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The beautifully photographed sequel to MGM's hit film Lassie Come Home (1943), Son of Lassie (1945) stars Peter Lawford as Joe Carraclough, the grown up version of the character played by Roddy McDowall in the original. When Lassie's son Laddie (played by canine star Pal) sneaks aboard a plane Joe is piloting during World War II, the two encounter danger at every turn after they are shot down by Nazi soldiers over Norway and are separated. With plenty of action, suspense, and gorgeous scenery, Son of Lassie is a heartwarming story about the unbreakable bond between a clever dog and his master that can endure any hardship.
Peter Lawford was on his way to becoming a major movie star when he made Son of Lassie. One of MGM's up-and-coming leading men during the war years, Lawford had been busy making a name for himself in such films as The Canterville Ghost (1944) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). According to Lawford, however, he still wasn't as big a star at the time as Pal, the Rudd Weatherwax-trained Collie who appeared in the first seven of MGM's Lassie films. "When I was making Son of Lassie," said Lawford according to the 1988 book The Peter Lawford Story by Lawford's last wife Patricia Seaton Lawford, "I had my first run-in with the star system. First of all, the dog had a dressing room, but I didn't. When we were shooting scenes in Canada of Lassie and the rapids, they had the dog all wired and roped so that they wouldn't lose him, and I was floundering around in the water with very little protection. Lassie was insured for a million dollars, and I had the suspicion that if I was insured at all, it was for a substantially smaller amount."
Donald Crisp and Nigel Bruce reprise their roles from Lassie Come Home as Joe's father and the Duke of Radling respectively, while June Lockhart plays the part of Lawford's sweetheart Priscilla, a role originated by Elizabeth Taylor in the first film.
Producer: Samuel Marx
Director: S. Sylvan Simon
Screenplay: Jeanne Bartlett (screenplay and story); Eric Knight (characters)
Cinematography: Charles Edgar Schoenbaum
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Hubert B. Hobson
Music: Herbert Stothart
Film Editing: Ben Lewis
Cast: Peter Lawford (Joe Carraclough), Donald Crisp (Sam Carraclough), June Lockhart (Priscilla), Nigel Bruce (Duke of Radling), William 'Billy' Severn (Henrik), Leon Ames (Anton), Donald Curtis (Sergeant Eddie Brown), Nils Asther (Olav), Robert Lewis (Sergeant Schmidt), Fay Helm (Joanna).
C-101m. Closed Captioning. Descriptive Video.
by Andrea Passafiume