A Race for Ties
From The Archives • 57m
A Race for Ties is the first film made by the Port Arthur Amateur Cinema Society, and it also has the distinction of being the first amateur feature-length film made in Canada. Based on the real life experiences of Dorothea Mitchell shortly after she became the first single woman granted a homestead in Ontario, the story is about a small sawmill owner, Joe Atwood, and his race against a large timber company, headed by U. Cheetem, for a railway tie contract.
Filmed during the spring of 1929, production was directed by Major Harold Harcourt and cinematographer was Port Arthur bakery owner Fred Cooper. The cast, all chosen by Dorothea Mitchell, was composed of local men and women, most of whom were friends of Mitchell, Harcourt, and Cooper.
While A Race for Ties was a group effort, Dorothea Mitchell played a leading role in all aspects of production. In addition to writing the script, she acted as the films production manager, producer, assisted in directing, and was involved in the editing process.
A Race for Ties premiered on 31 May 1929 and ran for three sold-out days at the Lyceum Theatre in Port Arthur, Ontario. Afterwards, the film toured the surrounding country-side, used by a variety of organisations in Northwestern Ontario to raise funds for local charities.
Director: Harold Harcourt
Scenerio: Dorothea Mitchell
Photography: Fred Cooper (assisted by Fred Lovelady and W.J. Lovelady)
Casting: Dorothea Mitchell
Eddie Cook as Jack Atwood
Dr. H.A. Saunders as Joe Atwood
Miss Martha Lake as Marion Atwood
Miss Dorothea Mitchell as Sarah Atwood
Ed Lindey as Barlow
F. Duncan Roberts as U. Cheetem
Wally McComber as The Goof
Harold Harcourt as Larkin
Fred Lovelady as Stable Hand
William Gibson as Bill Wotnot
Laddie the Dog as Himself
More information: https://ladylumberjack.ca/paacs_1929b.html
Up Next in From The Archives
Where East Meets West
A short film made in 1925 about the Lakehead region and its potential for development.
Canadian Headlines of 1949
A Newsreel covering Canadian events from 1949.
A Visit From Pharaoh
What remains of a 1924 Ontario Motion Picture Board film looking at the Lakehead's role in the grain industry, comparing the potential of the Lakehead in the early 1920s to that of Ancient Egypt as a hub of civilization.