Charming, bittersweet, Ealingesque comedy-drama about the trials and tribulations of Cumberland hill-farmers, their womenfolk and, of course, their dogs - Owd Bob of the title being one such - in the early Twentieth Century.
The plot revolves around the rivalry between wily old Scotsman Adam MacAdam (played by music hall star Will Fyffe) and newcomer Davey Moore (played by John Loder) as they prepare to pit their champion sheepdogs - Black Wull and Owd Bob respectively - against each other in a forthcoming sheepdog trial. One or other of the dogs appears be responsible for a spate of sheep worrying incidents and, come the denouement, when the true culprit is revealed and what must be done is done, you'll be sobbing into your hanky, I can tell you!
The love interest is provided by a very young and very beautiful Margaret Lockwood who, later the same year, would achieve international stardom appearing in Hitchcock's The Lady Vanishes. Here, playing MacAdam's lovely daughter Jeannie, RADA-trained Lockwood, who would subsequently prove herself an actress of great ability and substantial range, has little enough to do except smile a lot, pout deliciously and stand around looking gorgeous - something, needless to say, that she does very,very well indeed!
This is arguably the best of several film versions of Alfred Ollivant's tale. The direction is by Robert Stevenson who went on to direct such classics as Bed knobs and Broomsticks and Mary Poppins for Disney. There is also a haunting musical score.
In sum, for gentle, understated entertainment with a sentimental slant and period charm, this film is a joy to watch.... especially if you like sheepdogs!