Last week’s DVD launch of the classic Montreal made film Lies My Father Told Me at CinemaSpace of the Segal Centre for the Arts had those in attendance waxing nostalgic.
There were three separate screenings, one by invitation-only and two for the general public, which sold in the days leading up to the event. At the former, actress Marilyn Lightstone who played one of the lead roles of Annie Herman took part in a wonderful question and answer period with co-producer Harry Gulkin, Cleo Paskal (who played three year old Cleo in the film) and through the magic of skype star Jeffrey Lynas (the lead as five year old David). Subsequent launches are planned for Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg.
When I spoke to Lightstone and Gulkin afterwards I asked them both why there had never been a sequel to this 1976 Golden Globe Award winning film about a young boy’s special relationship with his grandfather and his lack of one with his dad. “You’re a writer,” Lightstone pointed out. “Maybe you can come up with something. Send it to me. Maybe we can get someone interested.”
There are no shortage of Jewish film executives in Montreal. Certainly one of them would like the idea! Lies My Father Told Me takes place in 1920s Montreal. So fast forward 35 years and we are in the late 1950s. What would the storyline entail? Here is how I see it.
Annie Herman and her awful husband Harry (Len Burman) are miraculously still married. Harry, who was always trying to hatch a get rich scheme, is estranged from his son David. Lynas, now a film and television executive for E-1 Entertainment in Los Angeles, was asked at last week’s event whether he’d ever make a comeback. He said that when he turned 18 he realized he did not see a future as an actor and pursued work on the other side of the camera.
I am sure Lynas could be coaxed back for the sequel as the father of two young children. In my Lies My Father Told Me 2 (or More Lies My Father Told Me) David maintains a close relationship with his mother. He still thinks back constantly to the days with his Zaida and the neglect he experienced from his dad. But when he sees his two young children begin to bond with his father he wonders how it is possible for a man to show no care for his own child yet express so much love for his grandchildren. Ultimately David and Harry develop a new understanding of each other.
Gulkin, who at 82 remains as sharp as ever, should be enlisted as a special consultant. Watching last week’s DVD launch with great interest was noted Montreal film and television producer Ina Fichman.
“So Ina, would you be involved in a sequel?” I asked.
She smiled, but did not say “no!”