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The Loon's Necklace

Directed by F.R. (Budge) Crawley and Judith Crawley
Canada, 1948 (children's / fiction, 13 minutes, colour, English)
Also known as "Le collier magique"
The Loon's Necklace
Image: © National Film Board of Canada

Film Description:
"An Indian legend that explains the white band around the black neck of the loon. The hero is Kelora, once a proud medicine man, but neglected in his feeble old age and blindness. His totem, the loon, remains faithful to him and gives him back his sight. In return Kelora places his necklace of magic shells around the neck of the bird, where it can still be seen today."
-- National Film Board of Canada (source)

Film Credits (partial):
Written by: Douglas Leechman
Produced by: F.R. Crawley
Cinematography: Grant Crabtree
Film Editing: Judith Crawley
Production Company: Crawley Films

Award won by The Loon's Necklace

Notes about The Loon's Necklace


Quote by the Director

"To all of us freelancers [John] Grierson had been a godfather, just as he was to the staffers at the NFB. [...] The loss of Grierson's leadership at the NFB was an irreparable blow to the Canadian film industry, not only because he was nurturing it with intelligence and ingenuity, but because the winds of paranoia began to infect the NFB staff. [...] In 1947 we completed a 10-minute experimental film called The Loon's Necklace—the kind of production Grierson would have encouraged—an Indian legend presented on the screen through Indian masks. Ross McLean found it 'a nice little film,' but he didn't see how the NFB could use it. Was that simply an error in judgment or was it paranoia about the private sector? The film sat on the shelf for two years and finally we sold it for our costs to Imperial Oil, who released it through the Canadian Education Association and later Encyclopedia Britannica. It has since been seen by more people in the world than any other Canadian film except for the early Grey Owl films and Norman McLaren's films (another of Grierson's godchildren)."
-- F.R. (Budge) Crawley, Judith Crawley (source)

Quotes about The Loon's Necklace

"The Loon's Necklace, made by the well-known Crawley Films and sponsored by Imperial Oil, was probably the most successful sponsored film of the period. The film helped to establish Budge Crawley's reputation as Canada's leading independent filmmaker. It became a staple of 1950s classrooms and also won film of the year at the first Canadian Film Awards in 1948."
-- Canadian Film Encyclopedia (source)

"The Loon's Necklace was made on speculation and it was only after it won the award [Film of the Year at the Canadian Film Awards] that Imperial Oil decided to sponsor the distribution. It went on to win many other awards, but the increased recognition also brought with it a business load which put a strain on the co-operative spirit of the organization [Crawley Films]."
-- James Forrester (source)

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