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       Articles in the 22 Jul 1977 DV and 23 Jul 1977 LAT announced that Bonita Granville Wrather and her husband, Jack Wrather, producers of the television series Lassie (CBS, 12 Sep 1954 – 12 Sep 1971), planned to bring the Lassie character back to feature films after the span of over twenty-five years. The new film, starring James Stewart, would be the first Lassie feature since Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (M-G-M) The Painted Hills (1951, see entry). Rudd Weatherwax, trainer of the original Lassie, was set to provide “a descendent of the original star.”
       Referring to the picture by its working title, Lassie, My Lassie, the 27 Sep 1977 HR announced that principal photography had begun at the CBS Cinema Center in Studio City, CA, and a 4 Oct 1977 HR news item added that six weeks of filming had begun in Santa Rosa, CA; however, a 31 Oct 1977 Box news item reported that principal photography began 19 Sep 1977 in Sonoma County, CA. On 4 Nov 1977, HR announced that the nine week shooting schedule was concluding in Boomtown, NV and Zion National Park in UT. The $3 million project was financed entirely by Jack Wrather, who became a millionaire from mining oil in TX. A 7 Dec 1977 Var article announced that principal photography ended Nov 1977 with an estimated budget of $3.5 million. On 30 Jan 1978, Box reported that the film was re-titled The Magic of Lassie.
       A 30 Jun 1978 HR ... More Less

       Articles in the 22 Jul 1977 DV and 23 Jul 1977 LAT announced that Bonita Granville Wrather and her husband, Jack Wrather, producers of the television series Lassie (CBS, 12 Sep 1954 – 12 Sep 1971), planned to bring the Lassie character back to feature films after the span of over twenty-five years. The new film, starring James Stewart, would be the first Lassie feature since Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s (M-G-M) The Painted Hills (1951, see entry). Rudd Weatherwax, trainer of the original Lassie, was set to provide “a descendent of the original star.”
       Referring to the picture by its working title, Lassie, My Lassie, the 27 Sep 1977 HR announced that principal photography had begun at the CBS Cinema Center in Studio City, CA, and a 4 Oct 1977 HR news item added that six weeks of filming had begun in Santa Rosa, CA; however, a 31 Oct 1977 Box news item reported that principal photography began 19 Sep 1977 in Sonoma County, CA. On 4 Nov 1977, HR announced that the nine week shooting schedule was concluding in Boomtown, NV and Zion National Park in UT. The $3 million project was financed entirely by Jack Wrather, who became a millionaire from mining oil in TX. A 7 Dec 1977 Var article announced that principal photography ended Nov 1977 with an estimated budget of $3.5 million. On 30 Jan 1978, Box reported that the film was re-titled The Magic of Lassie.
       A 30 Jun 1978 HR report announced that the International Picture Show (TIPS) would handle domestic distribution of The Magic of Lassie. The Wrathers scheduled the world premiere for 27 Jul 1978 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The premiere broke a box office record, grossing $40,673.75 on its opening day, according to a 7 Aug 1978 DV news brief.
       A 9 Aug 1978 Var article reported that the film was made closer to a $4 million budget. Wrather planned to spend an additional $3 million on advertising, personal appearances, and contests. Working with TIPS, Wrather negotiated complete control over how and when Lassie screened, approving every booking and advertisement. TIPS arranged for Lassie to appear in 200-250 theaters by the end of Aug 1978 and planned to book the film regionally from mid-Oct 1978 to the beginning of 1979.
      End credits include the following statements: “Filmed at Hop Kiln Winery; Griffin Vineyard; Healdsburg, California'” “Our special thanks to Bob Cashell; Boomtown; Reno, Nevada,” and, “This film is dedicated to the loving memory of Betty Weatherwax.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
31 Oct 1977.
---
Box Office
30 Jan 1978.
---
Daily Variety
22 Jul 1977.
---
Daily Variety
7 Aug 1978.
---
Daily Variety
10 Aug 1978.
---
Daily Variety
11 Aug 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Sep 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Oct 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
21 Dec 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 May 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Jun 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Aug 1978.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 Aug 1978
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
23 Jul 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Oct 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
3 Nov 1977.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Dec 1978
p. 22.
New York Times
3 Aug 1978
p. 15.
Variety
7 Dec 1977.
---
Variety
28 Jun 1978.
---
Variety
9 Aug 1978
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Jack Wrather Presents
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key grip
Gaffer
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Film loader
Best boy
Best boy
Stillman
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Const foreman
Asst prop master
COSTUMES
Women`s cost
MUSIC
Mus and lyrics
Mus and lyrics
Mus supv, arr and cond
Mus ed/Coord
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles and opt
DANCE
Choreog
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Transportation
Asst to the prods
Secy to the dir
Lassie is owned and trained by
Assisted by
Assisted by
Craft service
Loc mgr
COLOR PERSONNEL
Color by
SOURCES
SONGS
"A Rose Is Not A Rose," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Pat Boone
"When You're Loved," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Debby Boone
"There'll Be Other Friday Nights," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Debby Boone
+
SONGS
"A Rose Is Not A Rose," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Pat Boone
"When You're Loved," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Debby Boone
"There'll Be Other Friday Nights," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Debby Boone
"Brass Rings And Daydreams," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by Debby Boone
"Nobody's Property," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by The Mike Curb Congregation
"I Can't Say Goodbye," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by The Mike Curb Congregation
"Banjo Song," written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, sung by The Mike Curb Congregation.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Lassie, My Lassie
Release Date:
1978
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 27 Jul 1978 at Radio City Music Hall; New York opening: week of 3 Aug 1978; Los Angeles opening: 8 Dec 1978
Production Date:
19 Sep 1977--late Nov 1977
Copyright Claimant:
Lassie Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
20 October 1978
Copyright Number:
PA22825
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

