CBC Digital Archives CBC butterfly logo

CBC Archives has a new look: Please go to cbc.ca/archives to access the new site.

The page you are looking at will not be updated.

Welcome to Vancouver’s Skid Row

The Story

This documentary, produced by Allan King, examines the life of the alcoholic derelict on Vancouver's "skid row". In this segment, Jimmy, who lives by the harbour, talks about his life over the years and how he has survived living on the streets. His answers reflect the hopelessness he feels about his day-to-day existence, often panhandling and spending the money on alcohol.

Medium: Television
Program: Explorations: Skidrow
Broadcast Date: Jan. 22, 1957
Producer: Allan King
Duration: 4:34

Did You know?

Skid Row, which was filmmaker Allan King's first documentary, featured a script by Ben Maartman and narration by Art Hives. John Avison composed the original music. It tells the story of three homeless men who are poor, unemployed and addicted to alcohol.

• King continued to produce and later direct documentaries for the CBC before going independent. His most famous documentaries were carefully prepared and researched in advance, yet were known for their controversy. Two films, A Married Couple (1969) and Warrendale (1967), broke boundaries for their unfiltered realism and established King as one of the world's best documentary filmmakers.

• Allan King was born in Vancouver in 1930. He went into filmmaking because he "had a fantasy (that) everyone would see my films and be changed for the better. That's why you want to make films." 




Other Poverty more