Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Have You Ever Seen a Lassie?

I turned on the television this morning and on TCM they were running an old Lassie movie. It had Edmund Gwynn( Santa in Miracle on 34th St.) and Janet Leigh. Lassie was the usual heroine and proved to the town that Chloroform was a viable way to do a surgical procedure.
Santa, I mean Gwynn, was at one time the hardest working actor in Hollywood. For a smallish, not very good looking man, he sure got a lot of work. He could be kind and caring or cranky and curmudgeony. I can't tell you all the movies I have seen that he is in.
Janet Leigh looks to be about 16. She might be older than that but she doesn't look it. Kinda like that Chinese gymnast!
Anyway, the Lassie movies are always the same. Lassie has been around for such a long time. She did movies and television. I'm not sure how many Lassies there have been but there have been a lot and some of them were even boys. I guess the strategic long coat of a collie made it possible to trick the public.
In the movies, I've seen Lassie loved by Peter Lawford and Roddy McDowell. My favorite is still Lassie and Timmy from the TV show. The kid was Jon Provost and the dog was ...well, Lassie. Timmy's mother was June Lockhart and she was the perfect mom of the fifties, well dressed and smiling and cooking and doing laundry. I don't really remember the father although I'm pretty sure he was around or maybe it was a grandpa...I don't really remember.
The star was Lassie of course. For someone who couldn't talk, she sure got her message across. She could sense danger a mile off and spot a rabid animal from 100 paces. She saved Timmy's,er,...neck more than a hundred times and she had mental telepathy with Timmy's mother.
Lassie was as much a part of Saturday morning at our house as were the treats my dad bought at the old Hough bakery. He made our breakfasts on the weekend and they were always the best. I couldn't wait for Saturday morning.
Uh-oh, the good doctor(Santa) is passed out in the snow and Lassie is crying over his body and crossing the raging river to save him. Gotta go...I wonder what 's going to happen?

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