James Stewart recalled that he accepted the role of the grandfather because it was the only "family-friendly" script he had been offered. After the movie received poor reviews and flopped at the box office, he decided to semi-retire from acting. See more »
Jamison takes Lassie to his estate in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she escapes. You see her running, chased by a helicopter, and she finally goes over what looks like a cliff. In the next scene she gets up and limps away, but suddenly she is in Zion National Park, which is in Utah. See more »
The Magic of Lassie was the beloved collie's last appearance on the big screen. Lassie was quite the box office draw in her day, but according to the box office the day had passed.
Not that the film is all that bad. Maybe if the Sherman songwriting team who gave us so many things for Walt Disney back in their day had produced something like what they did for Mary Poppins, The Magic of Lassie might be better remembered. But nothing like Chim Chim Cheree or Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious comes from this score.
James Stewart is raising a pair of grandchildren, Stephanie Zimbalist and Michael Sharrett. He's got an acquisitive neighbor in Pernell Roberts who wants to buy his land and Stewart won't sell. On that trip he spots Lassie and thinks Lassie might have been his dog who survived a fire in the kennel as a pup some years ago.
Roberts proves his case and Stewart reluctantly hands over the dog, but that doesn't sit well with young Sharrett or Lassie and they take off going a third of the country in different directions searching for each other.
Lassie and Sharrett run into all kinds of interesting people. From Lassie's point of view the film starts to look like a big screen version of the Canadian show, The Littlest Hobo. Sharrett proves to be a plucky lad, but he gets himself in a heap of trouble.
Of course this being a kid's film you know we're going to see a happy ending. Let's just say that in Lane Davies, a young lawyer who has eyes for Zimbalist, he proves handy to have around.
The Magic of Lassie marked Alice Faye's farewell screen appearance and it was also James Stewart's last starring feature film release as well. I was disappointed they did not share the screen. Mickey Rooney and Mike Mazurki as a wrestler and his trainer have a couple of laughs themselves.
Still though The Magic of Lassie did not do sufficient box office to interest anyone in any more films so far about the old collie.
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