Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Nobody Waved Goodbye" Offers a Timely Message

Cleveland Press June 19, 1965

"Nobody Waved Goodbye," a production of the National Film Board of Canada, is one of those rare productions—a film with something to say that says it well and simply.

It is a shoe-string production, acted out by a group of unknowns, filmed nowhere near a movie set but apparently on the streets and in the homes of Toronto.

It is an instance where the very lack of trappings, of fancy sets, of large groups of actors have held the story telling down to basics.

Peter Kastner acts out the role of an 18-year-old boy in rebellion against his parents and society. This is not a melodramatic rebellion with heavily theatrical scenes.

He questions values but shows that he has none of his own. He doesn't know what he wants but he knows what he wants to reject. He argues with his parents and other adults. He baits them and angers them.

HE REJECTS their comfortable way of life and expresses a desire to be free but it is apparent that his idea of freedom is an existence without rules and responsibilities.

His parents don't know how to cope with him, instead argue with each other over the problem.

He cuts classes, finally leaves home, attempts to find work without his high school diploma and the best he can get is a job as a parking lot attendant.

HE HAS BEEN in trouble with the police over traffic violations and is on probation. The parking lot owner teaches him to short-change the customers and from that —in a desperate moment— it's a short step to bigger things

It's an old story and it is predictable. But "Nobody Waved Goodbye" brings a freshness and spontaneity to the familiar situations. The camera seems to eavesdrop and writer- director Don Owen has permitted his cast to improvise.

THE DIALOG that results is not neatly written prose but fumbling, honestly spoken words, a repetition of words and phrases that grate and ring true.

Peter Kastner and his girl friend (Julie Biggs) are not kids from broken or poverty stricken homes. These are middle-class kids, comfortable and in this alone the picture breaks away from similar stores. The situation becomes one that could happen anywhere.