Challenge to Lassie

Challenge to Lassie

Richard Thorpe (1949)

U Certificate


Our Score
This is a major character role for the movies' best-loved pre-Beethoven pooch, as the famed collie retreats to late-19th-century Edinburgh from the great American outdoors to play a faithful dog who keeps returning to a churchyard where her master is buried. If that sounds familiar, it's Disney's 1960 film Greyfriars Bobby, which was an uncredited remake of this 1949 MGM film, also featuring Donald Crisp. In the later version Crisp starred as the cemetery keeper, whereas here he's Lassie's master. Lassie is utterly splendid in the lead, and the late 1940s Technicolor is ravishing. Humans Crisp, Edmund Gwenn and Hollywood's British colony all do sterling work, but it's the dog's movie and rightly so.


A faithful dog in Victorian Edinburgh keeps a night-and-day watch over the grave of his dead master, who rescued him as a pup and raised him to be a champion sheepdog. Meanwhile, a battle of wills ensues between a by-the-book policeman and a kindly publican over the loyal canine's well-being. Richard Thorpe's drama, based on the true story of Greyfriars Bobby, with Edmund Gwenn, Donald Crisp and Reginald Owen.

Cast & Crew

John Traill Edmund Gwenn
"Jock" Gray Donald Crisp
Susan Brown Geraldine Brooks
Sergeant Davie Reginald Owen
James Brown Alan Webb
William Traill Ross Ford
Sir Charles Loring Henry Stephenson
Lord Provost Alan Napier
Mrs MacFarland Sara Allgood
Magistrate Edmund Breon
Dr Lee Arthur Shields
Director Richard Thorpe
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Metro-Goldwyn-MayerAvailable on: video
Children's Drama