Paperback Hero (1973), a film directed by Peter Pearson, is a uniquely Canadian account of a dying small prairie town and the way in which American pop mythology, especially Western movies, has impacted the national imagination. Rick Dillon (Keir Dullea), the star of the local hockey team, is a lazy, lecherous, immature roustabout who considers himself a modern-day gunslinger on and off the ice, complete with cowboy hat, holster and six-shooters. He works at the local paint store and spends his time womanizing or getting into barroom brawls. He does have a woman who understands him (Elizabeth Ashley) but, like Peter Pan, he refuses to grow up and settle down. His irresponsible, idyllic life is shaken up when the hockey team disbands, an event that tragically leads to a "high noon" with the local police.
Paperback Hero, filmed in Saskatchewan, is a critique of dimwitted machismo and an insightful portrait of declining rural Canada. The film won CANADIAN FILM AWARDS for cinematography, editing and overall sound, but for a long time it disappeared from view. In 2006 the Toronto International Film Festival's Film Circuit re-struck a new print and put the film back in circulation.