Courage of Lassie

Part of the Lassie series

Courage of Lassie cover



93 minutes

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Peril lurks behind every scene resolution in the 1946 hit Courage of Lassie. After an odd, peaceable-kingdom beginning, Lassie is shot by Carl Switzer, the kid who used to play Alfalfa (really!), and rescued by Elizabeth Taylor. She inexplicably names Lassie "Bill" (maybe in revenge because Lassie got on the movie's title) and trains him to be a sheepdog. Bill gets hit by a truck, then impressed into service in the U.S. war effort in the Philippines. Presaging Rambo, Bill becomes a war hero, yet returns home from the front a broken dog and is considered a menace to society. The war scenes are a bit too grueling for a family film (at least with very young children). Bill gets shot (again) and has to do a reconnaissance mission that Joseph Conrad would admire. Taylor doesn't so much act as sob and gush, and only Frank Morgan, the actor known best as the Wizard of Oz, comes off as well as the collie. That collie, though, is pretty wonderful and fans of the first film won't be too disappointed. --Keith Simanton --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition.