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Harold S. Bucquet
Mary Lou is excited because today is her older brother Sonny's birthday. Sonny wants a motorcycle, but his father has decided to buy him a dog instead, mainly because he himself wants to have a dog that he can take hunting. After a dispute with his father, Sonny leaves home. As he walks along a railroad track, he finds a frightened lost dog, and soon he begins to feel differently about dogs. Written by
This is one of the better features in the series of short family comedies that starred Junior Coghlan and Shirley Temple as brother and sister. It is 'cute' in a generally positive sense, while usually managing to avoid becoming cloying. The story, while contrived at some points, has something of a purpose to it, and the movie also adds in a couple of the less innocent gags that turn up surprisingly often in Temple's short features.
The setup has Coghlan's character Sonny celebrating a birthday, and hoping for a motorcycle, but knowing that his father prefers to give him a dog. With the help of his girlfriend and loyal little sister Mary Lou (Temple), Sonny has to contend with his father's stubbornness and with a pretentious rival. The story that follows is fairly predictable, but it has some good moments.
Most of it is enjoyable, and the plainer stretches do not last very long. Coghlan, who is nominally the star, has a rather bland acting style, but he does have a decent screen presence. Temple's energy and charisma, so unusual for her age, are readily apparent, and she stands out in constant contrast to the less interesting older characters.
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