2 April 2007 | Doylenf
Uninspired remake of "Lassie Come Home" uses colt instead of collie...
Children will probably find something to appreciate in GYPSY COLT, but it's simply an uninspired remake of LASSIE COME HOME using a colt instead of a collie to tell the tale of an animal that can't stay away from its youthful owner. In this case, the owner is DONNA CORCORAN, a cute girl under contract to MGM at the time--but the acting and direction is a constant reminder that this is a B-film masquerading as an A-product.
Scenery is spectacular (of the American West), but the tale bears all the earmarks of the "Lassie" story--even down to the animal knowing when it's three o'clock and time to drop in at the school. Townspeople can set their watches at the sight of the colt racing down the street toward the schoolhouse.
WARD BOND and FRANCES DEE have very little to work with as the parents who have to sell the horse in order to make ends meet--and praying that it will rain so their crops will survive. The horse is a black beauty, sleek and proud and there are beautiful shots of it racing along highways and desert sands, pursued by cowboys at one time, motorcyclists at another, and finally taken care of briefly by a Mexican boy who finally lets the horse free from confinement after rescuing it in the desert. "Horse go home," he tells it reluctantly.
It's a simple little film that probably pleased the kiddies at Saturday matinees--but there's a tired look to the acting by all of the adults. Only the horse and the children seem to understand what this is all about.
Trivia note: Interesting to see LEE VAN CLEEF as the mean stable man, years before he joined Clint Eastwood for more villainy.