11 user 4 critic

Winter Comes Early (1971)

Face-Off (original title)
Love story involving a Canadian professional hockey player (Billy Duke) and a hippie folk singer (Sherry Nelson). Their union is tumultuous, as both try to come to terms with their ... See full summary »


George McCowan


George Robertson (screenplay)


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Armstrong Bruce Armstrong ... Billy at age 3
Eric Cryderman Eric Cryderman ... Father
Don Allen Don Allen ... Billy at age 11
Kay Hawtrey ... Mother
Kathryn Carlling Kathryn Carlling ... Estelle Age 3
Art Hindle ... Billy Duke
Steve Pernie Steve Pernie ... Joe MacMillian
Derek Sanderson Derek Sanderson ... Himself
Trudy Young Trudy Young ... Sherry Nelson
Frank Moore ... Barney
George Ealsom George Ealsom ... Max
Robin White Robin White ... Bud
Perry Thompson Perry Thompson ... Garry
Austin Willis Austin Willis ... Graydon Hunter
John Vernon ... Fred Wares


Love story involving a Canadian professional hockey player (Billy Duke) and a hippie folk singer (Sherry Nelson). Their union is tumultuous, as both try to come to terms with their differences in careers and lifestyles. They realize too late that they both love each other. Written by Anita Culley

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A great hockey movie! See more »


Drama | Romance | Sport


PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 November 1971 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Winter Comes Early See more »

Filming Locations:

Weston, Ontario, Canada See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The fight scene with the L.A. Kings is footage taken from a brawl between the Leafs and Kings that happened January 23, 1971 following an altercation involving Toronto goaltender Jacques Plante and L.A. forwards Bill Flett and Ed Joyal. Both benches cleared, resulting in 52 minutes in penalties. The Kings would go on to win the game 3-2. See more »


As Billy digs hard for the puck during his first Leafs practice, George Armstrong says "Easy...take it easy" even though his lips don't move. The line is obviously dubbed in by someone else. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Three stars for the movie, ten for the hockey
17 June 2019 | by stevenfallonnycSee all my reviews

*Whew* just in case it wasn't made clear in any other review, I'll just say it flat-out....this is a horrible movie, but the hockey scenes are fantastic.

First, the movie part. It's touted as "the Canadian 'Love Story'" so that tells you where it's going, only it hardly ever feels like the film goes anywhere. The acting is horrible. There's no chemistry at all between the two leads. We're subjected to some long "romantic" scenes that are painful due to the lack of chemistry. The direction is abysmal. This is a very drab and dull film....except for the hockey.

I remember seeing "Face-Off" as a kid on TV here in NYC in the early 70s, and have searched for a bootleg for years. Finally the film had a proper release and I picked it up immediately. As a lifetime NHL and NY Rangers fan, I vaguely remembered all the great footage. And great it is. Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Gordie Howe and many others in fantastic action on the ice. Where else are you gonna see Orr pass to Espo for a beautiful goal from a view behind the goalie? The footage is just amazing.

So if you like old-time hockey (no, Eddie Shore is not in it, but 'Moe' is!) with some of the game's greatest and most legendary players, there's just no doubt at all that this film is a must. However, if you couldn't care less about hockey, this is a flat romance pic that even fans of 70s films will find difficult to stay awake for.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 11 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Recently Viewed