Cinematic Experience: A Day in Glenn Ford’s Hometown

glenn-ford-mgm-1955-everett

Kristina from Speakeasy and Ruth from Silver Screening are actually hosting, from Feb 1st to Feb 5, 2016, the O Canada Blogathon. Of course, as being a Canadian myself (from Montreal, Quebec), I couldn’t say no to that! All participants are writing about Canadian movies, movies that take place in Canada, actors born in Canada, etc. On my side, I’ve decided to do something different from what I normally do on this blog (movie reviews, actor’s tribute…) and will tell you about my visit to Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne, a small village where Glenn Ford spend the eight first years of his life.

o-canada-banner-2

Glenn Ford, technically, was born in an Jeffrey Hale Hospital in Quebec City, but his family lived in Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne. His father, Rowland Ford, was the director of a railway company and the first mayor of the city.  When I discovered Glenn had spent his early childhood in this village in the region of Portneuf, I had to go. Because it’s not very far from the village where my country house is (Saint-Stanislas de Champlain). So, I talked about it to my parent and, about one year ago, on December 31st, 2015, we decided to pay a visit to this place.

2
Translation: Ste-Christine d’Auvergne believes in joy!
Sainte-Christine-d-Auvergne.8
Saint-Stanislas is between Shawinigan and Saint-Tite, just to give you an idea

I have to say, I’ve only seen one Glenn Ford’s film (Gilda), so I’m not too familiar with his acting, but I’ve read a very interesting article about him in the Photoplay Magazine. Anyway, visiting a classical actor’s hometown, whatever if you know him or not, is always thrilling.

end_gilda.jpg

I remember, it was a very cold day. After 40 minutes or so, our car arrives in the village. We continue to ride, look at the houses, trying to guess which one could be Glenn Ford’s one. It doesn’t take us long to arrive at the end of the village. Pretty, but, I swear, Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne is the smallest village I’ve ever seen! Ok, maybe not as small as Soda City (Saboteur, Hitchcock), but still. Of course, Glenn Ford had lived there at the end of the 10s-beginning of the 20s, so the people who knew them are probably rare in this village. And his name is not written on a door.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Me in the village

As there is no library or office where we can have information, we decide to go to the presbytery (or maybe was it a house next to it?). A very nice lady answers. My parents, very proud of themselves introduced us by saying “We’re doing an historical research!” and we ask her if she knows by coincidence where Glenn Ford’s house was. She knows the name, calling him “Mr. Ford”, but can’t say where was his house. We then have the idea to ask her where the oldest people in the village lives. Luckily, it’s the house just across the street. But no chance, there’s no one there! We’re almost ready to go back in the car an return to our place, but we see a man and decide to ask him some information. We then learn that there are other houses in the village, a little further, next to the Chute-Ford electric Central. That’s it! That’s the place where we have to go! We’re really lucky we met this man.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The old woman’s house: the green one

So we go, park the car, go out (it’s freeeeeeezing outside!) and we first go to the central. Nothing very interesting to see, but since it was a Ford thing, it grabbed our curiosity!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Me next to the central (I had sun in my eyes…)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The central
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The river, next to the electric central

We then decide to ask someone which one of the houses couldn’t have been Glenn Ford’s one (there aren’t many. About four). In an area, there are some new modern cottages. A man is outside. Unfortunately, he can’t tell because he doesn’t know the village very well. He’s not from the place, you know.

 Finally, we actually decide to ask someone who was living in one of those big old houses next to the central. An old man and his wife answer us and invite us to come inside (people are so friendly in those small villages!) We explain them what we were looking for. They show us a pamphlet about the city with a picture of Glenn Ford in it. We talk a little, they are very nice. They can’t say which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but it certainly was one of them, that’s a 100 % sure.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
An hypothesis says that this could have been the house. Of course, it originally didn’t look like this!

Conclusion to this story: We never knew exactly which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but we certainly saw it, that’s for sure. And it was a magnificent journey! And what a great activity for New Year’s Eve! 😀

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Me in the village, again… A cold but sunny day: look at the blue sky!

Now I have to see more Glenn Ford’s movies…

A big thanks to Kristina and Ruth for hosting this blogathon! Here are the links to the other entries:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Annex - Ford, Glenn_02

Advertisements

19 thoughts on “Cinematic Experience: A Day in Glenn Ford’s Hometown

  1. This was fascinating – it almost reads like a mystery novel. Loved it!

    Thanks for including this in the O Canada blogathon. I don’t know much about Glenn Ford’s life – let alone his early life in Canada – so it was interesting to see the town where he grew up. Looks like a beautiful area!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since you were nice enough to share your adventurous time in Glenn Ford’s hometown, I would like to recommend some Glenn Ford movies you might enjoy: “The Big Heat” (film-noir), “3:10 to Yuma” (western), “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” (family comedy), “Dear Heart” (romantic comedy-drama), “Experiment in Terror” (thriller) and “The Sheepman” (comedy-western).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. good investigative work, Virginie. I think I told you my grandfather was born in St. Agath, Canada. Also you might want to check out Glenn Ford in frank Capra’s A Pocketful of miracles”-.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You really ought to see more of Glenn Ford’s films! He was a very fine actor and I think you would love his films. I’d especially recommend 3:10 to Yuma, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and The Blackboard Jungle. Anyway, you did a great a job with this post! Very fine research. If I ever visit Canada, I’ll have to visit Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great mystery tour! I would love to visit and hope to some day soon (tho I’ll wait until the snow melts;^) ; I worked on getting Glenn nominated for an Order of Canada (unsuccessfully) back a dozen years ago, visited and had dinner with his son at their house, but didn’t get to spend any time with Glenn. I believe the cemetery in the area is where his grandparents are interred and his parents (although he may have had their remains moved to California)… But from what I hear, the area does not really mark any historical places or elements that celebrate this famous son of Portneuf. Thanks again for the fun tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Virginie – what a wonderful article! I love these kinds of tours, and i did one myself when i took the family to Santa Rosa, California a few years back, visiting some of the places where Joseph Cotten harrassed Theresa Wright under Alfred HItchcock’s direction. I found this interesting blog post from a Portneuf local who toured the cemetary there — of interest to us Glenn Ford fans: https://translate.google.ca/translate?hl=en&sl=fr&u=http://www.septentrion.qc.ca/blogue/portneuf-berceau-des-ford-au-quebec&prev=search

    Liked by 1 person

  7. i live 5 minutes from where mrs ford pregnant with glenn was in a house fire on PALAIS HILL 58 cote u palais its still there. in 1949 i was born at jeffrey hales hospital where glenn was born, it is now condos and 15 minutes from my home. im also very near the photo studio in quebec where mr. ford was photographed at 3 years old. im so proud

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s