Feature

Lassie

A devoted collie journeys through rural England to reunite with her owner.

At long last, 'œLassie has come home,' said Michael Wilmington in the Chicago Tribune. You might think a dozen films and one long-running TV series would exhaust the adventures of the classic canine heroine. But stunning cinematography and a first-rate cast led by Peter O'Toole easily make this the best Lassie since the pooch's 1943 big-screen debut. Director Charles Sturridge restores the pre'“World War II English setting of Eric Knight's original novel, with all its 'œDickensian social contrasts and high emotion.' Most children's films wouldn't risk such realism, said Stephen Whitty in the Newark Star-Ledger. When he loses his job as a coal miner, Lassie's owner is forced to sell the dog, despite the pleas of his young son, Joe. After a fellow dog is beaten to death, the brave collie flees and sets off for home. 'œPart Steve McQueen in The Great Escape, part homing pigeon,' Lassie gets into her usual scrapes. But she also finds help from strangers, including Peter Dinklage as a kindly puppeteer. Even for today's kids, no computer-generated special effects will be able to compete with this flesh-and-blood collie. It turns out you can not only teach an old dog new tricks, 'œyou can teach an audience a few as well.'

Rating: PG

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