The Underdog


1h 5m 1943

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 10, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,843ft

Synopsis

In California, Henry Tate, whose family moved to town after their farm failed, refuses to give bully Spike Bailey his salvage, so Spike gives him a bloody nose. When Officer O'Toole comes to Henry's aid, however, Henry pretends that they were only training, and Spike's kind mother apologizes to Henry's mother Amy. When Henry's father John comes home from working at a rubber factory, he is dismayed to learn that his wife has taken a job, and yearns to return to farm life. Amy, however, is glad to be contributing to the war effort, and complains that she was lonely living on a farm. When John suggests that they buy an orchard, Amy refuses to give up her new life, and John disconsolately gambles away his earnings in a poker game at his landlord Kraeger's bar. Unknown to John, Kraeger and his friend, Eddie Mohr, are spies who gather valuable information about cargo shipments and factories from their tenants. One day, after fending off Spike and his gang's raid on his father's trailer, which is parked next to their cottage, Henry meets a soldier, who informs him that many dogs are trained for special use in the war. Henry submits his dog, Hobo, for training, and proudly hangs a star in his window to show that a family member is fighting for the country. Mrs. Bailey reveals to Amy that her eldest son, who sets a poor example for Spike, enlisted after being released from jail. When Henry goes to watch Hobo's training, Hobo fails to pass the smoke and water tests, and is rejected for military service. Henry believes the dog is cowardly until his mother reveals that he became traumatized after rescuing horses from a burning barn, and was once caught in a flood trying to rescue their chickens. Frustrated by factory work, meanwhile, John accepts a job from Mohr and Kraeger guarding cargo. One night, Henry sneaks out of the house to bring John his shotgun. Unknown to Henry, Kraeger and Mohr have drugged John so that he will be unaware that they are sabotaging the tanks in the warehouse. Henry encounters the saboteurs and fires the gun, while Hobo attacks one of the men. The shots awaken John, who gets in on the fight, but Henry's gunshots cause an explosion, and the boy is knocked unconscious. Hobo's barks lead firemen to rescue Henry, and John emerges from the fire shortly after with a saboteur in tow. Later, John enlists in the Army, and he, Henry and Hobo are awarded citations for valor. Having received a letter from his brother, who admits to regretting his criminal past, Spike turns over a new leaf and befriends Henry.

Film Details

Release Date
Oct 10, 1943
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Distribution Company
Producers Releasing Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,843ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Actor Paul Bryant was included in the cast in Hollywood Reporter production charts, but his appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. According to information from War Dept. records contained in NARS, the War Dept. rejected this film for export due to the scenes of enemy sabotage.