The Arrow

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"The right stuff. The wrong time."
  • 1996
  • 3 hr
  • 7.5  (867)

The Arrow is a 1997 Canadian television movie based on a true story, directed by Don McBrearty and starring Dan Aykroyd as Crawford Gordon, a talented Canadian aeronautical engineer who designs and builds the fastest and most advanced jet interceptor in the world during the early 1950s. The movie follows the development and cancellation of the legendary Avro Arrow supersonic fighter jet, which was intended to defend Canada against potential Soviet aggression.

The Arrow begins with a flashback to 1953, as Crawford Gordon and his team of engineers work tirelessly to design and build the cutting-edge aircraft that they believe will outperform any other fighter jet in the world. Despite facing financial and political challenges from the Canadian government, which is wary of investing in such an ambitious project, Gordon and his team remain dedicated to their work, and their passion for aviation shines through in every scene.

As the Arrow slowly starts to take shape, tensions begin to rise within the Canadian government and military, as some officials express doubts about the usefulness of the Arrow in defending Canada from potential Soviet threats. Adding to the complications is the involvement of American military officials, who are keen to see Canada abandon its independent aircraft development in favor of purchasing American jets.

Despite the hurdles, Gordon and his team forge ahead, eventually producing a sleek and powerful aircraft that is unlike anything the world has ever seen. Aykroyd gives a strong and nuanced performance as the driven and idealistic Crawford Gordon, who remains fiercely devoted to his craft even in the face of overwhelming opposition.

Meanwhile, Sara Botsford shines as Helen Gordon, Crawford's wife and a key supporter of his work. Ron White also delivers a standout performance as the no-nonsense Minister of Defense, who struggles to balance political pragmatism with a desire to support Canadian innovation and self-reliance.

The Arrow is a gripping and emotional story that highlights the triumphs and tragedies of the Canadian aerospace industry during the 1950s. It celebrates the ingenuity and tenacity of Crawford Gordon and his team, while also exploring the political and economic factors that ultimately led to the cancellation of a project that was poised to put Canada at the forefront of international aviation.

Overall, The Arrow is a well-crafted and engaging movie that deserves a place among the best Canadian films of the late 20th century. It offers an inspiring reminder of the power of perseverance and the importance of supporting innovative thinkers and creators, even in the face of significant obstacles.

The Arrow
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    3 hr
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (867)