The great Canadian road movie is finally on DVD. If you missed Goin’ Down the Road when it came out in 1970 and then disappeared, apparently forever, you can see it now for the first time, having heard about it all your life from friends who are more au courant than you are, especially Maritime friends, as they were called back then. The story (by William Fruet and Don Shebib) is simple and mythic: a journey into bleakness from unemployment in Cape Breton to underemployment in Toronto, brilliantly directed by Don Shebib, photographed by Richard Leiterman and acted by Doug McGrath and Paul Bradley. The look of 1970s Toronto is utterly convincing (much of the movie was filmed without permits on the street or in bars and restaurants, no questions asked by management, although one bar owner comes over on film and tells them to clean up their language). The DVD includes great additional materials, including footage of a long, excruciating TV interview that Pierre Berton did with Don Shebib when the movie came out. Berton is everything that the counterculture was made to resist: smug, bow-tied, supercilious and old beyond his age (as an old man he became much younger, as did many of that generation; in 1971 he gives you the shivers). Goin’ Down the Road is as good as it has been rumoured to be and hasn’t dated at all. Midnight Cowboy, which came out at about the same time, feels stale in comparison, a mere allegory of the evil at the heart of urbanity, whereas Goin’ Down the Road is a story that we know to be true because we know the people in it, who are us, goin’ down the road.