Comments on: Old Yeller 2-Movie Collection (Old Yeller/Savage Sam) http://newmoviereleasesdvd.loginby.com/old-yeller-2-movie-collection-old-yellersavage-sam/ New Movie Releases DVD HD News Celebrities Thu, 04 Aug 2016 05:06:10 +0000 hourly 1 By: Steven Hellerstedt "SH" http://newmoviereleasesdvd.loginby.com/old-yeller-2-movie-collection-old-yellersavage-sam/#comment-20543 Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:44:22 +0000 http://newmoviereleasesdvd.loginby.com/old-yeller-2-movie-collection-old-yellersavage-sam/#comment-20543
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Best doggone dog in the west, April 16, 2006
By 
Steven Hellerstedt “SH”
  

This review is from: Old Yeller 2-Movie Collection (Old Yeller/Savage Sam) (DVD)
A pair of delightful, classic (in the classic sense of the word) Disney animal stories, and nobody did animal stories betters than Disney. OLD YELLER and SAVAGE SAM are a couple of family safe gems.

OLD YELLER (1957) is the story of a big, barrel chested, half-lab half-mastiff and all big yellow haired mongrel who adopts himself into a farm family some time shortly after the American Civil War, somewhere deep in the heart of rural Texas. As the story opens Pa (Fess Parker) is leaving for the summer to drive and sell cattle for some much needed cash money, leaving Ma (Dorothy McGuire,) teenage son Travis (Tommy Kirk) and six-year-old son Arliss (Kevin Corcoran) to tend the farm in his absence. No sooner has Pa disappeared over the hill when a big yellow dog explodes on the scene, scaring the plowing mule and, a bit later, stealing a hank of middling meat. Travis wants to kill him, for young Arliss it’s love at first sight. Old Yeller’s status is a little shaky until Arliss, one of those kids whose pockets have to be emptied of garter snakes and horny toads before he’s allowed into the cabin, starts playing with a young bear cub far enough away from the cabin to make human rescue impossible. The mama bear and Old Yeller gallop onto the scene at about the same time, and their confrontation is quite exciting. The rescue is enough for the family to accept Yeller into the fold, and in return Yeller will save everyone in the family’s lives at least once. Anyone whose read Fred Gipson’s novel of the same name will be prepared for the serious trouble when `the hydrophoby’ hits the valley. To its credit Disney doesn’t rewrite the tragic ending. Gipson, by the way, also is credited as the screenwriter.

SAVAGE SAM (1963), another Gipson dog story, revisits the Coates family five years on. Kirk and Corcoran, both five years older, are back as Travis and Arliss. This time Ma and Pa are off visiting Ma’s sick mother, Uncle Beck (Brian Keith) drops in on the boys now and then, and the family dog is now Savage Sam, a hound dog (mainly hound, something else is mixed in his blood.) Sam can track just about anything, which comes in handy when he and Arliss go off chasing a egg-stealing bobcat and along with Travis and young Lisbeth Searcy (Marta Kristen,) are kidnapped by a horse-stealing band of Apaches. Sam is hit over the head and left for dead. Sam recovers, though, Uncle Beck organizes a chase party (including Royal Dano, Dewey Martin, and Slim Pickens) and sets out after the kidnapped children. Ultimately, a left-for-dead Travis and a groggy but enthusiastic Sam join the posse.

OLD YELLER is the big `un in this two-pack, but I enjoyed SAVAGE SAM nearly as much. It’s an exciting chase movie, and it doesn’t plumb the tragic depths its predecessor does.

The bonus disk contains a number of specials. A 35-minute special entitled “Old Yeller: Remembering a Classic,” a 2002 talking head documentary featuring a number of the remaining stars (Kirk, Corcoran, Parker, etc.) recalling the making of the movie. Interesting if not deeply informative. A 15-minute “Conversation with Tommy Kirk” pretty much explains it all, with the nearing-60 Kirk recalling his work with Disney. “Ranch of the Golden Oaks” is a 7-minute short about the ranch on which OLD YELLER was filmed – had kind of an infomercial feel to it. There’s a short feature with Gipson’s son celebrating the unveiling of an Old Yellow (and Travis) statue in a small town in Texas. A rebroadcast of a television episode of The Wonderful World of Disney from 1957 entitled `The Best Doggoned Dog in the World” devoted to, you guessed it, dogs. I don’t remember seeing the animated short `Bone Trouble,’ but navigating Disney’s special feature disks is tricky sometimes. The specials were enjoyable enough, gently selling Disney products, emphasizing Old Yeller and pretty much ignoring Savage Sam.

