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Rusty Leads the Way (1948)

Approved | | Drama | 21 October 1948 (USA)
Thirteen-year-old Danny Mitchell befriends Penny Waters, a little blind girl who is shy who is shy and lonely. DAnny intercedes for Penny when she is about to be sent to the State ... See full summary »



(screenplay) (as Arthur Ross), (story) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Ted Donaldson ...
Louise Adams
Peggy Converse ...
Mrs. Waters


Thirteen-year-old Danny Mitchell befriends Penny Waters, a little blind girl who is shy who is shy and lonely. DAnny intercedes for Penny when she is about to be sent to the State Institution for the Blind and she is sent to a guide-dog school. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

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Release Date:

21 October 1948 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Followed by Rusty's Birthday (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

An assist form Rusty
9 June 2007 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

(Slight Spoilers) Rusty is more then happy to play second fiddle in this movie about a blind 13 year-old girl Penny Waters, Sharyn Moffett, who feels that she's been abandoned by the dog, Tubby, that was assigned to her to be her seeing-eye guide dog. More of a public interest documentary then a boy, and in this case girl, and his dog type of film "Rusty Leads he Way" goes out of its way in showing the audience how important it is to have trust between ourselves and our best friends, dogs, to succeed in what ever we're involved with them. Which in this case is them being our eyes as well as ears when we are, by accident of quirk of nature, unable to use our own.

It's when Danny Mitchell, Ted Donaldson, is outside playing with his dog Rusty that he almost by accident comes across little Penny Waters when he sees Penny through her window, that she slams on him. Later Danny hears Penny playing the piano and decides to introduce himself. Danny feeling a bit hurt in what he thinks is Pennys unneighborly reaction to him soon finds out that she's blind and also very depressed in not being able to go to the local school because of her blindness. Being an expert piano player at the tender age of 13 Penny is consumed in playing the piano and becoming a concert pianist. Yet it's her inability to overcome her blindness that seems too much for Penny to handle and that causes Penny to fall into a very dangerous depression in always feeling sorry or herself.

It's with the help of both Danny and Rusty, who for a while acts as her seeing eye dog, that Penny gains confidence in being able to fend for herself outside the safe confines of her home. Later when Penny's mother Mrs. Waters, Peggy Converse, enroll her at the Reed Institute that provides seeing eyes for the blind everything at first seems to be going great for Penny. It's there that she's assigned the dog that's to be her eyes and ears when she's outside in the world that she's been terrified of a sad-sack looking boxer called Tubby.

Touching and at the same time educational film about how important it is for man and canine to bond together in order to be able to help each other. Which in this case has to do with a very frighten Penny being guided through the streets and roads of the town and nearby countryside by her seeing eye dog Tubby. Tubby only wants, the only thing that he'll ever want, from Penny in return for his effort is her love and friendship as well as confidence in him being able to look after her and see that nothing bad would happen to Penny.

Because of her feeling rejected by Tubby when he mistakenly followed his trainer Miss Davis, Mary Currier, out of her room when she introduced Tubby to her Penny never felt comfortable with Tubby. Later when she and Tubby were given the final test in seeing how compatible they were with each other in walking thought the heavily traveled streets alone, with out Miss Davis being there to watch over them, Penny suffered a severe panic attack and almost ran, leaving Tubby behind, into traffic. Tubby coming to Penny's rescue charged after her and prevented Penny, by knocking her down, from being killed in a car accident.

Penny not being able to see what Tubby did for her, saving Pennys life, thought that he abandoned her and lost all her confidence in being able to go through life with Tubby, or for that matter any other dog, as a seeing-eye guide. It's later when Tubby is sent back to the Reed Institute to be assigned to another blind person that he makes a break for it jumping out of the car and shoots back to his friend Penny Waters. It's then that Tubby get his lease caught in a tree stump but fear not everything is taken cares of by Rusty, whom you for a while forgot was in the movie.Rusty picks up Tubbys barks for help and runs to his rescue reuniting him and Penny who, finally realizes what a loving and caring friend he really is, now has someone to look after as well as see for her.

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