Here is the classic Flemmish version of the "boy and his dog" tale as young Nello, apparently about 11 or 12, struggles to establish his identity as an artist amidst adverse circumstances. David Ladd, Alan Ladd's son, plays the protagonist: he was 13 at the time, but somehow managed to play an 8-year-old in his next film! Anyway, this is the real story, without all the silly, sappy and frankly unbelievable stuff and coincidences gratuitously added in the Disney version of 1999. Even the dog is more convincing! David Ladd is quite good, though his emotions seem a bit forced at times and he's certainly not "one of the greatest child actors of all time" as his filmography touts. Donald Crisp as the grandfather and a so-young Theodore Bikel as the temperamental artist both offer excellent performances. Perhaps life was indeed harder then, and as the late Douglas Adams would point out, digital watches had not been invented, but children were still considered PEOPLE: they could work for a living, enjoy the fruits of their labor, and even live alone if they chose -- or with a dog. All that is gone now. Am I the only one who questions that this is "progress"?