Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 107 min
Melenny Productions Inc.
Every Monday night, thirteen regular guys from diverse backgrounds – "Les Boys" – get together to play hockey in a local beer league. After every game, they retire to Chez Stan, a bar owned by the team’s coach and sponsor (Rémy Girard), who seems to have assembled the team just to keep his bar stocked with regular customers on Monday nights. A compulsive gambler, Stan is in deep to Méo (Pierre Lebeau), the local mafioso, who threatens to kill him if he can’t settle his debts. Stan wagers his bar on the outcome of Les Boys’ last game of the season – which, of course, is against Méo’s squad of goons – and it is up to the team to come through, no matter what it takes.
Les Boys was met with an overwhelmingly negative response from critics upon its release in Quebec, but the film was embraced by the public. Its box-office success was unprecedented: Les Boys grossed nearly seven million dollars in Quebec alone and became the biggest domestic hit in the history of Canadian cinema. Clearly, its homegrown sensibility and endless jokes about Québécois identity struck a collective nerve among the province’s moviegoers. Les Boys did very little business in English Canada, but it handily won the Golden Reel Award as the year’s highest grossing film (and earned Rémy Girard a Genie Award nomination for Lead Actor). It was followed by two sequels, Les Boys II (1998) and Les Boys III (2001) – both were similarly ravaged by critics; both also netted Golden Reel Awards.