Kerr's Corner

Kerr's Corner is a regular feature in East Antrim and Newtownabbey editions of The Wizard. David Kerr would like to hear your memories of life in your own area. Maybe you'll trigger some thoughts for a future column.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Film Review - Lassie


Certificate PGDirected by Charles SturridgeStarring: Peter O’Toole, Robert hardy, Nicholas Lyndurst and Edward Fox.

Reviewed by Alan Thompson

I HAVE accompanied my seven year old son to numerous multi-million dollar blockbusters over the last number of months, including batman Begins, the disappointing Legend of Zorro, Star Wars III, and the impressive King Kong. So what a delightful change this modest, fast paced, emotional, lower-budget picture was.

I was apprehensive before seeing the film that Lassie might just be another computer-generated canine King Kong, but not a bit of it. A real life dog with special effects and an absolute barely noticeable minimum.

A superb cast inspires Peter O’Toole as the Duke of Rudling to turn in one of his most impressive on-screen performances in years. The supporting cats includes Edward Fox, the ever reliable Robert Hardy and a surprise screen villain role for Nicolas ‘Rodders’ Lyndhurst, whose dastardly actions caused my son to have to wipe a tear from his eyes.

The story, set on the eve of the Second World War, begins with the local Yorkshire coal pit closing and miner Sam (John Lynch) is forced to sell Lassie to the Duke, much to the dismay of his desperate wife Sarah (Samantha Morton) and his heartbroken son, Joe. Lassie is transported to Scotland, but escapes the clutches of his belt-wielding handler, to make an epic journey back to Yorkshire. This version is the most faithful adaptation of Eric Knight’s original novel since the legendary Lassie Come Home (1943).

Some beautiful scenic photography, mostly shot in Ireland adds to the pleasant fell-good family experience. If you miss it at the cinema, grab the DVD – you won’t be disappointed.


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