Set in the rural south of the United States, a bereaved war widow learns to to put aside her bitterness and grief as she grows to love a young orphan boy and the dog that belonged to her ... See full summary »
Set in the rural south of the United States, a bereaved war widow learns to to put aside her bitterness and grief as she grows to love a young orphan boy and the dog that belonged to her late son. Punctuated with song-filled interludes. Written by
Thomas McWilliams <email@example.com>
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 23, 1950 with Jeanette MacDonald reprising her film role. See more »
When Jerry finally decides to go play with Lassie, we can hear someone off-screen give Lassie a command. Right after Jerry says,"Let's have fun now," and hugs Lassie, a man's voice clearly speaks a word off-camera, and Lassie looks in that direction before running off with the boy. See more »
Jeannette MacDonald (as Helen Lorfield Winter) is an opera singer making a comeback, after three years of mourning for her deceased husband. She is devoted to her son, and he is devoted to his dog, Lassie. After a successful comeback concert, Ms. MacDonald's son is killed in a horrific accident; he is hit by a truck while running for Lassie. MacDonald is understandably devastated. Initially, she blames Lassie for contributing to her son's death, but MacDonald is able to forgive Lassie, and she comes to care for the dog as her son would have wished. Pained by the sound of children playing, MacDonald takes Lassie, and moves to the country, where she hopes to enjoy a life of solitude. Then, she and Lassie meet young Claude Jarman Jr. (as Jerry), from a neighboring orphanage
The sentimental storyline in "The Sun Comes Up" is most predictable; but, it hardly matters, as the film does what it does well. First of all, this (the fifth in the original series) is the best "Lassie" since the 1943 original. Richard Thorpe is an unexpected success, seamlessly directing a seemingly difficult mix of children, seasoned professionals, and Lassie. In her last feature film, Jeannette MacDonald could not have been more capable; certainly, she ends her movie career on a high note. Jarman Jr., of "The Yearling" is a well-chosen Lassie co-star. Lassie performs expertly. André Previn provides an appropriately swell score. The film ends with a well-done fiery rescue.
When the film threatens to become too predictable, or sentimental, you can enjoy delightful supporting pros, like: Lewis Stone (an MGM classic), Percy Kilbride ("Pa Kettle"), and Margaret Hamilton (Oz' Wicked Witch). Tarzan's "boy" Johnny Sheffield appears (to have hanged up his loincloth). Other kids making impressions are: Dwayne Hickman ("Dobie Gillis") as "Hank", Teddy Infuhr (also from the "Ma and Pa Kettle" series) as "Junebug", and Michael McGuire (who'll possess the "Dark Shadows" cast in 1970) as "Cleaver".
******* The Sun Comes Up (1/27/49)) Richard Thorpe ~ Jeanette MacDonald, Claude Jarman Jr., Lloyd Nolan, Lassie
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