranch in what is now Cochrane, Alberta.

In the film, a cowboy rounds up wild horses, lassoing one of the high-spirited animals in the corral, then going on a ride across the Rocky Mountain Foothills of Alberta.


Low got the idea for the film after attending a cattle auction with his father, who had worked as a foreman at the Cochrane Ranch. The following summer, Low asked NFB colleague Wolf Koenig, also an ex-farm boy, if he would like to come to Alberta to make a film about a cowboy. Low's father provided his top hand, Wally Jensen, and the horses.[1]

Corral was shot in 1953. Koenig was in the NFB Animation Department and this was his first live-action shooting using a new Arriflex and a tripod with a gyro stabilizer. Low had written a script but Wally Jensen re-wrote it as they filmed.[1]

The film has no narration, though Low had been initially worried that he would need extensive narration to explain the process of horse breaking. Producer Tom Daly edited the film. Eldon Rathburn wrote the score for two jazz guitarists, based on well-known cowboy songs.[1]

The film represents a break in tradition for the NFB, which had until that time relied heavily on narration in its documentaries. Its gentle guitar score and use of handheld camera also breaks with Hollywood's traditionally epic portal of the cowboy.[2]


The film, part of the Canada Carries On series, would play theatrically across Canada in April 1954 and in some American cities, including Washington, D.C. It received the Best Documentary award at the Venice Film Festival.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Corral". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  2. ^ Rist, Peter Harry. Guide to the cinema(s) of Canada. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp. 41–42. ISBN 0-313-29931-5. 

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