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Although the film is not exact on all the details of the story, nevertheless, it is a very warm and touching film about why dogs are possibly the most loyal and devoted creatures on this planet (we humans could probably learn a thing or two from them, in that respect). The Scottish setting is well-depicted and there were few wobbly accents to be heard since most of the cast were actually Scottish.
'Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog' remains one of Disney's best films and hasn't dated much despite being more than thirty years old.
Time can play tricks on your memory, but this case it was as good a film as I recalled. It doesn't have any jump cuts, the camera work is simple and steady. The acting however is superb, bringing a genuine life to this mostly true story of a dog's faithfulness to it's departed master.
My family always had dogs, and I watched plenty of Lassie on TV and read the novels of Albert Payson Terhune, so I have always had a close relationship with dogs, my most recent being a 16 year old miniature dachshund.
If you can get your family to sit through it, I suggest it as a great alternative to what's on TV today.
A well constructed screenplay gets us off to a favourable start but the acting all round hits exactly the correct note. Donald Crisp is really excellent as the crusty Scotsman, and lifts Laurence Naismith (Moore and Curtis' boss in the Persuaders) to the same level in their long running feud scenes and affecting melting to friendship through common love of the little dog at the end. Andrew Cruickshank (in the original Dr Finlay) is wonderful as the Lord Provost in the crucial highpoint turnaround scene. The comedy turns like the officious policeman and the court reporter who lets the kids into court are spot on. Even the kids are fine.
The actors stick close to a style suitable for a Disney movie but the clever understatement (helped by the character motivation not wanting to appear too weak in loving a stray dog) make the unfolding story and ending carry a real emotional punch. Yes, it's corny but based on a TRUE corniness, and that's what makes it stand out among Disney (and other!) films. Beautiful colour throughout and if you've ever been to Edinburgh you will like the recreation of the old city. The music is also excellent, the strings perfectly complimenting the Scottish theme with bagpipe like harmonies.
Recommended for children of all ages up to 110.
Get a box of tissues out for the last quarter of an hour and enjoy!
The scenes of Edinburgh are great (with the Edinburgh Castle backdrop). The story-line is so lovely and engaging that, even though at times I knew that I was being manipulated, I cried, laughed and loved every minute of it! The movie was obviously made in a different time in the history of film making; while at the same time the story is about a different time in humanity. I felt that the datedness of the filming techniques made the story even more beautiful and evocative.
The dog is a show stealer, the kids are adorable and the adults are absolutely believable...
Although I pretty much cried from beginning to end, I felt hopeful and more compassionate towards my fellow human beings after watching 'Greyfriars Bobby' than I felt beforehand.
This is truly a classic and I loved it!
In the film (I'm not sure how it was in real life) Greyfrairs Bobby, despite guarding his owner's grave, doesn't spend the whole time there waiting for him to come back. People feed him well and he gets along beautifully with most everyone, especially children.
The film was shot in England and Scotland. Its looks very dated but rich cinematography is one of its virtues, thanks to the enchantment and natural beauty of the Scottish scenario.
I noticed that they often use the expressions "laddie" and "lassie", which are often used by Jock the Scottish Terrier in 'Lady and the Tramp'.
Considering their roles, most actors are alright. But the star is definitely the little great star. Now, who can that be? That's the doggy, of course!
The dog is cute and utterly adorable. His loyalty to his owner in life and even long after death is worthy to be considered and admired. Despite being a dramatic film it has some fun moments. The children of the film are all nice and enjoyable.
Overall, a reasonable film, realistic, poignant. Its only let-down is the courtroom scenes and the rather annoying policeman who looked like a caricature of himself.
Shaggy Skye terrier Bobby is faithful to his master Auld Jock even after his death, sleeping on Jock's grave in Greyfriars kirkyard, eating at the local café owned by Laurence Naismith, playing with the local urchins and catching rats for the kirkyard keeper Donald Crisp. Uniting everyone in respect for his respect for a dead pauper. I wonder if Gordon Jackson was happy with his totally unsympathetic portrayal of Jock's former employer, hard heartedly kicking him out of work to die in the first place which set off the train of events. Helping get you into a Scottish mood there's the usual warm grainy Disney colour of the period complemented with some generally bright music and believable acting, even by the dog. Favourite bits: Bobby continually dodging round Crisp to get to the grave; fine background sets full of uneven wooden furniture and uneven paving; the key scenes with the Lord Provost.
It's recently been suggested that the whole story was made up for tourism purposes, apparently (hem) grave doubts were being cast on Bobby's authenticity even while he - or his look-alike successor - was still alive. Well, what a surprise! But if so it doesn't bother me, it's still an incontrovertible fact that with this Disney had made a wonderful film.
The film here has been fictionalised as two local residents fight for the affection of the dog and the city magistrates taking the dog to court as he does not have a license and no one seems to own him. The children in the area rally to his rescue before the Lord Provost.
Its a touching tale shot on location is Scotland however to expand the story as you cannot have the dog just visiting the grave of Old Jock, it just felt overlong as the caretaker of the graveyard spars with the local tavern owner for the affection of the dog and yet when it comes to the magistrate court he refuses to pay for the dog license which for the 19th century costs a princely sum.
It might have worked better as a shorter film but I feel now stripped of nostalgia, kids watching this would get easily bored of the slight storyline.