Two Solitudes (film)

The Globe and Mail Jean-Pierre Aumont Stacy Keach
Two Solitudes
Directed byLionel Chetwynd
Produced byHarry Gulkin
James Shavick
Written byLionel Chetwynd
Based onTwo Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan
StarringJean-Pierre Aumont
Stacy Keach
Gloria Carlin
Chris Wiggins
Claude Jutra
Raymond Cloutier
Jean-Louis Roux
John Boylan
Louis Negin
Music byMaurice Jarre
CinematographyRené Verzier
Edited byRalph Brunjes
Compass Films
Release date
  • September 29, 1978 (1978-09-29)
Running time
117 minutes

Two Solitudes is a Canadian drama film, written and directed by Lionel Chetwynd and released in 1978.[1]

An adaptation of the 1945 novel by Hugh MacLennan, the film depicts French-English relations in Quebec during WW1 and 1919 through the story of Jean-Claude Tallard (Jean-Pierre Aumont), a Member of Parliament who is trying to pursue economic development opportunities for his impoverished rural riding in conjunction with wealthy Montreal industrialist Huntley McQueen (Stacy Keach), against the backdrop of the deep lingering mistrust between English Canadians and French Canadians in the aftermath of the Conscription Crisis of 1917.[2]

The film was marketed around the theme that it would provide Canadians with insight into the victory of the Parti Québécois in the 1976 Quebec general election,[3] and thus preserve national unity in the forthcoming 1980 Quebec referendum.[2] However, the film was criticized for casting French and American, rather than Canadian, actors in its two lead roles; Aumont, in particular, was criticized for not even attempting a Québécois accent, and thus sounding out of place in the film.[4]

Music for the film was composed by Maurice Jarre, his first and only work for a Canadian film.[5]



  1. ^ Charles-Henri Ramond, "Two Solitudes – Film de Lionel Chetwynd". Films du Québec, April 12, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Doug Isaac, "The Film as Political Actor: Two Solitudes". Cinema Canada, Issue 52 (Jan/Feb 1979).
  3. ^ Robert Martin, "Success after the right kind of failure: After a background of dropping out, Chetwynd's life in film seems stable". The Globe and Mail, January 23, 1978.
  4. ^ Jay Scott, "Two Solitudes outside Canadian province". The Globe and Mail, September 30, 1978.
  5. ^ Stephen Godfrey, "Dr. Zhivago's composer takes on Two Solitudes". The Globe and Mail, March 27, 1978.