The Third Walker

The Third Walker is a 1978 Canadian drama film directed by Teri McLuhan.[1] The film explores the effect on two families in Cape Breton Island of having had their infant sons mistakenly switched at birth by the hospital.[2]

The Third Walker
Directed byTeri McLuhan
Produced byTeri McLuhan
Brian Winston
Written byTeri McLuhan
Robert Thom
StarringColleen Dewhurst
William Shatner
Monique Mercure
Anthony Meyer
David Meyer
Frank Moore
Music byPaul Hoffert
CinematographyRichard Lightstone
Edited byUlla Ryghe
Release date
Running time
84 minutes


Kate Maclean (Colleen Dewhurst) and Munro Maclean (William Shatner) have two twin boys, Andrew (Andrew Rankin) and James (Darren DiFonzo). One day at school, Andrew has a new classmate named Étienne Blanchard (Simon Rankin), who looks virtually identical to Andrew and has the same birthday; after medical tests confirm that Étienne and James were switched at the hospital, however, Étienne's mother Marie (Monique Mercure) leaves town rather than complying with the court order to surrender custody of Étienne to the Macleans in exchange for James. This development fractures the Maclean family, as Kate's unrelenting obsession with regaining custody of Étienne destroys her relationships with both Munro and James.[2]

Years later following Munro's death, the now adult Andrew (David Meyer) and Étienne (Anthony Meyer) reunite at his funeral for the first time since the incident; while Andrew has maintained a brotherly bond with James (Frank Moore) despite their mother's attitude, it too is now tested by Andrew's desire to build a closer relationship with his real twin.[2]


The film garnered four Canadian Film Award nominations at the 29th Canadian Film Awards: Best Actor (Moore), Best Supporting Actress (Mercure), Best Cinematography (Richard Lightstone) and Best Musical Score (Paul Hoffert).[3]


  1. "Canadian films go to Cannes market". The Globe and Mail, May 23, 1978.
  2. "Film Reviews: T.C. McLuhan's The Third Walker". Cinema Canada, June 1978. pp. 38-39.
  3. "Four films nominated for Etrogs". The Globe and Mail, August 24, 1978.
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