12 Movie Family Adventure Collection [2 Discs] [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

Danny Boy
The PRC "special" Danny Boy stars Ace the Dog in the title role. Danny Boy, a highly decorated war dog, is kidnapped by a nasty sort who gets his jollies out of mistreating animals. While he comes dangerously close to turning vicious and unmanageable, Danny Boy manages to escape with his basic good nature intact. After a torturous journey home, Danny Boy is reunited with his young master, Buzzy Henry. In real life, Ace the Dog was nowhere near as docile as the character he was playing, and it is obvious throughout that he'd just as soon take a bite out of Buzzy Henry as nuzzle the kid. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Walking Thunder
A family has many wild experiences while visiting the western United States. While there, they encounter a Native American trader and a fearsome albino bear. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

The Return of Rin Tin Tin
Actually it's Rin Tin Tin III, grandson of the legendary silent-movie canine star. Filmed in less than glorious Vitacolor, Return of Rin Tin Tin stars Donald Woods as an American priest assigned to a postwar European mission. Bobby Blake (later Baretta star Robert Blake) is a young war orphan whose harrowing experiences have soured him on mankind. Father Woods brings the boy to America, but the lad is still unapproachable until he befriends Rin Tin Tin. The dog restores the boy's zest for living and faith in humanity. A villain threatens to take the dog away, but all ends happily (and tearfully). While not on a par with MGM's Lassie pictures, PRC Pictures' Return of Rin Tin Tin has its heart in the right place. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Vengeance of Rannah
Starring the supposed offspring of legendary canine Rin-Tin-Tin, this listless Western, "based on a story by James Oliver Curwood" also featured former silent screen cowboy Bob Custer, as laconic and pedestrian a personality as ever. Custer played Ted Saunders an undercover agent attempting to catch the villains who murdered and robbed the owner of a stagecoach line. The only witness to the crime is the dead man's faithful dog, Rannah (Rin-Tin-Tin, Jr., who becomes the next target of the killers. Nearing the end of his career, Custer basically stood back and led the dog do his thing. The two had met before, in the Mascot serial The Law of the Wild (1934) which, despite its miniscule budget, was a near masterpiece in comparison to the dreadful The Vengeance of Rannah. Rinty, Jr. returned the following year opposite Rex Lease in The Silver Trail, the final release of Poverty Row company Reliable Pictures Corp. Both films were directed by "Franklin Shamray" and "Henri Samuels," producers Bernard B. Ray and Harry S. Webb, respectively. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

The Legend of Wolf Mountain
This family adventure film focuses on the struggles of a trio of schoolchildren (Nicole Lund, Matthew Lewis and Jonathan Best) taken hostage by a pair of escaped convicts. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

The Test
High Country Calling
The Underdog
In this drama, a rural family, displaced by the dust-bowl and the foreclosure of their family farm, moves to the city in search of financial security during the 1940s. The change is difficult for the impoverished clan, but it is most difficult for their son who gets picked on by the local gangs. The son tries to donate his dog Hobo to the military, but the dog is rejected. Hobo later proves himself a patriot by bringing in a gang of Nazi saboteurs and by saving his master's friend from dying in a fire. After this, the boy begins to adjust to city life. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Seven Alone
A septet of settler's children find themselves orphaned and alone following a disaster on the Oregon trail. This fact-based, family-oriented adventure chronicles their cross-country odyssey as they make their way westward. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Renfrew of the Royal Mounted
An uneven mix of '30s crook melodrama and Rose Marie-inspired mountie romance, Renfrew of the Royal Mounted of radio fame came to the screen in 1937, courtesy of the founder of Grand National, Edward L. Alperson. Chosen to play the strapping title role was James Newill, a Nelson Eddy wannabe whose introduction number, "Mounted Men," was almost a carbon copy of "Stout Hearted Men." Newill's Renfrew is assigned to look into a counterfeiting ring operating on the Canadian border with the United States. The ring is headed by lodge owner George Poulis (William Royle), who is coercing convicted engraver James Bronson (Herbert Corthell) into working for him. When Bronson's daughter, Virginia (Carol Hughes), discovers the truth, she convinces the engraver to flee. Renfrew, who has been chasing the crooks on horseback and by airplane, eventually saves the Bronsons from perishing in a meat locker. Filmed in Grand National's studios on Santa Monica Boulevard and at Big Bear Lake, CA, Renfrew of the Royal Mounted proved popular enough to warrant a series. Grand National collapsed two years later but the series was picked up by Monogram and a total of eight Renfrew movies were ultimately released. A former singer on the Burns & Allen radio program, James Newill later went on to co-star in PRC's "trio" series Texas Rangers, where he was reunited with Dave "Tex" O'Brien, who had played one of the crooks in Renfrew of the Royal Mounted. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Skull and Crown
Proof positive that Reliable Pictures' Skull and Crown was filmed several years before its 1938 New York premiere is the presence in the cast of former silent-screen leading man James Murray, who died in 1936. The star of the show is Rin-Tin-Tin Jr., who among other things helps to break up a gang of smugglers. Another silent veteran, Jack Mower, plays the chief crook, but despite his bulk and muscle he's no match for our "Rinty". Nominal human hero Regis Toomey benefits greatly from the dog's deductive skills, winning the hand of heroine Molly Day as a result. Allegedly based on a story by James Oliver Curwood, Skull and Crown is cheap and tacky even by Reliable's unexacting standards. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Where the Red Fern Grows
Based on the novel by Wilson Rawls, this film follows the events that befall a young Oklahoma farm boy as he, with the help of his two beloved hounds, struggles to help his family get by in the hard times of the 1930s. ~ Iotis Erlewine, Rovi


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