August 03, 1990 at 04:00 AM EDT

Lassie Come Home

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
89 minutes
performer
Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowall, Nigel Bruce, Elsa Lanchester, Elizabeth Taylor
director
Fred M. Wilcox
distributor
MGM/UA Home Video
genre
Kids and Family, Drama
We gave it a B

The slightly older set will be hard-pressed to watch Lassie Come Home without a great big lump in the throat. The TV serie sired by both have assured that. Today’s kids, however, will probably approach this pet epic from a more dry-eyed point of view.

Its Technicolor restored to picture-postcard prettiness, Lassie Come Home proves the more durable. The sweet and clever collie, sold because its original family is hard-up, battles the elements for hundreds of miles — and has some shockingly violent fights — while returning from Scotland to the waiting arms of Roddy McDowall in Yorkshire, England. Never mind that the terrain is obviously California: This is the land of make-believe, where love and canine loyalty conquer all.

In this movie, kids must learn self-sacrifice, but their traumas do not leave lifelong scars. Happy endings are a given here — just as they were each week on TV. In a world of Ninja Turtles, this movie qualify as above-average family entertainment, providing kids with reasonably involving stories, and their parents with a pleasant nostalgic charge. B

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