Major, a farm dog, is the three year old son of a collie mother and a wolf dog father. Major's father was shot by a neighboring rancher for killing some of his sheep shortly after Major was born. Major is put on trial for the same acts as his father. Circumstantial evidence points to Major having killed two of the rancher's sheep. However, in his three years of life, Major has never exhibited any aggressive behavior, he being a constant and faithful companion to young Betty Lou, the farmer's daughter. Major had even saved Betty Lou from a few close calls in her life. The court of public opinion is against Major, but the farmer persuades the judge to have a reenactment of sorts to see if Major's wolf dog father's blood is taking over his nature. In the reenactment, Major's wolf dog's father's blood is kicking in, but not quite in the way his detractors anticipate. Written by
Major, the beloved farm hound of little Betty Lou, is accused of being a KILLER-DOG after sheep on a nearby farm are found mauled.
This tightly-plotted little story is a good example of the early American work of director Jacques Tourneur, who would gain fame in the 1940's with his horror films at RKO. Any dog lover in the audience will empathize with Major's sorry legal plight.
Movie mavens should recognize an unbilled Ralph Byrd, later famous as Dick Tracy, playing Betty Lou's father.
Often overlooked or neglected today, the one and two-reel short subjects were useful to the Studios as important training grounds for new or burgeoning talents, both in front & behind the camera. The dynamics for creating a successful short subject was completely different from that of a feature length film, something like writing a topnotch short story rather than a novel. Economical to produce in terms of both budget & schedule and capable of portraying a wide range of material, short subjects were the perfect complement to the Studios' feature films.
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