The Company of Strangers

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The Company of Strangers
Strangers in Good Company dvd cover.jpg
Directed byCynthia Scott
Produced byDavid Wilson / National Film Board of Canada
Written byGloria Demers
StarringAlice Diabo
Constance Garneau
Music byMarie Bernard
CinematographyDavid De Volpi
Edited byDavid Wilson
Distributed byFirst Run Features
Castle Hill Productions
National Film Board of Canada
Release date
Running time
101 min.

The Company of Strangers (US release title: Strangers in Good Company; French title: Le Fabuleux gang des sept[1]) is a Canadian film, released in 1990. It was directed by Cynthia Scott, and written by Scott, Sally Bochner, David Wilson and Gloria Demers. The film depicts eight women on a bus tour, who are stranded at an isolated cottage when the bus breaks down.

Created in a genre defined as docufiction, semi-documentary/semi-fiction,[2] the film is not tightly scripted. The writers wrote a basic story outline but allowed the eight women to improvise their dialogue. Each of the women, all but one of whom were senior citizens, told stories from her own life. A major theme of the film is how the elderly women each face aging and mortality in their own way, and find the courage together to persevere.

At various points throughout the film, a montage of photos from each woman's life is shown.

The women are:

  • Alice Diabo, 74, a Mohawk elder from Kahnawake, Quebec,
  • Constance Garneau, 88, born in the United States and brought to Quebec by her family as a child,
  • Winifred Holden, 76, an Englishwoman who moved to Montreal after World War II,
  • Cissy Meddings, 76, who was born in England and moved to Canada in 1981,
  • Mary Meigs, 74, a noted feminist writer and painter,
  • Catherine Roche, 68, a Roman Catholic nun,
  • Michelle Sweeney, 27, a jazz singer and the bus trip's tour guide,
  • Beth Webber, 80, who was born in England and moved to Montreal in 1930.

Meigs published a book about her experiences making the film, In the Company of Strangers, in 1991.[3]


The film won the Best Canadian film award at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Grand Prize and Interfilm awards at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival in 1990.

At the 12th Genie Awards in 1991, Diabo and Meddings were nominated for Best Actress, Holden and Roche were nominated for Best Supporting Actress, and the film was nominated for Best Picture. The film won the Genie Award for Best Film Editing.


  1. ^ Fabuleux gang des sept, Le, Angela Stukator, L'Encyclopédie canadienne
  2. ^ Diana, George. Semi-Documentary/Semi-Fiction: An Examination of Genre in "Strangers in Good Company". Journal of Film and Video, v46 n4 p24-30 Win 1995
  3. ^ "Mary Meigs". Mawrtyrs. Bryn Mawr College. Retrieved August 30, 2012.

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