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Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990)

168 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Bethune has long been a hero in China. Perhaps for reasons of politics and personality, however, his fame in North America lagged far behind. The film explores the complexity of a character who could be narcissistic, petty, and cruel with ...See moreBethune has long been a hero in China. Perhaps for reasons of politics and personality, however, his fame in North America lagged far behind. The film explores the complexity of a character who could be narcissistic, petty, and cruel with those who loved him, yet capable of heroic generosity and creativity for those whom he scarcely knew. It was a Canada-China-France co-production, which by the time of its release had become the most expensive movie ever made in Canada. The production had been dogged by controversy over funding, politics, location, revenue, and a dispute over the script between the author, who had been with Bethune in Spain, and the leading actor who had already played Bethune in other venues. Some scenes are tinged with humor and Bethune's speeches about universal access to humane medicine have an uncanny appeal more than half a century later. With its beautiful backdrop of Chinese landscapes, Montreal snow, and 1930s nostalgia, the film is an evocative memorial to a fascinating figure in surgery's past. Medical students love it. Director Philip Borsos Leading Actors Anouk Aimee, Helen Mirren, Donald Sutherland Studio Telefilm Canada, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, FR3 TV France, China Film Co-production Year 1990 Color/BW Color Running Time 116 minutes Written by Duffin, Jacalyn See less
Read more: Plot summary
Writer
Ted Allan (novel)
Composer
Alan Reeves (music composed by)
Cinematographers
Raoul Coutard (photographed by) | Mike Molloy (photographed by)
Production Designers
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Status
Edit Released
Updated Aug 27, 1990

Release date
Sep 17, 1993 (United States)

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Cast

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43 cast members
Name STARmeter Known for
Donald Sutherland
Dr. Norman Bethune Dr. Norman Bethune   See fewer
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Helen Mirren
Frances Penny Bethune Frances Penny Bethune   See fewer
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Helen Shaver
Mrs. Dowd Mrs. Dowd   See fewer
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Colm Feore
Chester Rice Chester Rice   See fewer
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James Pax
Mr. Tung Mr. Tung   See fewer
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Da Guo
Dr. Chian (as Guo Da) Dr. Chian (as Guo Da)   See fewer
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Harrison Liu
Dr. Fong Dr. Fong   See fewer
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Anouk Aimée
Marie-France Coudaire Marie-France Coudaire   See fewer
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Ronald Pickup
Alan Coleman Alan Coleman   See fewer
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Geoffrey Chater
Dr. Archibald Dr. Archibald   See fewer
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Zong-yao Tan
General Nieh (as Tan Zong Yao) General Nieh (as Tan Zong Yao)   See fewer
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Ke-Yaw Zhang
Chairman Mao (as Zhang Ke Yaw) Chairman Mao (as Zhang Ke Yaw)   See fewer
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Iñaki Aierra
Dr. Salvador (as Inaki Ayerra) Dr. Salvador (as Inaki Ayerra)   See fewer
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Yvan Ponton
Frank Coudaire Frank Coudaire   See fewer
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Sophie Faucher
Nurse MacKenzie Nurse MacKenzie   See fewer
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Danute Kristo
Ingrid Halstrom Ingrid Halstrom   See fewer
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Beatrice Home
Mary (as Béatrice Home) Mary (as Béatrice Home)   See fewer
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Nicholas Kilbertus
George Pilling George Pilling   See fewer
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Linda O'Dwyer
Nursing Sister Nursing Sister   See fewer
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Frank Fontaine
Dr. Williamson Dr. Williamson   See fewer
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Régent Gauvin
Cobbler Cobbler   See fewer
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Lorne Brass
Photographer Photographer   See fewer
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David Francis
Pilling Associate Pilling Associate   See fewer
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Michael Sinelnikoff
Conference Doctor Conference Doctor   See fewer
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Norris Domingue
Business Man Business Man   See fewer
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Timothy Webber
Reporter Reporter   See fewer
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Xang Xing Junh
Cook Wu Cook Wu   See fewer
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Wang Chun Yen
Prisoner's Wife Prisoner's Wife   See fewer
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Liu Yun Chai
Prisoner Prisoner   See fewer
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Sang Dexin
Bellhop Bellhop   See fewer
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Huo Jin Yu
Nationalist Officer Nationalist Officer   See fewer
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Wang Xing Jun
Liu - 8th Route Army Soldier Liu - 8th Route Army Soldier   See fewer
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Chen Da Wei
Wang - 8th Route Army Soldier Wang - 8th Route Army Soldier   See fewer
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Ethel Gerstein
Gaggle Lady Gaggle Lady   See fewer
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Peggy Goldberg
Gaggle Lady Gaggle Lady   See fewer
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Rebecca Hogan
Gaggle Lady Gaggle Lady   See fewer
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James Hong
Actor Actor   See fewer
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Jack McGuigan
Gaggle Man Gaggle Man   See fewer
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Joëlle Morin
Sick Girl Sick Girl   See fewer
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Miguel Ángel Tobías
Soldado #2 Soldado #2   See fewer
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Leona Toppel
Gaggle Lady Gaggle Lady   See fewer
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Ratings Breakdown

6.7 / 10 | 294 votes