Two little boys have faith in a dog they name Promise, so much faith that they enter him in the championship trials for bird dogs. The favorite is Georgia Boy bred and trained by the boys' ... See full summary »
Two little boys have faith in a dog they name Promise, so much faith that they enter him in the championship trials for bird dogs. The favorite is Georgia Boy bred and trained by the boys' fathers. And if Georgia Boy doesn't win, the fathers may both lose their jobs. Written by
Dale O'Connor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
One of over 700 Paramount productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »
[Although he lost the field trial, Promise's performance did not go unnoticed]
I was wrong about that dog all along.
It's easy to see how enough love and faith can outclass a whole kennel of thoroughbreds.
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"The Biscuit Eater" (Paramount, 1940), directed by Stuart AHeisler, pre-dates all those sentimental "boy and his dog" tales so popular on 1950s television and Walt Disney family dramas (such as "Old Yeller" in 1957), but I feel this is one of the best of the litter. It features a cast of actors not known for playing lead roles but perform their parts as if the viewer is looking in on actual people. Billy Lee (1929-1989) stars as the little boy named Lonnie, accompanied by his best friend, Text (Cordell Hickman), who is black. They take an unwanted dog from a litter of puppies and hope to train the animal into a champion bird hunter. Richard Lane is featured as Lonnie's father who feels the dog, named Promise, is no good, and doesn't want it around, but of course Lonnie proves Dad wrong as well as everyone else. Then there is an ending that can move any unsentimental hardball to tears. Also in the cast are Helene Millard as Lonnie's mother, Lester Matthews as Captain Ames, and Frederick 'Snowflake' Toones as Text's dad. The actors here, even the animals, are all believable and excellent. As Bob Dorian, former host of American Movie Classics cable channel where "The Biscuit Eater" played regularly from 1994 to 1999, says that the movie was filmed on location (something rare in those days) in Albany, Georgia. "The Biscuit Eater," which runs at 81 minutes, is good family entertainment. The brief scene in the everglades where Lonnie and Text try to retrieve their dog, Promise, from a very old and zombie-like Negro, might scare some younger viewers, but on and all, worth watching. "The Biscuit Eater" was later remade by Walt Disney in 1972 with Johnny Whittaker (Jody of TV's "Family Affair") and George Spell. To date, the 1940 original is not available for purchase or video cassette rental. What a pity. (***1/2)
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