Harry Decker/Harry Wolfe

Created by Peter Lauterman

A down-on-his-luck dick and his faithful Indian companion. Only in Canada, eh?

In Harry's Case, a CBC made-for-TV flick (and possible pilot?), a former big shot Bay Street lawyer HARRY DECKER (or is it WOLFE?) tries to eke out a living as an unregistered private investigator in Toronto. Obsessed with his disbarrment (for allegedly paying off a witness) and his subsequent fall from grace a few years earlier, Harry clings to the hope that one day he'll prove he was set up by his former law partners. But in the meantime, he's renting a room in a seedy downtown hotel, drinking too much and stumbling toward a divorce.

Harry teams up with Adam Fiddler, a young Native Canadian who has come to Toronto to look for his missing sister, who disappeared two years before that while searching for her father.

This one looked promising, given the success of the CBC's similarly gritty DaVinci's Inquest, and that the whole thing was directed by award-winning, Gemini-nominated director Stephen Williams, who did Hard Times: The David Milgaard Story (ask a Canadian). But it was actually less than the sum of its parts, with perhaps the biggest mystery being whether the main character's last name is Decker or Wolfe (online it's listed as either).

Passable, but far from poignant. Nonetheless, hope springs eternal.

UNDER OATH

  • "Made for CBC TV mystery-suspenser is extremely well put together: well-paced and well acted with a gritty, vivid edge. Strong performances from Markinson and Beach (making more of a buddy-combo than simply hero and client) and a notable supporting turn from Dunn as a colourful transvestite. Nice acknowledgement of Beach's Indian ethnicity -- neither ignored, nor belaboured. With all that being said, it never quite becomes more than a standard example of the genre (despite some attempts to give things a deeper resonance involving themes of redemption and ethical choices). It trots out a lot of the cliches both in character and even in plot twists (even forcing the story to leap a few logic ditches), and by the end is a bit too obvious in its hope to spawn sequels, or even a series."

-- The Great Canadian Guide to the Movies and TV

TELEVISION

  • HARRY'S CASE
    (2001, CBC)
    Two hours
    Premiere: October 8, 2001
    Screenplay by Peter Lauterman
    Directed by Stephen Williams
    Produced by Mark Winemaker
    Director of photography: Michael Storey
    Executive producers: Peter Lauterman, Christine Shipton
    Shot on location in Toronto
    An Alliance Atlantis/Canadian Broadcasting Corporation co-production
    Starring Brian Markinson as HARRY WOLFE
    and Adam Beach as ADAM FIDDLER
    Also starring Sherry Miller, Janet-Laine Green, Kim Schraner, Tom Melissis, Conrad Dunn, Mark Lutz, Dianne Debassige

RELATED LINKS

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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