I’d recommend these without hesitation, but the presence of horse stealing, kidnapping indians in SAVAGE SAM is a little beyond the politically correct pale. Even though the kidnappers include a brave who steps in to protect the children a few times, the overall impression is that of scary, lawless savages. Those sensitive to such portrayals may want to watch SAVAGE SAM first before sitting down to it with the whole family.

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]]> By: K. Fontenot "Prairie Cajun Regenerated!" http://newmoviereleasesdvd.loginby.com/old-yeller-2-movie-collection-old-yellersavage-sam/#comment-20542 Fri, 06 Jun 2014 15:00:33 +0000 http://newmoviereleasesdvd.loginby.com/old-yeller-2-movie-collection-old-yellersavage-sam/#comment-20542

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Twice The Bark, Twice The Bite, November 20, 2006
By 
K. Fontenot “Prairie Cajun Regenerated!” (Louisiana) –
  

  

This review is from: Old Yeller 2-Movie Collection (Old Yeller/Savage Sam) (DVD)
“Old Yeller” is, simply put, one of the greatest films (and books) ever laid on celluloid. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, you don’t know what you are missing. “Old Yeller” tells the story of two boys (expertly played by Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran) who stay on their Texas farm with their mother while their father (Fess Parker) goes on a cattle drive. Yeller shows up and gives the elder brother, Travis Coates (Kirk), quite a bit of trouble until the dog proves his worth by saving everyone in the Coates family in one way or another. Of course, the ending of this heartwarming film is perhaps one of the most depressing in cinematic history, and Tommy Kirk handles his emotions onscreen to perfection.

“Savage Sam,” which is sort of a sequel to “Old Yeller” since it has Travis and little brother Arliss in it, not to mention two other memorable characters (which I’ll get to later). In it, Sam is the Coates’ new dog and much like Yeller, he’s smart, brave, and manages to get into trouble often. Unlike “Old Yeller,” which was more of a study in the relationship between a young boy and his dog, “Savage Sam” plays out more like a Western adventure, full of Injun fightin’, cowboys, and even a touch of romance. Travis, Arliss, and their friend, Lisbeth Searcy (Marta Kristen of “Lost In Space”) are captured by a band of Apache warriors who plan to do who knows what to them. The Coates’ uncle Beck (Brian Keith), Mr. Searcy (Jeff York) from the first film, and a gang that includes, among others, Slim Pickens and Dewey Martin, head out to save the kids. Along the way they pick up Sam, who was thought to be dead. Eventually, Sam picks up the kids’ trail and he leads our heroes to the three captives. The ending of this film is a lot happier than “Old Yeller,” but that ol’ yeller dog set the bar so high that most will consider “Savage Sam” inferior to it. That’s a fair statement, but there are few films out there that aren’t inferior to “Old Yeller.”

Bud Searcy (Jeff York) almost manages to steal both of these films. His proud, lazy, and “always around about dinner time” character is easily the funniest in the lot. Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran act well beyond their young years should allow in this film. Kirk is especially good at conveying the heartwrenching emotions that he feels as he puts Old Yeller to rest. Beverly Washburn portrays young Lisbeth Searcy in “Old Yeller,” but she didn’t return for “Savage Sam.” No reason is given, but Marta Kristen fills the role nicely and the character gets a considerable amount of screen time in “Sam.”

The DVD extras are very nice. “Bone Trouble” is a Disney short in which Pluto has a run-in with a neighbor dog over a bone in a mirror funhouse. It’s a nice addition to this set. The real gems here are the features on Don Gipson, author of both “Old Yeller” and “Savage Sam.” Gipson’s son is interviewed on the day that Yeller and Travis are to be enshrined in front of the local library in Mason, TX, where the Gipson clan is from. There’s also interviews with the cast in recent years about the making of the film. In it, Dorothy McGuire, Chuck Connors and Jeff York are fondly remembered by the rest of the original cast. There’s also an intimate look at the Disney film life of Tommy Kirk.

“Old Yeller” is a must-have for any true fan of film and/or Disney. It’s a Western tale that rivals “Shane” as one of the greatest Westerns of all time. “Savage Sam” is also a delight to have, and I’m glad it’s included on this disk.

Highly recommended.

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