Carry On, Sergeant (1928)


Carry On, Sergeant! is a 1928 Canadian World War I drama, and is considered to be one of the earliest Canadian feature-length motion pictures.

Costing half-a-million to make, it certainly was the most expensive.


Carry On, Sergeant! is the story of four friends who join the army to fight in the First World War.

After years of trench warfare, one of the men (Hugh Buckler) meets a French woman working the taverns. He sleeps with her, but is overcome with guilt and is later killed in battle. His wife (Nancy Ann Hargreaves) back home believes he died a hero and remembers him with love.

This sentimental film, which does not back away from the unpleasant – it was harshly criticised for the affair between a Canadian soldier and a ‘prostitute’ – was released at the end of the silent era and after only a brief theatrical run it disappeared from view.


  • Jimmy Savo … Syd Small.
  • Hugh Buckler… Bob MacKay.
  • Nancy Ann Hargreaves … Ruth MacKay.
  • Niles Welch … Donald Cameron.
  • Louise Cardi.
  • Brenda Bond … Barbara Sinclair.
  • Lewis Dayton … Ralph Moran.
  • Charles Esdale … Colonel Halstead.
  • Laura O’Hara … Mme Voisin.
  • Monroe Owsley … Leonard Sinclair.
  • William T. Stewart … James Cameron.
  • Milton Horn … Sergeant at H.Q. (uncredited).
  • Lorna McLean … Village girl (uncredited).
  • Larry Secombe … Captain Massey (uncredited).
  • Betty Sparling … Nurse (uncredited).


  • It was revived in the 1970s when the National Archives of Canada struck a new print.
    • This film had largely been forgotten until assistant director Gordon Sparling donated his print to the Library and Archives of Canada, who restored it.
  • According to assistant director Gordon Sparling, writer/director Bruce Bairnsfather shot this film without a script.
  • Financial backers of this film included Arthur Meighen and R.B. Bennett, past and future prime ministers of Canada.

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s):
    • Bruce Bairnsfather.
  • Producer(s):
    • Bruce Bairnsfather.
  • Writer(s):
    • Bruce Bairnsfather.
  • Music:
    • Ernest Dainty.
  • Cinematography:
    • Bert Cann.
  • Editor(s):
    • Bruce Bairnsfather.
    • Bert Cann.
  • Production:
    • Canadian International Film.
  • Distributor(s):
    • Facets Multimedia Distribution (USA) (VHS).
  • Release Date: 10 November 1928 (Toronto, Premiere).
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 117 minutes.
  • Country: Canada.
  • Language: English (Silent film).

Video Link

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