Canadian International Pictures

The Ernie Game

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This Partner Label release is distributed through Vinegar Syndrome's sister company OCN Distribution. Vinegar Syndrome had no part in, nor are responsible for, the restoration, extras, quality control or any content(s) of this release. We hope you enjoy our growing roster of Partner Labels and the expertise and curation brought to each release by their dedicated staff!

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This special limited edition embossed slipcover (designed by Derek Gabryszak) is limited to 1,500 units and is only available here at VinegarSyndrome.com!

From arthouse to Canuxploitation, Canadian International Pictures (CIP) is devoted to resurrecting vital, distinctive, and overlooked triumphs of Canadian cinema. This label is focused on the country’s original cinematic boom years – spanning the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s – occasionally venturing past that period (and the country’s borders) to highlight the films of Canada’s most inspired actors and filmmakers. Vinegar Syndrome’s sister company, OCN Distribution, is thrilled to be representing CIP's brand new line of home video releases!

Following a mysterious stay in a psychiatric hospital, Ernie Turner (The Prisoner’s Alexis Kanner) decides to pursue his destiny as a writer. Hungry for inspiration and human contact, he ventures into the vibrant streets of ’60s Montreal, establishes a conflicted romance with Donna (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz’s Judith Gault), and reunites with his frustrated ex, Gail (The Dead Zone’s Jackie Burroughs). Unable to reconcile the pieces of his fragmented existence or make any progress on the literary front, Ernie begins a new descent into madness – with shocking results.

The second feature from celebrated Canadian filmmaker Don Owen (Nobody Waved Goodbye), The Ernie Game is a penetrating, unsettling character study and an inexplicably overlooked triumph of the New Hollywood era. Predating like-minded studies of loner desperation from Midnight Cowboy to Taxi Driver in a ’60s milieu comparable to Inside Llewyn Davis – complete with a musical performance by budding folkie Leonard Cohen – The Ernie Game has a distinctly Canadian vitality and desolation.

This release also features four of Owen’s earlier films, including Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail – which introduces two of The Ernie Game’s central characters – and a remastered presentation of the landmark documentary (co-directed by Donald Brittain), Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen.

directed by: Don Owen
starring: Alexis Kanner, Judith Gault, Jackie Burroughs, Derek May, Louis Negin, Leonard Cohen
1967 / 88 min / 1.85:1 / English Mono

Additional info:

  • Region Free Blu-ray
  • Booklet
  • Short films:
    • High Steel (1965, 14 min.)
    • Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965, 44 min.)
    • Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail (1966, 49 min.)
    • A Further Glimpse of Joey (1966, 28 min.)
    • Cosmic Zoom (1968, 8 min.)
  • Reversible cover artwork
  • English SDH subtitles