"Rudi come home! I won't let them turn you into sausages!"
An early Clive Donner outing, "Heart Of A Child" is a largely forgettable Lassie-type drama transported to the picturesque Austrian Alps.
Set in the last days of WWI, Herman - the village's poor, drunkard farmer - decides to sell his remaining livestock and faithful dog, Rudi, to the butcher. Understandably, his son is devastated and sets about to prevent Rudi from being taken, even if this brings him quite literally to blows with his abusive father - menacingly played by a young(er) Donald Pleasence (with hair!)
This is pure, short RANK escapism and contains few cinematic revelations. Still, there is a certain charm to be found in these Elstree productions. Something perhaps not found in most of their US counterparts. There is a certain willingness - perhaps due to lower budgets and fewer crew numbers - to permit the inclusion of unconventional shots - giving these productions a free-wheeling effect. Not a film technician, how long exactly have Steadi-Cams been around - can we not see them being employed here?
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