The Terry Fox Story

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The Terry Fox Story
Directed by Ralph L. Thomas
Produced by Bob Cooper
Written by Edward Hume
Story by
John Kastner
Rose Kastner
Starring Eric Fryer
Distributed by HBO (U.S.)
ITC (UK)[1]
Release date
  • 22 May 1983 (1983-05-22) (U.S.)
Running time
97 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English
Budget $2,400,000

The Terry Fox Story is a 1983 film biopic of Canadian amputee and runner Terry Fox. It was written by Howard Hume, John Kastner and Rose Kastner, and directed by Ralph L. Thomas. The film stars Eric Fryer as Fox, Chris Makepeace as his brother Darrell, and Robert Duvall as Fox's publicist, Bill Vigars. The cast also includes Rosalind Chao, R. H. Thomson, Elva Mai Hoover, Michael Zelniker, Saul Rubinek and Patrick Watson.

The film was produced for HBO in the United States with Canadian co-producers. Although it was also released in Canadian and British[1] theatres, it was the first television film ever made for a cable network.

Plot Synopsis

Terry Fox, aspiring young Canadian athlete, learns that pain in his right knee is due a cancerous tumor, and whom's sporting career sadly comes to an end once he received news that his leg has to be amputated. After a period of lengthy self-reflection, Terry falls in love with Rike Noda Rosalind Chao, a Christian teacher for mentally disabled children, who helps Terry in his quest to regain his self-confidence.

Despite his mother's Betty Fox approval, on April 12, 1980, Terry dipped his artificial limb into the Atlantic Ocean off St. John's Newfoundland, and set off on a Marathon of Hope across Canada to raise money for cancer research - the disease he had been battled for three years prior. That summer, the young man hobbled triumphantly into Toronto, cheered by over 10,000 Canadians who had adopted the 22-year-old as a national hero. On September 1, after over 3,000 miles, he collapsed in Thunder Bay, Ontario and was hospitalized. Terry Fox was accompanied on his journey by his friend, Doug Alward, who is played by Michael Zelniker, and has to bear the burden of handing Terry's disappointment, and anger when the marathon does not meet his expectations. Robert Duvall, starting as Bill Vigars, public relations officer for the Cancer Society of Canada, also accompanies Terry on his journey, and mastermind a publicity campaign which results in mass support for Terry's marathon of hope.[2]


Awards and criticism

The Terry Fox Story won six awards at the 5th Genie Awards ceremony for Canadian film in 1984. Eric Fryer, the Scarbrough amputee who played Fox, won best actor, and Micael Zelniker, won best supporting actor for his role in playing Terry's best friend, Doug Alward. [4]

  • Best Picture
  • Best Actor: Eric Fryer
  • Best Supporting Actor: Michael Zelniker
  • Best Sound (Joe Grimaldi, Bruce Carwardine, Austin Grimaldi and Glen Gauthier)
  • Best Sound Editing: (same as above; tied with The Wars)
  • Best Film Editing: (Ron Wisman)

The film was also nominated for Best Cinematography (Richard Ciupka) and Best Supporting Actress (Hoover), but did not win. Duvall was nominated for Best Actor at the 1983 CableACE Awards, but did not win.

Despite its awards, the film was criticized by Fox's family for depicting him as ill-tempered.[5]

Halliwell's Film Guide said of the film: "True it may be, but dramatically this is a one-note film with endless pretty pictures of the countryside and in the foreground signs of failing health."[1]


  • IMDb: 7.1/10 The Terry Fox Story on IMDb
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Company Credits


Film Rights Owner


  1. ^ a b c Gritten, David, ed. (2007). "The Terry Fox Story". Halliwell's Film Guide 2008. Hammersmith, London: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 1181. ISBN 0-00-726080-6. 
  2. ^ "The TERRY FOX STORY" - Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 51, Iss. 600, (Jan 1, 1984): 251.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h The Terry Fox Story (TV Movie 1983), retrieved 2018-04-02 
  4. ^ Jay Scott, "Terry Fox Story wins best picture Genie Etic Fryer, Martha Henry take top acting awards." The Globe and Mail, March 22, 1984.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]

External links

  • The Terry Fox Story on IMDb

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