In the small town of Lawtonville, Illinois, Rusty, high school junior Danny Mitchell's beloved pet German Shepherd, is celebrating a birthday soon. Danny is giving Rusty a new engraved ...
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In small town Lawtonville, Illinois, teen-aged Danny Mitchell, his German Shepard Rusty, and Danny's five similarly aged friends have been close companions with aging and wealthy Counsellor... See full summary »
In Nazi Germany in 1936 seven men escape from a concentration camp. The camp commander puts up seven crosses and, as the Gestapo returns each escapee he is put to death on a cross. The ... See full summary »
Danny Mitchell, feeling that he has been misunderstood (nothing new for this kid in this series) by his parents, takes his dog, Rusty, and leaves home, camping out near the trailer of ... See full summary »
A woman is found murdered in a house along the coast from Brighton. Local detectives Fellows and Wilks lead an investigation methodically following up leads and clues mostly in Brighton and... See full summary »
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 »
Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep ... See full summary »
In the small town of Lawtonville, Illinois, Rusty, high school junior Danny Mitchell's beloved pet German Shepherd, is celebrating a birthday soon. Danny is giving Rusty a new engraved collar for his birthday off of which they can hang his license. However, before Rusty's birthday, Rusty, through a series of misadventures, goes missing without any identification. He eventually ends up with the Neeleys - father Virgil, teen-aged son Bill, and infant son Jeff - a poor itinerant family, as Virgil looks for work in the area. Danny assumes that the Neeleys stole Rusty, which was not the case. Beyond Danny jumping to this conclusion from which he does not budge, he runs into a larger problem with young Jeff, who believes Rusty, who he has renamed Gladly, is rightfully his. But Danny butts heads with Bill even more. Bill and Danny's dislike of each other seems to stem not from each other per se as they don't even really know each other, but what the other represents. As Virgil hopes to stay ... Written by
The eighth and final film in Columbia's Rusty series features the dog playing a much bigger part than in previous films. This time out Danny (Ted Donaldson) buys his dog a collar for his birthday but he doesn't want to put it on him until the special day. When Rusty goes chasing a bad guy he ends up with a friendly couple who thinks he's a stray and takes him with them and soon Rusty must find his way back home. His adventure back leads to a poor family who are struggling to make a living but soon the dog brings the family closer to Danny and his parents (John Litel, Ann Doran). RUSTY'S BIRTHDAY runs just 60-minutes but there's quite a bit of story in such a little film. Or, I should say, there's a lot of small stuff going on in this film that never really adds up in the end and this final episode, while decent, really doesn't accomplish much. I think fans of the series should at least get a little entertainment out of this thing but there's still no doubt that it's one of the weakest. The biggest problem is that the story never really can focus on anything because it's constantly jumping back and forth between Danny's story and the story of the poor family. It doesn't help that Danny is once again being a jerk and after a while his attitude does begin to anger the viewer. As with previous entries, the performances by the three leads are all good and we even get a strong performance by Ray Teal as the poor father trying to give his sons a better life. RUSTY'S BIRTHDAY might not be a complete winner but at just 60-minutes it's worth watching for fans.
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