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Fourteen-year-old Chris is haunted by the death of his father and resentful of his stepfather Cal. He befriends a lost dog and names it Smoke, but tries to keep it a secret for fear Cal will take the dog away. Written by
Eric Sorensen <Eric_Sorensen@fc.mcps.k12.md.us>
This film works on three levels; it is a boy and his dog story, a story of a boy's coming of age and a story of the relationship between the boy and his stepfather. The standout performances here are Ron Howard as Chris, a boy struggling to cope with the loss of his father; and Earl Holliman as Cal, the stepfather who wants badly to be accepted by Chris. Shug Fisher and Jacqueline Scott also are quite good, as is the dog star. (I love dogs.) There are some excellent scenes in this film, and the story will move you. This one will stay with you long after it is over.
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