Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lassie Come Home

1943 was the first time Lassie appeared in film in Lassie Come Home.  I briefly mentioned Pal (1940 - 1958), the dog who played Lassie, in a post in July called Pete or Pal?

BTW, those dates for Pal are a bit suspect.  It is possible for a collie to live 18 years, but it is unusual.  I am not an expert on dogs, nor have I studied Pal, but I would like to know more.  I have a friend who is involved with a dog rescue group and he met the current Lassie a few years ago.

This was the 25th movie for a 15 year old Roddy McDowell (1928 - 1998) and only the second movie for a new Bit Actress, Elizabeth Taylor (b. 1932), who didn't stay in small parts very long.

In other roles we see Dame May Whitty (b. 1865 - 1948).  Dame Whitty only has 36 roles in her filmography, but they include three silents starting in 1914, then A Bill of Divorcement (1940), Suspicion (1941) and Gaslight (1944)...not bad!  Here is a woman who has seen the birth and first 50 years of movies, and she is only 18 years younger than Thomas Edison (1847 - 1931), inventor of motion pictures, who she outlived.

There were some famous names in Lassie Come Home.  Edmund Gwenn (1877 - 1959) also played Kris Kringle, Nigel Bruce (1895 - 1953) famous as Dr. Watson, Elsa Lanchester (1902 - 1986) the Bride Of Frankenstein, and Alan Napier (1903 - 1988) Batman's butler Alfred in the TV series.

And one last name, Arthur Shields (1896 - 1970).  Shields had 95 roles in film and on TV, which is about twice as many as his older brother, Barry Fitzgerald (1888 - 1961) who has 47 titles.  Look for Shields in Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), How Green was My Valley (1941), National Velvet (1944), The Quiet Man in 1952 with his brother, all the way up to "Bonanza," "Rawhide," "Wagon Train," "Maverick," and "Death Valley Days."

Buy the three movie pack so you get the sequels, Son of Lassie (1945) and Courage of Lassie (1946).

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