A German Shepherd puppy is "adopted" by a wolf pack in the snowy and frozen Great North and raised by them as one of their own. A few years later he comes upon a fur trapper and saves the ...
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A German Shepherd puppy is "adopted" by a wolf pack in the snowy and frozen Great North and raised by them as one of their own. A few years later he comes upon a fur trapper and saves the man from certain death, and begins to feel a kinship with him that is stronger than the one he has with his adopted pack. Written by
One of the earliest Rin-Tin-Tin silents--great for those who love both melodrama and dogs
At the beginning of this film, Rin-Tin-Tin's fictional back-story is explained--evidently, he emerged during World War I in Germany and had a sister, but the sister got TB and died. However, Rinty was taken from the Germans by allied forces and brought back...to the Great White North...as a mascot. He gets lost when his cage falls off a sled, and he winds up being raised by wolves. Some time later, he finds a human (the human star of the piece, Walter McGrail, who "speaks" in the inter-title cards with the kind of bogus French accent often found in "Northwest" outdoor dramas, whether they be set in Canada or Alaska), nurses him back to health, and goes after his attacker. We then enter one of those archetypal western melodrama plots, here transferred to the "Northwest" genre, where a young lady is coveted by the successful business owner who tries to sabotage her poor, hard-working, honest beau. Director Chester M. Franklin returned to working with dogs both in the silent era (WILD JUSTICE) and the early sound era (his last directorial credit is TOUGH GUY with Rin Tin Tin Jr. and Jackie Cooper), and his last credit of any kind is the 1951 Lassie classic THE PAINTED HILLS, which he produced. I've seen two other silent Rin-Tin-Tin epics, and this one, running a full 75 minutes, is the most complex and the most satisfying. I watched it with my teenage daughter (her brother went out to the multiplex and saw THE RING 2, which is HIS loss!), and she sat through the whole thing, enjoying watching the wheels of melodrama plot development turning (and finding the depiction of women as weak, dependent figures who faint at important moments to be quite interesting!) and surrendering to Rinty's undoubted charisma. This may have been made 82 years ago, but it's still an exciting family-friendly adventure, and the "Northwest" setting gives it a little local (if imprecise!) color. Highly recommended! The print quality and transfer on the Grapevine DVD are fantastic. There are a number of beautifully framed shots of dogs and wolves in the wilderness, some of which could be framed and hung on a wall, and they look like they were filmed yesterday (just turn up the brightness and sharpness settings on your television).
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