The Love of a Dog for a Boy
L. M Young | Marietta, GA USA | 11/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a superb film, taken nearly word-for-word from Eric Knight's novel about the faithful collie who travels a thousand miles from northern Scotland to England to return to the boy she loves. Lassie is neither Superdog or magically endowed, just following ancient instincts and the love in her heart. The entire cast is marvelous, the color brings the countryside to life, and small scenes will tear your heart out, including Dame May Whitty as a lonely old lady willing to let Lassie go rather than have her fret."
Timeless "Boy And His Dog", Story That Will Touch Your Heart
Simon Davis | 07/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here we have the "ultimate", Lassie experience with the classic film that first introduced this famous Collie to moviegoers in 1943. Film and TV audiences ever since have had an ongoing love affair with this beautiful dog that always seemed to understand humans better than they often did themselves. It was these "human", qualities that Lassie seemed to possess that made her so endearing to audiences and which made her a movie icon. I know I grew up watching the Lassie television series starring child actor Tommy Rettig however it is this beautiful movie which shows Lassie in her prime, full of love for her master, tremendous strength of character often under difficult circumstances, and a touching warmth that made her almost human and was guaranteed to tug at the heart strings. "Lassie Come Home", provided yet another stunning showcase for child actor Roddy McDowall as Lassie's devoted master Joe and was also very significant in marking the MGM debut of an incredibly beautiful 10 year old Elizabeth Taylor as Priscilla thus beginning the long career of this legendary actress.Originally there were not high hopes for this "dog picture", as it was termed, so much so that the film was relegated to MGM's "B" department as a minor feature to possibly please wartime audiences. Strangely for a second string film it was shot in colour which was a blessing as it greatly enhanced the story of a Collie's efforts to cross a whole country to return to her master. The immortal story of Joe Carraclough (Roddy McDowall) whose love aand devotion to his pet Collie Lassie is mutually shared is just as touching now as it was for war time audiences. Joe is the only son of struggling family head Sam Carraclough (Donald Crisp)who is currently out of work. Along with his wife (Elsa Lanchester) everyday is a trail to put food on the table and as their financial situation worsens they are forced to sell Lassie to the local Duke of Rudling (Nigel Bruce) who lives at the nearby manor with his little granddaughter Priscilla (Elizabeth Taylor). Lassie however missing Joe makes numerous attempts to escape from the kennel at the Manor. Taken by the Duke to Scotland Priscilla can see how unhappy Lassie is away from her real master and she allows Lassie to escape and return home to Yorkshire where she belongs. However the long journey home proves to be an exhausting and at times terrifying one for Lassie. She has to endure frightening electrical storms and having to swim across fast moving rivers in her quest to return home. Injured in a fight with a hunting dog where she is shot at for tresspassing Lassie now near death from exhaustion and hunger is taken in by a kindly elderly couple and nursed back to health. The old woman, (Dame May Whitty), grows very attached to Lassie but rightly senses that she is in the middle of a journey of some kind which she must now resume. Lassie next encounters a lovable travelling salesman Rowlie (Edmund Gwenn), who with his little dog Toots temporarily takes Lassie along on his selling travels. Tragedy strikes however when Rowlie is robbed and Toots is killed and finally Rowlie also senses that Lassie must go on to what she needs to do. Finally Lassie makes it back home to Joe and his family and when the Duke and Priscilla visit they can see that Lassie is where she belongs with her loving family. All ends happily when the Duke offers Sam a job caring for the dogs at the Manor. First class entertainment is the only way to describe "Lassie Come Home". Based on the equally loved novel by war veteran Eric Knight the films rich "English", feel despite being filmed in the United States due to the war is typical MGM and was what studio head Louis B. Mayer loved to see in his movies. Inspired by the huge success of other "English", themed movies such as the classic "Mrs. Miniver", it went on to enjoy huge success at the Box Office. Certainly apart from Lassie's obvious screen appeal the cast of "Lassie Come Home", is a memorable one. Donald Crisp and Elsa Lanchester as Joe's devoted parents who are tortured by the necessity of selling their son's dog in order to survive are heartbreakingly sincere in their playing. Nigel Bruce and Edmund Gwenn in their respective roles provide the necessary local feel to this story so totally associated with the British Isles. Elizabeth Taylor even at this early age shows a delightfully enchanting screen presence that enabled her to mature into one of Hollywood's greatest adult legends and here her beauty even as a 10 year old is startling. She was selected for the role due to her still present English accent as like Roddy McDowall she was a recent evacuee from war torn London. Director Fred M. Wilcox who is perhaps best remembered nowadays for his direction of the sci fi classic "Forbidden Planet", shows a particular flair in directing the younger members of the cast such as the still largely inexperienced Elizabeth Taylor. The films has a beautiful musical score and also boasts "A" grade cinematography, that gives the film a rich authentic English feel to it. "Lassie Come Home", has something for all viewers to cherish and if you are someone that thinks sentiment should be seen more often in movies like myself, then you can't go past this great film. Wholesome and moving family entertainment is not common nowadays and it seems hard to imagine in our present movie culture a dog like Lassie becoming a star in her own right as she did in 1943 with this film. "Lassie Come Home",is guaranteed to move even the hardest cynic with its simple message of the devoted love that exists between a person and their dog. You dont have to even been a dog lover to enjoy this film as the wonderful characters, excellent photography and great acting by veteran performers and the younger cast members alike make this a classic not to be missed. Treat yourself to a viewing of this superb film soon and you will see why the legend of Lassie has endured for over 60 years."
When we were young
John Fenech | 05/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I was a little boy I used to go to the movies every week and three of the great films that Ill never forget are those of the wonder dog Lassie the heart warming stories are magnificently captored in these dvd that i bought from Amazon . If your'e looking for some family and clean entertainment I suggest to readers to buy these films from Amazon at great price for such great films. John Fenech Malta."
Each time you see this, you love Lassie more and more
Becky | 06/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This beautiful movie is a wonderful tale about love and loyalty. When Lassie is separated from her master, it breaks both their hearts, but instead of remaining heartbroken, Lassie decides to venture home over one of the most perilous journeys ever depicted on film, all for the sake of love and loyalty. It was the movie that caused us to fall in love with Lassie, and the fact that it is still considered a classic almost sixty years after its initial release makes it obvious that the love we feel for Lassie will never die."