Bill's separated from his litter, making friends with the wild creatures until he's found and adopted by young Kathie. An accident separates him from her, and he's drafted into K-9 duty in ... See full summary »
Bill's separated from his litter, making friends with the wild creatures until he's found and adopted by young Kathie. An accident separates him from her, and he's drafted into K-9 duty in the trenches until battle fatigue takes its toll and he turns vicious. And even though he finds his way back home, he may be condemned as a killer. Written by
Not only did she play two different parts in this film (with three different names) but she had two deathbed scenes and played a war hero who turns into a crazed killer. Any actress in Hollywood would have killed for a chance to play that kind of character, which usually leads to an Oscar nomination. But this was no ordinary actress and she wasn't even a female or even a human. We're talking about Lassie, who was played by the greatest female impersonator in the history of the silver screen, otherwise known as Pal.The star of this vehicle not only got away with playing both a male and a female in this picture (a son and his mother) but he/she was such a mega star that the producers could call the film COURAGE OF LASSIE without the character Lassie even being in it.(You wouldn't find Johnny Weissmuller playing the Thin Man in a Tarzan movie, would you?)Be that as it may, Lassie (or should I say Pal?) plays Bill with such acting skill that there should have been an Oscar awarded for the performance. Of course, the Academy would have had the dilemma of not sure whether to give the statuette for the Best Actor or Best Actress. Toss in some cute animal scenes at the beginning and a tear-jerking ending, with some beautiful location footage at Lake Chelan in north central Washington in the middle, and you've got one of the most heartwarming animal movies of that era. You just wouldn't have wanted to tell the star that he/she was an animal. Thespians can be sensitive about that kind of thing. Dale Roloff
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