Lassie Come Home (1943)

Genres - Children's/Family  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Adventure, Animal Picture  |   Release Date - Oct 7, 1943 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 90 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Richard Gilliam

Lassie Come Home is one of the best-loved family classics of all time. Based on the novel by Eric Knight, the story has all the elements that would become formulaic over the years: an honest, hardworking family must sell the child's pet; the pet goes to the new home only to run away; the pet endures great hardships in returning home; and the happy-ending reunion. In Lassie Come Home, the actors fully inhabit their characters, making them come alive as though they were real people. Donald Crisp is excellent as the father, and Roddy McDowall is perfectly cast as the son who loves Lassie. There's even a nice bit part for the young Elizabeth Taylor, as the granddaughter of the dog's new owner, Nigel Bruce. The film has the usual high-quality MGM look, thanks greatly to the production designs of Edwin B. Willis and Cedric Gibbons and the Oscar-nominated cinematography of Leonard Smith.