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We all know that "Old Yeller" is a classic. It will always stand out as
one of the best live-action Disney films of its time. With that said,
does any kind of follow-up film deserve any attention? "Savage Sam"
certainly does. It is another well made Disney adventure. Classic?
Almost, but "Old Yeller" was a tough act to follow.
I found "Savage Sam" refreshing because it made no attempt to be anything like "Yeller". Sam the dog is not a threat to anyone. In this movie, he is also not the center of attention. This story is different; Travis and Arliss are older. That's how it should be. Six years passed between the release of the movies.
Brian Keith was great in this film. Here, he is supposed to be the younger brother of Fess Parker's character in "Yeller". I really liked him here.
As another DVD in my Disney collection, everyone in the family enjoyed it. I give it *** out of four stars.
I saw this movie within the last few years and sadly is one of those
films, that while not the worst I have seen...just didn't click with
me. Yes, "Savage Sam" had a tough act to follow, and one has to keep in
mind that it should be watched with the understanding that it was not
intended to be another "Old Yeller". But due to several factors, in my
opinion, this movie could have been a lot better.
*There is confusion as to how Sam is related to Old Yeller. Is he supposed to be the now grown dog seen in the original "Old Yeller" as a puppy? Or did Yeller stud another female around the same time resulting in the dog seen in "Savage Sam"? Or was the spotted dog seen in "Savage Sam" a litter mate to the yellow pup seen in O.Y?
*The acting, in my opinion seems lackluster. While Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran displayed amazing chemistry in "Old Yeller" and many of the other films they starred in together...they seemed to be "going through the motions" in this picture.
*The story pacing was a bit choppy...often boring. Fred Gipson's book of the same title provides some background and imagery, helping to keep the story moving along. Seems to be missing here.
*Finally, yes there were settler/Indian battles from that time era, but Disney did indeed paint Native Americans in an excessively evil light. Could have been handled better...this is where background and history of the conflict could have been developed a bit better.
All in all, this movie is not unwatchable...but due to flaws which I have described, I think the movie is weak...despite me keeping in mind that "Savage Sam" is no "Old Yeller".
If you like the old Disney family movies like Old Yeller, Parent Trap,
Family Robinson, Davy Crockett, etc., then you will probably like this
movie. While it is advertised as a sequel to Old Yeller, the only
similarities are the same actors are back for the boys and Mr. Searcy and
the story does involve a dog. That's it for similarities.
You are best to watch this movie for what it is and ignore the sequel part. Brian Keith is a nice addition to the movie playing the boys' uncle and though it is familiar story, it is not a repeat of the original story as so many sequels tend to be.
I can't believe this movie is even listed. i love it, don't get me wrong, but i didn't think anyone else knew it existed. Savage Sam is a great movie for everyone. I used to watch it at my grandmother's house on tape when i was little, but i saw it again recently and loved it just as much as ever. The characters are kind of hokey, but so what. You don't find characters like this anymore. Travis is so cute, with his hot temper and rock throwing. I think that everyone should give it a chance, after all Savage Sam is Old Yeller's pup.
I actually liked the book Savage Sam better even than Old Yeller. But
the movie was poor and here are three key reasons why:
1) Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, and Chuck Conners were missing, even though their characters (Katie & Jim Coates, and Burn Sanderson, respectively) were key in the book. They were replaced by an uncle who came out of nowhere, played by Brian Keith. It really damaged the continuity of the two films.
2) Secondly, in the book Savage Sam was the son of Old Yeller, but in the movies this is obviously not the case. The puppy at the end of Old Yeller is clearly not a hound dog, and Sam is clearly not the offspring of a Lab mix like Old Yeller. The movie explanation of what happened to "Young Yeller" as well as where Sam came from? None is offered.
3) Finally, and most important, too much time had passed between the making of the films. Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran were clearly too old to be playing the young Coates brothers by the time Savage Sam was made.
Pity, because it could have been a wonderful film.
Savage Sam, except for it's association with Ol' Yeller, would be a
completely innocuous but more or less forgotten addition to the Disney
library. The problem with Savage Sam is twofold.
First, it was (and is) marketed as a sequel to Ol' Yeller. How could any film stand up to that kind of comparison? Yes, the book was by the same author and meant to be a tale of a son of Ol' Yeller. But trying to sell that movie as a sequel never had a chance - Fess Parker was doing a TV show and unavailable, the book itself is weak, and the scripting is sluggish.
Secondly, and this true of all movies from that time - the portrayal of the Indians was so biased that it's painful to watch as those Irish stunt men in red paint whoop it up.
Is it watchable? Yes, but view it a a separate entity, not a sequel.
Stop over-thinking it! This movie was made in 1963! As a child, I didn't realize it was a sequel to Old Yeller and I didn't care. I took it for what it was-a movie about two boys and a dog in the old west. Yeah, watching it now, I see that it's corny and the portrayal of the Apaches is less than politically correct. But if you pay close attention toward the end of the movie, there is a nod to the concept that maybe it isn't really the "Indians" who are the savages after all. This is unusual for a 60's film but especially one so enthusiastically criticized here as being shallow, cheesy, etc. The movie speaks to the innocence of the early 60's-just enjoy it! And to those of you who say the dog has no personality-you must not know dogs...
Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, and Jeff York repeat their roles from Old
Yeller in this sequel film about Old Yeller's son, Savage Sam. The
Coates boys from the first film have grown up considerably and Tommy is
fully into puberty and thinking about York's daughter in a different
light. Marta Kirsten later of Lost In Space plays a more grownup
version of the part introduced by Beverly Washburn.
The parents of Travis and Arliss Coates are away and their uncle Brian Keith comes to look out for the family. Nevertheless on a Comanche raid, Kirk, Corcoran, and Kirsten are all captured although Kirk manages to escape. When Keith who is leading a posse after them finds Kirk, the dog proves invaluable in tracking the kids down and aiding in their rescue.
Although I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would want to rescue Kevin Corcoran. He's a royal pain to both the red men and white men alike. I can't believe the Indians just didn't shoot him and leave him on the trail. As he got older Corcoran's presence was more annoying than cute in a lot of movies and television he did for Disney.
In addition to Keith and York, other members of the posse consist of such western regulars as Royal Dano, Slim Pickens, and Dewey Martin all in parts they would have been typecast for.
Savage Sam is hardly as good a film as Old Yeller though it sure ends better all around for the two legged and four legged players.
Okay...in my opinion, this sequel was better than the original. I cried my butt off in Old Yeller, but something about this movie makes me like it more than Old Yeller. I have seen Savage Sam so many times that I know ALL the words to it. It's a very good children's film, but its a "Movie that all audiences will love" If you like Old Yeller, and Where the Red Fern grows, you will love this movie.
Disney's 'follow-up' to "Old Yeller" from 1957, adapted from the book by "Yeller" author Fred Gipson by Gipson and William Tunberg, happily reunites Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran as the feuding Coates brothers, but this time they're not given anything special to do. The kids are looked after by their uncle, played by Brian Keith, and a floppy-eared dog, a Bluetick Coonhound, said to be Yeller's son. The production seems cheap for Disney, and the tribe of Indians who battle our heroes are like relics from a 1940s b-western. Not even Keith's macho panache can elevate this one. Norman Tokar directed, probably in between other assignments from the studio. Lumbering, by-the-numbers family entry. *1/2 from ****
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