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Showdown at Williams Creek 1991
Description: Real storyline of a former British soldier on trial for murder in the 19th century Northwest.
Released: 21 Nov 1991 Director: Allan Kroeker Writers: John Gray, Gary Payne (story) Actors: Tom Burlinson, Stephen E. Miller, Michelle Thrush, Pascal Bernier Genres: Drama, Western
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Showdown at Williams Creek Reviews:

I consider this a grossly underrated movie. I watched it by possibility last night, unaware of its game or possible fame. I was very impressed. Top marks to the Canadian Board for taking the time and effort to bring to the screen a real tale from its 19 century past, and to have such outstanding performers portray their roles so eloquently and with total belief. Burlinson was smack-on as the hard-done-by Irish officer who fell victim to the hazards of British Columbia's gold regime. And though she spoke very little, the innocence and hardship that Michelle Thrush revealed was celebratory. A quiet yet perfect performance. If only there were more movies like this.


The very first movie usually dubbed a Hollywood western was Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Boy which came out in 1913. The plot involved an English earl going west to America after one of those Victorian affairs of honor and settling down with an American Indian wife. A lot of the plot elements of The Squaw Boy are in Showdown at Williams Creek. In this Tom Burlinson is not an earl, far from it he's a British officer who sees a possibility for promo in the 1860s in the units of Nice Britain slim because of the custom of buying a commission. Ironically enough right at the time he was deciding to head to North America to seek his fortune, the Gladstone ministry and its Secretary for Fight King Cardwell was finally addressing just such abuses.In any happening Burlinson goes to America, falls in with some terrible companions and one of them leaves him to die with an Indian arrow wound. But he's rescued by a band of Metis, mixed racial descendants of fur trappers and Indians and falls in love with Michelle Thrush one of the girls who he has a son by.The storyline is said in flashback by Burlinson on the stand during a murder trial where he's accused of shooting down Donnelly Rhodes that terrible companion he fell in with. As the storyline unfolds Burlinson being left to die is only part of the reason for the homicide. I first saw Burlinson in his native Australian production of The Boy From Snowy River. He gave a nice acc of himself here as he did there. In that another film, I managed to learn what a 'brumbie' is, we call them mustangs in the USA.Playing the judge in the courtroom is Raymond Burr who in fact is a native Canadian. I'm sure he was there to encourage independent Canadian movie making and lend a tiny Perry Mason box office to the effort.The movie is nicely photographed in British Columbia and if it's broadcast in Canada or in the USA or at the North Pole for Santa Claus, I urge you catch it.


This film was a film I saw a while ago on Pay TV. I have since watched it at least a dozen times. It is fairly accurate factually, as well as being highly entertaining. An nice storyline to be sure. I suggest it to anyone who is at all interested in that part of Canada/USA, or who enjoys films



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