Peter O'Toole, Samantha Morton, John Lynch, Peter Dinklage, Robert Hardy, Steve Pemberton, Jonathan Mason and Kelly Macdonald

Charles Sturridge

Running Time:
99 mins

Out to buy on DVD 10/04/06

"...but she's my dog"

When the mine closes and his father joins the Army as the country prepares for war with Germany, Joe's (Mason) beloved dog Lassie is sold to the Duke of Rudling (O'Toole) to help with their financial difficulties. Lassie is having trouble settling into her new home and keeps returning to Joe but when the Duke moves his family to Scotland, Lassie escapes again and faces an arduous trip back to Yorkshire.

As more and more iconic characters return to the silver screen while Hollywood scrambles to find ideas, a real legend has come back, Lassie.

After numerous American adventures in the past, the Collie returns to her British routes as writer/director Charles Sturridge recreates the essence of the Eric Knight's novel that adhered her to family audiences in the first place. Now the beloved canine is back in Yorkshire just before the start of the Second World War, when times were extremely hard and most families were struggling. The rich were still rich however and the decedent life of the Duke of Rudling wasn't going to change. When his granddaughter sees Lassie, he buys her from the Carraclough family, devastating their young son Joe. But in these hard times, the family can afford to feed that extra mouth. Lassie, however doesn't want to go, especially after the way she is treated the Duke's dog handler Edward Hynes and keeps returning to the Carraclough's and even moving to Scotland won't deter her from returning home.

The story of canine devotion isn't a new one but you cannot help but be touched by this wonderfully acted and superbly shot family film. An ensemble cast that includes the best of British and the always-excellent Peter Dinklage, who sports a fine Scottish accent for the role of a travelling puppet entertainer, come to support the star of the film. Peter O'Toole steals every scene he is in. John Lynch and Samantha Morton sport good Yorkshire accents and portray the problems of the time with great honesty. Steve Pemberton is suitably repugnant as the despicable Edward Hynes. There are also good but brief cameos from Nicholas Lyndhurst, Kelly Macdonald, Edward Fox, Gregor Fisher and Robert Hardy.

Lassie is the star of the show however and she is the driving force behind the entire film. The charm of the Collie is still there in abundance and she quickly gets back into your heart. You cannot help but be touched by her adventure to get back to Joe and even though you know what the outcome is going to be there is much to enjoy in her journey.

The return of Lassie to the silver screen is a welcome one. This is a heart warming family film that both children and adults can enjoy and even the coldest heart can't helped but be touched by Lassie's story.

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