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A Dog of Flanders (1959)

 -  Drama | Family  -  17 March 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 256 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 2 critic

The emotional story of a boy, his grandfather, and his dog. The boy's dream of becoming a great classical painter appears shattered when his loving grandfather dies.



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A small poor boy lives with his caring grandfather in a small Flemish village in the 19th century Belgium, has a lovable pet dog, loves art and dreams of becoming a famous painter one day. Based on a famous Flemish novel.

Director: Yoshio Kuroda
Stars: Makoto Tsumura, Sakura Tange, Brady Bluhm


Cast overview, first billed only:
Max Croiset ...
Monique Ahrens ...
Siobhan Taylor ...
Alois (as Siohban Taylor)
Gijsbert Tersteeg ...
(as Gijsb Tersteeg)
John Soer ...
Katherine Holland ...
Ilse Cogez
Lo van Hensbergen ...
The Priest
Hans Tiemeyer
Maxim Hamel
John De Freese
Matthieu van Eysden ...
(as Mathieu van Eysden)
Katja Berndsen


The emotional story of a boy, his grandfather, and his dog. The boy's dream of becoming a great classical painter appears shattered when his loving grandfather dies.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Wonderful family entertainment the whole world will love! See more »


Drama | Family


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 March 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Doce Aurora da Vida  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There are several Lassie connections in this film. The dog trainer on this movie is Frank Weatherwax, the brother of Lassie's trainer, Rudd Weatherwax. Donald Crisp,who plays David Ladd's grandfather here, played the father in "Lassie Come Home" (1942)and had roles in three "Lassie" movies. Crisp was also James Brown, the kirk yard keeper, in Disney's Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog (1961). See more »


The scene when Nello is walking the little girl back to her house after bringing the dog home: The camera is in front of them as they walk, and you can see the tire tracks of the camera as it stays in front of them. See more »


Referenced in Patrasche: A Dog of Flanders, Made in Japan (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the loveliest family flicks ever, be aware that a river of tears will fall but there is a happy ending, too
18 May 2011 | by (Toledo, Ohio) – See all my reviews

Pre-teen Nello (David Ladd) lives with his grandfather (Donald Crisp) in Antwerp. The young boy's parents are dead and the two remaining family members are extremely poor. Renting a small house, the two eek out a meager living delivering milk for the local dairymen. But, alas, grandpa has a bad leg and other health issues, too. One day, Nello finds a badly beaten dog on the side of the road, having been left there to die by his horrible peddler owner, who used the dog to pull a small wagon. Despite their poverty, Grandpa consents to taking the canine home and trying to save his life. They succeed. Now, there are three mouths to feed. Nello spends his spare time drawing, having talks with a neighboring girl, and going to the local cathedral to view a painting by Rubens. Now, the dog helps Nello make deliveries of milk while grandfather rests his leg, leading to the peddler trying to "steal" his dog back when he sees the boy. Also, Nello makes friends with a local artist, who encourages the lad to enter a drawing contest. The prize money would help him greatly. But, with Grandpa's health declining and the local milk merchants turning to others for the deliveries, what will be that fate of three good-hearted and hard-working souls? This is a lovely, lovely film that, once again, I have missed over the years. For one thing, the film may have been shot in black and white but the colorized version I watched was vibrantly appealing. What's not to love about the country of Holland, with its windmills and tulips everywhere? The cast is very fine, too, with Ladd and Crisp giving extremely touching turns, backed up nicely by the supporting cast members. The lovable four-legged star is a pleasure as well. Also complimenting the film are a nice score, a sweet script and a varied direction, where twists and turns result in tears and smiles alike. Families, everywhere, do your clan a huge favor and get this classic 1959 film. Every viewer, young and old, will benefit from AND enjoy a showing.

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