Greyfriar's Bobby (1961)

Dir. Don Chaffey / USA / Family, Drama / Colour / 87m

Disney's ‘Greyfriars Bobby’ is a virtual remake of ‘A Challenge to Lassie’; both are based on the same novel by Eleanor Atkinson, and both feature Donald Crisp in a major role. A true story, set in Edinburgh around 1875, the film stars Alex McKenzie as the shepherd Old Jock, the owner of a loyal Skye terrier named Bobby. Jock dies of old age, exposure and starvation, and is buried in the Edinburgh cemetery known as Greyfriar’s Kirk. Bobby spends his days playing with street children, begging for scraps, and evading the police constables, but by night he sleeps on his late master's gravesite and refuses to leave, despite graveyard caretaker John Brown's (Crisp) efforts to chase Bobby away.

Slowly but surely, the taciturn Brown comes to love the steadfast dog, which brings him into conflict with stiff-necked Constable MacLean (Donald MacRae), who intends to "arrest" Bobby if Brown doesn't pay the minimal license fee. Standing on principle, Brown refuses, but a group of local children raise the necessary funds, setting the stage for a heartwarmingly Disneyesque finale.

Largely filmed in the studio although there were some scenes filmed in Edinburgh and the Borders area.

greyfriars bobby

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