Man's Best Friend [DVD]

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Overview

Synopsis

The Painted Hills
Alexander Hull's novel Shep of the Painted Hills was refashioned into a traditional Lassie vehicle by screenwriter True Boardman. The noble collie turns avenger this time out, hoping to bring the murderer of her master to justice. The perpetrator, played by Bruce Cowling, is hounded (no pun intended) into meeting a fate similar to the one he meted out to the victim. Filmed on a somewhat lower budget than previous Lassie endeavors, The Painted Hills benefits greatly from its all-character-actor cast, headed by Paul Kelly and Ann Doran. The film was lensed in Technicolor, making it a valuable commodity in the formative days of locally-produced color TV in the late 1950s-early 1960s. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Call of the Wild
The third screen version of Jack London's classic adventure story was also the first with sound, and it toyed with the original story a bit to add a love interest for leading man Clark Gable. Jack Thornton (Gable) is a would-be prospector who has headed to Alaska hoping to cash in on the gold rush. However, he loses most of his stake in a poker game and instead ends up buying a Saint Bernard named Buck. He's able to pick up Buck for a song because he's too ill-tempered to pull a sled; Smith (Reginald Owen), Buck's former owner, treated him with cruelty and the dog mangled Smith's hand in retaliation. Jack loves the dog, though, and treats him with care and kindness. Buck bonds with Jack and soon becomes a loyal companion and a good sled dog. Angry and astounded, Smith bets Jack that Buck can't pull a half-ton sled 100 yards; while the old Buck would never have done it, with Jack's urging the dog manages the feat and Jack now has the funds to set out with his friend Shorty (Jack Oakie) to stake their claim. While searching for gold, Jack and Shorty discover Claire Blake (Loretta Young), the wife of a miner who abandoned her to look for a fresh vein of gold. A warmth grows between Claire and Jack in the frozen North, but Jack is forced to help her husband when he runs afoul of thieves trying to steal his claim. Six more films based on The Call of the Wild would follow this to the screen. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Mooch Goes to Hollywood
A pint-sized pooch with enormous Hollywood ambition wanders the streets of Hollywood and Malibu beach in search for her big break in this canine adventure for the entire family. After a pair of run-ins with Vincent Price and James Darren, Mooch sneaks into a major movie studio for a visit with Jill St. John - who subsequently orders her hairdresser to give the star-struck pup a new hairdo. Later, Mooch crosses paths with actor Jim Backus, who takes her along to a big industry party attended by her old friends, Price, Darren, and St. John. While her showbiz connections fail to land her a starring role, Mooch soon meets a kindly master who will accept her for the fun loving canine companion that she truly is. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

George!
In this comedy, the quiet life of an airplane pilot living in Switzerland is terribly disrupted when his sister gets married for the fourth time and bequeaths him her 250-pound St. Bernard. The bachelor and the big slobbery dog do not immediately become friends. Later they bond when the St. Bernard saves the bachelor's life during an avalanche. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Poco: Little Dog Lost
Produced and written by Dwight Brooks, Poco is a rank imitation of those Sunn International "four-waller" family flicks. Poco the dog is separated from his owner, a cute little crippled girl, in an auto accident. The faithful mutt treks across the desert, experiencing several moderately exciting adventures while searching for his mistress. Along the way, veteran character actor Chill Wills shows up, shamelessly slobbering his way through the requisite "goldhearted prospector" schtick. With Wills' aid, Poco is finally reunited with the little girl. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Paul Kelly
    Paul Kelly - Jonathan Harvey
  • Bruce Cowling
    Bruce Cowling - Lin Taylor
  • Gary Gray
    Gary Gray - Tommy Blake
  • Art Smith
    Art Smith - Pilot Pete
  • Ann Doran
    Ann Doran - Martha Blake
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