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Mother Trucker: The Diana Kilmury Story

Mother Trucker: the Diana Kilmury Story (Tues. (22), 9:30-11:30 p.m., TNT) Filmed in British Columbia by Barna-Alper Prods./Anne Wheeler Inc. in association with Alliance Communications Corp. and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Executive producers, Laszlo Barna, Anne Wheeler, Christine Shipton; producers, Barna, Wheeler; line producer, Ogden Gavanski; director, Sturla Gunnarsson; script, Wheeler, J.W. Meadowfield; camera, Brenton Spencer; editor, Jeff Warren; production designer, William Heslup; art director, Nancy Ford; sound, Frank Griffiths; music, Jonathan Goldsmith; casting, Lynne Carrow. Cast: Barbara Williams, Nicholas Campbell, Robert Wisden, Stuart Margolin, Wayne Robson, Blair Slater, A.J. Bond, Timothy Webber, Rob Lee, Mitch Kosterman, Duncan Fraser, Stephen Dimopoulos, P. Lynn Johnson, Tamsin Kelsey, Sheila Paterson, John Gilbert, Veena Sood, Don Thompson, Jerry Wasserman, Gary Chalk, RaimundStamm, Ken Roberts, Mark Acheson, Andre Benjamin, George Touliatos, Danny Wattley, Marrett Green, Ben Rainer, Diana Kilmury, Alf Humphreys, Hrothgar Mathews, Dean Wray, David Fredricks, John Juliani, Jack Vlahovic. A female heavy-equipment operator becomes a high-ranking exec in the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters in the above-average drama "Mother Trucker: the Diane Kilmury Story." The strong story is propelled by a knotty performance by Barbara Williams in the title role. It rises above the morass of "plucky woman" TV dramas, and could serve as a recruiting film for the new, squeaky-clean edition of the world's largest trade union. Project was produced and filmed in Canada, where most of the events took place. Complicated financing includes participation of Telefilm Canada, British Columbia Film, and Ontario Film Development Corp., among other parties. Script by Anne Wheeler and J. W. Meadowfield (story by Meadowfield) is narrated by the character of Kilmury in flashback, starting with her first day on a dam-building project in British Columbia. She's harassed by the other drivers for being a woman, but soon proves to be as tough as any of them. Not too tough, though; she has a boyfriend (Stuart Margolin) back home, and a young son by a previous liaison who's with her. Already something of an activist against union corruption, Kilmury shifts into high gear (so to speak) when she's denied benefits after an automobile accident in which her son (Blair Slater as a child; A. J. Bond, as a teenager) is seriously injured. Within a few years, she's blustered her way to high union office, ended corruption and received all the money due her. Williams turns in a strong but subtle performance under Sturla Gunnarsson's direction, with excellent support from Nicholas Campbell and Robert Wisden as fellow anti-corruption types; Wayne Robson as a friend on the job; and Margolin. The real-life Kilmury (now the Teamsters' VP at large) and Campbell's character, Jack Vlahovic, appear in cameos. Script, though somewhat simplistic, does give Kilmury some good lines when Vlahovic warns her of hostile forces within the group, she whips back, "What are they gonna do, Jack? Whack the only broad on Site One? This is Canada, not Cleveland." Biggest drawback of the telefilm may be that many of the scenic and construction scenes cry for the wide screen. Todd Everett

Mother Trucker: the Diana Kilmury Story (Tues. (22), 9:30-11:30 p.m., TNT) Filmed in British Columbia by Barna-Alper Prods./Anne Wheeler Inc. in association with Alliance Communications Corp. and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Executive producers, Laszlo Barna, Anne Wheeler, Christine Shipton; producers, Barna, Wheeler; line producer, Ogden Gavanski; director, Sturla Gunnarsson; script, Wheeler, J.W. Meadowfield; camera, Brenton Spencer; editor, Jeff Warren; production designer, William Heslup; art director, Nancy Ford; sound, Frank Griffiths; music, Jonathan Goldsmith; casting, Lynne Carrow. Cast: Barbara Williams, Nicholas Campbell, Robert Wisden, Stuart Margolin, Wayne Robson, Blair Slater, A.J. Bond, Timothy Webber, Rob Lee, Mitch Kosterman, Duncan Fraser, Stephen Dimopoulos, P. Lynn Johnson, Tamsin Kelsey, Sheila Paterson, John Gilbert, Veena Sood, Don Thompson, Jerry Wasserman, Gary Chalk, RaimundStamm, Ken Roberts, Mark Acheson, Andre Benjamin, George Touliatos, Danny Wattley, Marrett Green, Ben Rainer, Diana Kilmury, Alf Humphreys, Hrothgar Mathews, Dean Wray, David Fredricks, John Juliani, Jack Vlahovic. A female heavy-equipment operator becomes a high-ranking exec in the Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters in the above-average drama “Mother Trucker: the Diane Kilmury Story.” The strong story is propelled by a knotty performance by Barbara Williams in the title role. It rises above the morass of “plucky woman” TV dramas, and could serve as a recruiting film for the new, squeaky-clean edition of the world’s largest trade union. Project was produced and filmed in Canada, where most of the events took place. Complicated financing includes participation of Telefilm Canada, British Columbia Film, and Ontario Film Development Corp., among other parties. Script by Anne Wheeler and J. W. Meadowfield (story by Meadowfield) is narrated by the character of Kilmury in flashback, starting with her first day on a dam-building project in British Columbia. She’s harassed by the other drivers for being a woman, but soon proves to be as tough as any of them. Not too tough, though; she has a boyfriend (Stuart Margolin) back home, and a young son by a previous liaison who’s with her. Already something of an activist against union corruption, Kilmury shifts into high gear (so to speak) when she’s denied benefits after an automobile accident in which her son (Blair Slater as a child; A. J. Bond, as a teenager) is seriously injured. Within a few years, she’s blustered her way to high union office, ended corruption and received all the money due her. Williams turns in a strong but subtle performance under Sturla Gunnarsson’s direction, with excellent support from Nicholas Campbell and Robert Wisden as fellow anti-corruption types; Wayne Robson as a friend on the job; and Margolin. The real-life Kilmury (now the Teamsters’ VP at large) and Campbell’s character, Jack Vlahovic, appear in cameos. Script, though somewhat simplistic, does give Kilmury some good lines when Vlahovic warns her of hostile forces within the group, she whips back, “What are they gonna do, Jack? Whack the only broad on Site One? This is Canada, not Cleveland.” Biggest drawback of the telefilm may be that many of the scenic and construction scenes cry for the wide screen. Todd Everett

Mother Trucker: The Diana Kilmury Story

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