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The Silent Call (1961)

 -  Adventure | Drama  -  May 1961 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 60 users  
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When young Guy Brancato's parents have to move from Elko, Nevada to Los Angeles, California, they are unable to take Guy's dog Pete. Guy is angry at his parents and even more distressed ... See full summary »

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Title: The Silent Call (1961)

The Silent Call (1961) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gail Russell ...
Flore Brancato
David McLean ...
Joe Brancato
Roger Mobley ...
Guy Brancato
Roscoe Ates ...
Sid
Milton Parsons ...
Mohammed
...
Old Man
Sherwood Keith ...
Johnny
Jack Younger ...
Muscles
Rusty Wescoatt ...
Moose
Harold 'Tommy' Hart ...
(as H. Tom Hart)
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Storyline

When young Guy Brancato's parents have to move from Elko, Nevada to Los Angeles, California, they are unable to take Guy's dog Pete. Guy is angry at his parents and even more distressed when he learns that Pete has run away from the neighbor who was tending him. But Pete has plans to travel to Los Angeles on his own. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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A Boy and His Dog Separated by 600 Miles...

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

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Release Date:

May 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Silent Call  »

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2.35 : 1
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Trivia

Joe Besser's autobiography indicates that he was cast as Art, the next-door-neighbour. A different actor appears in that role. If the discrepancy was due to the role being recast, Joe's book makes no mention of the change. Besser does not appear in the final cut of this film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not exactly Homeward Bound...
12 December 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... but it was OK if you consider that it was probably made as a children's film 50 years ago. A family moves from Nevada to L.A. due to the man changing jobs. The son's dog Pete will stay behind with a neighbor until the family gets settled, then they will send for him. The dog decides to run away and find his family on his own. The son is crushed when he gets the news, although somehow he knows that Pete is looking for him. This isn't that outlandish if you consider there have been well documented cases of dogs and cats traveling long distances to places they've never been and actually finding the human family to which they belong.

The scenes cut back and forth between the family where the son cannot forgive his dad for leaving Pete behind, to Pete as he travels over mountainous territory to get to L.A. The scenes of the family have a dynamic that is reminiscent of old episodes of Lassie. The two men of the house don't like each other for awhile, and mom is wise in that she nudges rather than shoves the two towards an eventual reconciliation. The scenes with the dog could have been made better if they had not largely consisted of the dog just walking across country. The humans he meets are all friendly and helpful and rather two-dimensional save one, and that scene is very short.

I guess filmmakers of 50 years ago didn't think children could handle anything the least bit tense or suspenseful. Plus I've been spoiled by the Disney live-action films of animals in the wild dating back to the 60's and Disney's TV show. I'd say this is largely of historical interest, that being Gail Russell's last role as the mother of the family - she does a very good job with the material she's given.


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