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The Return of Rusty

The Return of Rusty(1946)

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Loddy Bicek, a war-orphaned stowaway aboard an Army transport ship entering New York harbor, is nearing the end of his long journey from Czechoslovakia when he is apprehended by the military police. Sgt. Jack Beals, who wants to adopt Loddy arranges for the boy to escape and instructs him to rejoin him at the sergeant's home town, Lawtonville. Upon arriving there, however, Loddy finds the Beal home deserted, but meets young Danny Mitchell and his friends as they are playing with Danny's dog, Rusty. Marty Connors, one of Danny's friends, demeans Loddy because he is a foreigner, but Danny defends the boy and takes him home, prevailing upon his father and mother to give him temporary lodging. When two detectives arrive in Lawtonville looking for the young refugee, Danny and his friends hide Loddy in the cave that serves as their clubhouse. Soon after, word comes that Sgt. Beals has been arrested, suspected of complicity in Loddy's disappearance. Blaming himself for the sergeant's predicament, Loddy decides to find him, and Rusty, now attached to the boy, tags along. At a gasoline station along the highway, Rusty becomes separated from Loddy and is found by Marty, who gives the dog to a strange boy. Once in Lawtonville, Marty then claims that Loddy stole Rusty. Soon after, Loddy, who has managed to retrieve Rusty, reappears with the animal. Upon discovering that Danny believes he is guilty of stealing Rusty, Loddy departs, broken-hearted. Determined to set the record straight, Loddy confronts Marty, causing the frightened boy to run away and fall down a steep ravine. Loddy and Rusty follow and try to rescue Marty, but Loddy finds himself trapped and unable to climb out. As Loddy administers first aid to the injured Marty, Rusty scales the walls of the ravine to summon help. Rusty runs to Danny, who, finding a written plea for help attached to the dog's collar, rallies his friends to rescue the two boys. All ends happily as Sgt. Beals, absolved of guilt by the authorities, is permitted to adopt Loddy, who has won the respect of the town by his selfless effort to rescue Marty.