Lassie comes home (again) but this time as a horse. Eric Knight shouldn't have to had break a sweat writing this "original" with the only difference in the basic plot line (from "Lassie Comes Home") being that a horse, rather than a dog, has to make the arduous journey back to it's young master (a girl rather than a boy) and a locale change from England to the American West. It begins in a drought-stricken region where Frank and Em MacWade dread to tell their young daughter, Meg, that her beloved colt Gypsy has been sold, for financial reasons, as a potential race horse. The horse breaks away from its new owner twice, and is admonished by Meg each time, before the horse is transported 500 miles away to a race track. But Gypsy escapes again and begins his 500-mile trek back to his young mistress. On his trek back, he has encounters with a group of cowboys, a gang of wild motorcyclists and a young Mexican boy, in addition to the terrain problems. Gypsy one-ups Lassie as he also brings a... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Uninspired remake of "Lassie Come Home" uses colt instead of collie...
Children will probably find something to appreciate in GYPSY COLT, but it's simply an uninspired remake of LASSIE COME HOME using a colt instead of a collie to tell the tale of an animal that can't stay away from its youthful owner. In this case, the owner is DONNA CORCORAN, a cute girl under contract to MGM at the time--but the acting and direction is a constant reminder that this is a B-film masquerading as an A-product.
Scenery is spectacular (of the American West), but the tale bears all the earmarks of the "Lassie" story--even down to the animal knowing when it's three o'clock and time to drop in at the school. Townspeople can set their watches at the sight of the colt racing down the street toward the schoolhouse.
WARD BOND and FRANCES DEE have very little to work with as the parents who have to sell the horse in order to make ends meet--and praying that it will rain so their crops will survive. The horse is a black beauty, sleek and proud and there are beautiful shots of it racing along highways and desert sands, pursued by cowboys at one time, motorcyclists at another, and finally taken care of briefly by a Mexican boy who finally lets the horse free from confinement after rescuing it in the desert. "Horse go home," he tells it reluctantly.
It's a simple little film that probably pleased the kiddies at Saturday matinees--but there's a tired look to the acting by all of the adults. Only the horse and the children seem to understand what this is all about.
Trivia note: Interesting to see LEE VAN CLEEF as the mean stable man, years before he joined Clint Eastwood for more villainy.
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