Life is hard for Yorkshire miner's son Joe Carraclough, who is beaten at school by a his teacher, his only consolation is his collie Lassie. It gets worse: when the mine is decommissioned, his father, Sam, is forced to sell the dog to the duke, who owns the local estate. The Duke's servant, Hynes, scares the dog, who keeps running back, so the Carracloughs have to keep returning her, until the Duke moves to the Scottish Highlands for the holiday season. Lassie escapes, embarking on a desperate journey home, with daunting Glasgow dogcatchers and taken in by a circus performer. It looks like a miracle is needed, by Christmas. Written by
One thread that connects all the Lassie projects is Lassie herself. Every one of the long string of Lassie productions has featured a collie directly descended from the original canine star, a dog named Pal. The new film was made with 8-year-old Lassie the ninth, and three other non-related collies, whose biggest challenge were in scenes swimming across Loch Ness on her way home. "They weren't bred to be water dogs, who have more webbing between their feet and more fat on their body to insulate them for the water," said trainer Carol Riggins, who has steered the Lassie stable through Lassies seven, eight and nine. "Collies don't have that. When you put them in the water, as soon as they get wet to the skin you have to take them out and you have to blow dry them before you can do the rest of the scene. When they get in the water they get cold and their muscles don't work as well." See more »
There are seven puppies in the litter (at around 1h 30 mins), but eight can be seen in the walk in the countryside (at around 1h 30 mins). See more »
Are you contradicting me?
You dare say yes, you impertinent little scallywag?
If I said no, that would be another contradiction, wouldn't it?
See more »
There are no credits at the beginning of the film, not even the film's title. All that is seen is the logo of the production company. See more »
OK so am I the only one who never realized Lassie was set firstly in 1939 and secondly in Yorkshire? I grew up believing in gingham tablecloths, dusty gold mines, skunks in prairies and dangerous rattle snakes all of which our furry heroine, pined at, climbed from, lifted to safety and made friends with, yes and all without being stung, bitten
or even pooped on. Well move aside Nantucket because the real bitch is back and Charles Sturridge has done Eric Knight's beautiful story proud.
The film looks beautiful, set very convincingly in the 1930s English depression. The sets, camera work and locations provide us a time that makes much more sense of a dog returning home to his young master than 1960's America. Lassie's impossible journey deals with issues of loyalty, generosity, determination and good old Britishness all of which must have been useful propaganda tools for a country heading into war in 1939. So that's why it was written back then, so why remake it now? Because, those same basic issues and emotions are just as useful to remind ourselves of now as then but unfortunately for us modern family films have become lost in a sea of CGI and comuterized, sickly nothingness that has no relevance to anything but thrill. Truthfully? It's just plain nice to sit with your family in a cinema, cry your heart out and remember what's important in life. (And it doesn't have to be 40 feet tall and eat bananas!)
The boy is wonderful as indeed is the dog(s). The support from Morton, Lynch, O Toole, Drinkage is perfectly judged and I defy you not to blub a dub during the emotional Christmas homecoming. This is a beautiful film, a joy to watch and a credit to its makers.
Go Lass go.....
25 of 33 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?