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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian from Surrey
This is a gem of British Cinema from the early seventies. The story is straightforward enough, an orphan fox cub is taken in by a Huntmaster and raised with a litter of foxhounds. The fox (Tag) and one of the hounds (Merlin) establish a special bond and become partners in crime and fun. As the hunting season approaches Tag is released to the wild and establishes his...
Published on 12 Dec 2008 by Ian from Surrey

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Takes me back
Saw this film many (many) years ago and enjoyed it once again. Very evocative of the time and parts of country life.
Published on 9 Mar 2010 by H. Hall


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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ian from Surrey, 12 Dec 2008
This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a gem of British Cinema from the early seventies. The story is straightforward enough, an orphan fox cub is taken in by a Huntmaster and raised with a litter of foxhounds. The fox (Tag) and one of the hounds (Merlin) establish a special bond and become partners in crime and fun. As the hunting season approaches Tag is released to the wild and establishes his range. Meanwhile Merlin has joined the hunt and it isn't long before the two renew acquaintances. The hunt may intend to kill the Belstone Fox but nobody has relayed that to Tag or Merlin who renew their friendship in a series of escapades across the Somerset countryside. In one such adventure tradgedy ensues and the game becomes a personal battle for survival.
The acting is superb with Eric Porter, Bill Travers, Jeremy Kemp and a young Denis Waterman putting in strong performances. The subject of foxhunting is still a contentious issue but the film treads a steady course endeavouring to tell the story of a friendship against the odds without presenting a diatribe for or against hunting. That it succeeds in my opinion is due to the excellent cast and the core strengths of the story. Poignant and moving without being mawkish this film excellent entertainment and has long been overlooked.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale Of Country Life, 2 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
A wonderful film,this is a classic story,regardless of your own personal views of fox hunting, this film covers the subject rather well, and you can form your own opinion whether it be the Oscar Wilde view the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable, or the Henry Williamson view point that a hunted animals biggest supporter is the huntsman itself.Would say that the film was ahead of it's time(1973)and an interesting part of the film is the huntsman's daughter transformation of hunt supporter to anti, along with the scences where the Hunt meets with all it's glamour, while the darker side of hunt terriermen lurking in the shadows.Liked this film since first seeing in many year's ago and still do.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful british film, 13 April 2008
By 
M. J. Rossiter (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this at the cinema, and bought it when it was first released on VHS.
I remember a quite nasty scene along the railway in the film which shocked me at the time, and this was definately cut on the video. I have yet to see the dvd, but judging from the previous letter it seems to be still cut. That scene had a huge impact on the film, and to cut it is ridiculous.
The picture itself is a very warming film, with superb acting by all concerned, and yet it seems to have been forgotten.
There are some scenes that even now will upset younger people, and even many older ones.
The story isn't exactly mind blowing, but it's a really beautiful film that once seen, you will never forget. hankies ready while you all watch please
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5.0 out of 5 stars great animal story, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
saw this movie when it first came out when i was only 12.
one of those movies that always stays in the back of your memory banks .
when i saw this for sale i just had to have a copy for myself.
a heartwarming story about an english red fox.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 7 Mar 2014
By 
Sm Cresswell "writerpsych" (England Staffordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
It was great to see this film again after a long gap. I really liked it's exploration of hunting, how we get an insight into the hunt, farmers, the hounds. It does not matter if you are pro or anti hunting, there are both people in the film, but it does so rural life and in particular the life of one fox. A gem!
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT, 18 April 2013
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
I love this film and was so pleased to get it on dvd, lovley story always makes me cry, lost count as to how often ive watched it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars MAN VS. NATURE, 10 April 2013
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
This is a good family film from the 70's, that everybody can watch.

Asher Smith, a Huntsmaster, played by Eric Porter, takes in a young fox after it's mother is killed, and rears it with a pack of dogs, used for hunting foxes! As time goes by, and after the fox and one of the dogs have bonded, he realizes that he may have made a mistake. His initial determination to save the fox, now becomes an obsession to kill it, only to be outwitted every time by the fox.

Picture Quality of this transfer is fair, it could do with being restored, but it is unlikely that this film will ever get that. The outside shots are better than the interior shots. (But this could also be down to the film stock used).

The aspect ratio is in the original 2.35:1. But is not anamorphic, so you will have to zoom the picture out using your tv remote. But unless a blu ray release comes out, this is the only version available, so for now buy this version, and enjoy it.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE MINDLESSNESS OF FOX HUNTING, 11 July 2009
By 
C. Kingswell - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
This is an immensely sad film, and I confess that I would never have watched it had I not already known that the outcome for the Belstone Fox is a positive one. Even so, it is unlikely that I will watch it again. I give it five stars because I think it is a remarkable film and deserves to be watched by everyone. Whether it was intended to be anti fox hunting, I do not know, but I think it makes the point quite emphatically. For me, this so-called blood-sport is an obscenity and so are those who indulge in it.
The opening scene is sickening, although thankfully we are spared the graphics. A mother fox and her cubs are bludgeoned to death with a spade by two thugs, but later one of the cubs is found alive by old Tod, the woodsman ( played by Bill Travers) who brings it back to the local huntsman's kennels where a litter of hound puppies has just been born. He and head huntsman Asher Smith ( played by Eric Porter ) take pity on the fox cub and put it with the puppies in the hope that the mother hound will accept it as her own. She does, and as time passes by one of the hounds forms a very special bond with the fox so that they become inseparable.
For a while, Tag the fox and Merlin the hound are allowed to play together, and Merlin is not included in any fox hunts, but when Tag grows up it is decided that he and Merlin should be separated. Merlin must join the pack of hounds and Tag must go back into the woods and take his chances with the hunt.
During numerous fox hunts, Tag manages to elude the hounds, although several other foxes are torn to pieces ( again, we are spared the graphics - well, more or less ). Merlin is forced to take part in the hunt, although he is clearly not happy with it and is still friendly with Tag.
One day, Tag is spotted and chased by the pack along the railway line. A train suddenly appears and ploughs into the dogs, killing many of them. Asher Smith blames himself for the accident and vows that Tag must be killed. It becomes a personal vendetta for him, but after falling from his horse a couple of times he is fatally injured. Even so, he still manages to find the cave where Tag and Merlin are hiding. They both sit watching him as he tries to kill Tag with a knife, but he dies in the attempt. The final scene is heart-rending. As Asher Smith's body is being carried down the hill, with Merlin in tow, the Belstone Fox watches from the top of a rock with bewilderment in his eyes. Even now, he could be the hunt's next victim.
Laurie Johnson's excellent music score is very sad to listen to.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Belstone Fox, 8 Nov 2011
This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
Uncomplicated but interesting story in beautiful west of England countryside. The story concerns human conflict with a wiley fox in an appealing setting - a delightful film with well cast acting of its time.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT BRITISH CLASSIC, 21 Jun 2006
By 
J. D. Marshall "john" (scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD] (DVD)
I really loved this film ,I have seen it several times .On first seeing ,I seem to recall a few scenes that appear to be cut from the dvd..especially a love scene,I wonder if anyone else has noticed this too.all in buy this great film .a great buy
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The Belstone Fox [1973] [DVD]
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