His Worship, Mr. Montreal (Donald Brittain, Marrin Canell, and Robert Duncan, 1976)

NFBStylistically, His Worship, Mr. Montreal (Donald Brittain, Marrin Canell, and Robert A. Duncan, 1976) seems like an elaboration on Wolf Koenig and Colin Low’s innovative City of Gold (1957) given its extensive use and manipulation of archival footage to survey its mountainous subject – the career of political powerhouse Camillien Houde. Houde’s iconoclastic life makes His Worship an MMC! favourite, as it’s full of stunning and hilarious moments. Houde served at all three levels of Government, but was iconic as the Mayor of Montreal.  He was elected for 3 terms and then re-elected for a fourth after being interred for 4 years during World War II by the Federal Government for opposing Conscription, such was Houde’s stature. Who else but Camillien Houde could present the King of England to vast, elated crowds and playfully remark, “You know, Your Majesty, some of this is for you.” Houde was probably even right, and His Worship does him an honour, revealing a showman and a populist in an often conservative and reserved national history.

As per the NFB:

This feature documentary is a fascinating and spirited portrait of the life and times of the legendary Quebec politician and four-time mayor of Montreal Camillien Houde. Using rare archival footage and interviews with ex-colleagues, aides and friends, the film presents a comprehensive profile of this incredible, and, to some, infamous, man.


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