Northern Extremes (1993)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Members of Canada's groundbreaking improvisational comedy troupe CODCO helped create this broad black comedy about a small Canadian community's unique bid to become a world power. Solomon Gundy is a small island off the Atlantic Coast of Canada whose economy is built around fishing. A government researcher determines that Canada's fish production needs to be cut by four percent -- and since Solomon Gundy produces four percent of the nation's catch, the government simply decides to suspend all fishing licenses for the Island. Needless to say, this decision is wildly unpopular with the locals, and Dexter (Maury Chaykin), the Federal official who has to break the bad news to the town, nearly gets lynched for his troubles. Augustus (Paul Gross), who acts as Solomon Gundy's mayor when he isn't busy officiating at the local church or running the miniature golf course, decides to take the bull by the horns and rallies the townspeople to declare their independence from Canada. As fate would have it, a group of Russian sailors gone AWOL happen by the Island, and Augustus is able to buy their submarine from the sole crewman left on board (Tommy Sexton). Augustus soon discovers the sub still has a cache of tactical missiles on board, making the newly independent Solomon Gundy a nuclear superpower. Also released as Northern Extremes, Burried on Sunday proved to be the final film role for founding CODCO member Tommy Sexton, who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1993. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
Directed By:


Paul Gross
as Augustus
Henry Czerny
as Nelson
Maury Chaykin
as Dexter
Louis Del Grande
as The Prime Minister
Paul Jarrett
as Russian Sailor 2
Andy Jones
as 1st biker
Jeff Leder
as Paxton
Tommy Sexton
as The Prisoner
Mary Walsh
as 2nd biker
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Critic Reviews for Northern Extremes

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Audience Reviews for Northern Extremes

Oh, CBC, how I love you! AMC is giving us some Charlton Heston movie I don't think I've ever heard of, and the CBC is giving us what is possibly the most random Paul Gross movie ever made. And that definitely includes that crap [i]20,000 Leagues Under the Sea[/i] Sci-Fi has played a few times. Paul Gross is actually playing a minister in this one, and he's [i]still[/i] playing a crazy man. (Well, after all, he does it so well!) He's the minister of a tiny island community in what is apparently Nova Scotia. They're about to lose their fishing rights, and he finds an obscure treaty from the early 18th Century that lets the island decide for itself who will rule them. So, naturally, they decide that Canada isn't representing them properly, and they secede. They are aided in this by a nuclear submarine, complete with two missiles, bought from a group of renegade Russian (Soviet yet, I think) sailors. And, yes, hilarity ensues. As does romance--there's some woman who either works for the government or is having a thing with a guy who works for the government or both, and she ends up with the Mountie at the end. Clearly, he's not from a faith that requires celibacy from its clergy. Then again, he's pretty much lost the faith, so I'm not sure how much it would matter. What I find interesting about this movie--which is actually pretty dumb, but still funny--is what it has to say about governmental policy. You see, the island's fishing rights aren't being taken away for environmental reasons or the sake of a native group. No, it has to do with some deal regarding emissions scrubbers and the Belgians. (I don't really understand it, but you don't really have to.) The government is willing to give the island practically anything it wants so long as they don't shoot off those missiles, but they won't let the deal fall through. (Of course it does anyway! This is a Paul Gross movie!) It's not altogether happy--the guy who played Nero Wolfe dies--but the annoying government toadies get their comeuppances, and Paul Gross gets the girl, and nuclear war is averted. (And the movie is known as [i]Buried on Sunday[/i] as well. Why? The island is Solomon Gundy Island, though it apparently has nothing to do with the rhyme, according to the little old librarian and town historian.) Half the cast was on [i]Due South[/i] at one point or another, of course; Canadian drama is kind of insular that way. And after all, a show like [i]Due South[/i], like [i]CSI[/i] or [i]Law & Order[/i], goes through a lot of guest cast. (Less than those two, admittedly, but they had a smaller budget.) Oh, and to Eddie Murphy--Alan Arkin was nominated for his first Oscar when you were five, and he won his first one last night. I think you get to suck it up. (Actually, I hadn't realized this myself, but yes. [i]The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming![/i] was nominated for four Oscars: Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Alan Arkin, and [i]Best Picture[/i], believe it or not. It didn't win any.)

Edith Nelson
Edith Nelson

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