Budge: What Happened to Canada's King of Film


260 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55022-363-1
DDC 791.43023092





Reviewed by Tamara Jones

Tamara Jones, a former production stage manager/operations supervisor in
the Entertainment Department of Paramount Canada’s Wonderland, has
relocated to Burlington, Vermont.


Rose’s biography of Budge Crawley brings Canada’s most prolific
independent filmmaker back into the spotlight after many years of
neglect. Crawley was a larger-than-life man who pioneered independent
filmmaking in Canada and won an Oscar—Canada’s first for a
feature-length film—in 1976 for The Man Who Skied Down Everest. He was
also a man who lived constantly under the shadow of his father, was
hopeless in his relationships with women, and has been called everything
from a charming rogue to a scoundrel and a bastard. The author shows
genuine affection for her subject but does not gloss over the less
appealing features of his outsized personality.

In tracing the trajectory of Crawley’s career from successful
documentary filmmaker to financially destitute feature-film producer,
Rose reveals a number of interesting contradictions. For example, though
he was opposed to the idea of a National Film Board in principle,
Crawley directed many NFB documentaries, often for various government
departments. Yet, as a former Crawley employee put it, while “the
[National Film] Board was lolling around a government oasis,” Crawley
was “hacking [his] way through the commercial, uncharted, forest
primeval.” Budge is a rich account of Crawley’s adventures.


Rose, Barbara Wade., “Budge: What Happened to Canada's King of Film,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/341.