So I finally had some time to pull out imavision.com’s documentary on the greatest player to wear a Montreal Canadiens sweater in the last 40 years.
It’s been out for several months, and I bought my copy of “Il etait une fois…Guy Lafleur” back in February. A busy schedule, and an unexpectedly prolonged but welcomed Habs playoff run, put viewing it that on the backburner. The fact that it is only available in French, with no subtitles, required some “quiet time” to allow me to translate the conversations and interviews.
The documentary has a nice setting as Lafleur is interviewed by noted journalist, author and screenwriter Rejean Tremblay as they take a VIA train from Laval to Toronto. Their final destination is the Hockey Hall of Fame, which at the time featured the Canadiens Centennial Exhibit.
Lafleur’s life, and notably his hockey career, is chronicled from a PeeWee prodigy and straight through to his retirement from the Canadiens in 1984 and his comeback four years later.
Along the way, Lafleur and Tremblay are joined by former Canadiens Rejean Houle, Guy Lapointe and Yvon Lambert. The group of teammates recant their times together, most notably against the Boston Bruins during the late seventies.
There is no stone unturned as Lafleur’s life, including his family’s personal and recent legal troubles is looked at. Both LaFleur and his wife Lise give their candid sides to the burdens of sharing family life with fame, and their son Mark’s battle with Tourette’s and addiction.
It clearly gives a better look at what the Lafleur family endured in the last few years, over that of what the public was fed by the media.
Throughout the documentary, there is an elaborate collection of photos and video clips from Lafleur’s days as a child to present.
A second disc consists of a photo gallery and the full interviews with Lafleur, his wife, and the round table of Habs legends. A booklet chronicling Lafleur’s career is also included.
For any Habs or Lafleur fan, this DVD is recommended viewing. “Il etais une fois..Guy Lafleur” is available through amazon.ca for $22.49.