A fantastic, rare, and out-of-print dramatization of one of Canada's most defining moments.
The Arrow is a four-hour miniseries produced for CBC Television in 1996, starring Dan Aykroyd as Crawford Gordon, experienced wartime production leader during World War II and president of A. V. Roe Canada during its attempt to produce the Avro Arrow supersonic jet interceptor. The film also stars Michael Ironside and Sara Botsford. The mini-series is noted as the highest viewership ever for a CBC program.
Other significant individuals in the program, portrayed in the series, include RCAF pilot Flight Lieutenant Jack Woodman (Ron White) who conducted test flights on Avro aircraft but was supplanted by Janusz Żurakowski (Lubomir Mykytiuk) for the first few flights; Jim Chamberlin (Aidan Devine) and James Floyd (Nigel Bennett) in the design team; Edward Critchley (Ian D. Clark) who would be asked to develop an engine for the Arrow when other models became unavailable.
The film also boasted cameos by Michael Moriarty as U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Michael Ironside as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and Christopher Plummer as George Hees.
Dan Aykroyd - Crawford Gordon Jr
Sara Botsford - Kate O'Hara (fictional)
Ron White - Jack Woodman (pilot)
Aidan Devine - Jim Chamberlin
Nigel Bennett - James (Jim) Floyd
Jonathan Whittaker - Fred Smye
Ian D. Clark - Edward Critchley
David Brown (as Dave Brown) - Joe Paloffski (fictional)
Catherine Fitch - Ruby Paloffski (fictional)
Robin Gammell - C.D. Howe
Robert Haley - Prime Minister John Diefenbaker
Michael Moriarty - President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Michael Ironside - CIA Director (fictional)
Christopher Plummer - George Hees
Mauralea Austin - June Callwood
Though some details are off for cinematic effect (a leading female engineer, some of Chamberlin's "discoveries", and so forth), the core of the story is truthful. The only thing they messed up on that they couldn't have known at the time was that Diefenbaker was not the one who ordered the destruction, as it was in fact the military Chiefs with some background interference by the Americans, who feared the details could leak to the Russians. Nevertheless, as far as I'm concerned, this was possibly the greatest betrayal of what we as Canadians could have been in our entire history. The recent mess with the F-35 acquisition just accentuates this point.
NOTE: I do not own the rights to this movie. I have uploaded this merely because of how strongly I feel about this debacle's legacy and how few Canadians seem to know or care about it. As well, when searching for this film to go along with my reading of the book it's based on (Shutting Down The National Dream), I was unable to find it anywhere online (not even on one of CBC's official sites or in their store) and I was forced to find a way to acquire a copy of it from a third-party seller. Combined with this inconvenience, the project I was doing for school involved utilizing the CBC Heritage Minutes as reference; anyone who has seen the Arrow minute no doubt would agree with me that it lacks a huge amount of context, hence why I searched for this film in the first place and why I have uploaded it so that others can more easily get on with their lives and academics. As a final note, I will of course say that I mean no disrespect to any of the actors or actresses in this film, nor to CBC or the rest of the crew; in fact, I would say this is one of Dan Aykroyd's best performances.