19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Lassie Come Home [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
The film that can still make any grown man cry. A wonderful tale of a boys love for his dog and vice versa. Young Joe (Roddy McDowell) goes everywhere with his dog and when he's at school the dog counts the hours till he's home again, it instinctly knows when school time is over and she always obediently waits for Joe outside the school everyday when the real play-time begins. Unfortunately Joe's father (Donald Crisp) has recently lost his job and they can't afford to keep the dog anymore. He's bought by the local landowner (Nigel Bruce - Watson to Basil Rathbone's Sherlock) at a fair price and is kept down at the local kennels where Joe's friend and the landowners daughter (Elizabeth Taylor) promises to look after Joe's pride and joy. 'Lassie' constantly finds ways to escape to be back at school for 4 o'clock when Joe comes out of class much to Joe's joy. He constantly tries to persuade his father to keep Lassie but they just can't possibly afford to keep her. Seeing that the dog can't stay away from Joe the landowner decides to take Lassie to his estate in Scotland where the dog can't keep escaping from the kennels. The rest of the film is akin to 'Incredible Journey' where Lassie performs the unthinkable and finds her home all the way back from Scotland to Yorkshire. Along the way she meets kind folk and bad ones too but just as she finally makes it back to her town she is cornered by the local dogcatchers, with no collar on and looking like she's walked 300 miles across fields, rivers and in all weathers, she looks like a stray. Suffice to say Lassie escapes and injures/breaks her leg in the fall, but makes it back to Joes parents house, they're utterly dumbstruck to hear the dog crying at the door and let her in for some home comfort, Lassie limps in and collapses on the floor (what an actor that dog was) but its 4 o'clock and she struggles back to her feet as Joe will be coming out of school. The final scene gives me a lump in the throat just thinking about it, as the dog limps up the main high street and every shop owner comes out open-mouthed to see Lassie on her way to the schoolyard to take her place under the big oak tree outside class. The rest is as you can imagine is either chewing your bottom lip off trying to control the tears or just let go with a big box of tissues....they say grown men shouldn't cry or admit to it but this is the one film that's so wonderfully acted and if you are a dog lover then you'll understand what I mean when Roddy McDowell shouts "Laaaaassssssieeee !!!" at the end. Its not quite the end though as the landowner comes back from Scotland with his daughter in tow and there's no mistaking that its Lassie that's back home, but she's in such a bad state that they pretend not to know the dog so Joe can keep her, and to top it all Joe's father is given a job down at the kennels....a happy ending all round shows Roddy and Liz riding their bikes along with Lassie and a string of collie pups in tow !!!
Let the kids watch it they'll love it, but leave the room to make a drink or go the loo at the end if you don't want to embarrass yourself in front of them, you can always watch the end later when you're on your own ...