California vineyard owner Clovis Mitchell and his grandchildren, twenty-year-old Kelly and ten-year-old Chris, drive around town running errands with their beloved pet collie dog, Lassie; and Kelly flirts with a young lawyer named Allan. That evening, a local winemaker named Jamison and his assistant, Finch, visit Clovis and offer to buy his property, but Clovis refuses to sell. As Jamison and Finch leave, Jamison notices Lassie and Clovis snaps that Lassie is not for sale, either. Jamison mentions that he used to own a dog just liked Lassie. Before putting Chris to bed, Clovis explains how his great-grandfather brought the family’s first vines from Europe then planted them with his own hands. Clovis’s great-grandfather asked to be buried on the land, and Chris mentions that his parents' graves are also in the vineyards. Clovis says it is to preserve family legacy by passing the vineyard down through the generations from father to son. At Jamison’s house, Finch sees a photograph of Jamison’s award winning collie, Lady McDuff, and Jamison reminisces how the collie was his best friend. Commenting that Jamison usually buys everything he wants, Finch claims his boss will never be able to take Lassie away from the Mitchell family, but Jamison considers the slight a challenge. Several days later, Jamison returns to the Mitchell vineyard, claiming that Lassie was part of the litter of pups mothered by Lady McDuff that wandered off after a fire in his kennel. Jamison says that he marked the litter with tattoos in their ears and Clovis reluctantly admits that Lassie has the tattoo. Clovis explains that the family found Lassie ... +


California vineyard owner Clovis Mitchell and his grandchildren, twenty-year-old Kelly and ten-year-old Chris, drive around town running errands with their beloved pet collie dog, Lassie; and Kelly flirts with a young lawyer named Allan. That evening, a local winemaker named Jamison and his assistant, Finch, visit Clovis and offer to buy his property, but Clovis refuses to sell. As Jamison and Finch leave, Jamison notices Lassie and Clovis snaps that Lassie is not for sale, either. Jamison mentions that he used to own a dog just liked Lassie. Before putting Chris to bed, Clovis explains how his great-grandfather brought the family’s first vines from Europe then planted them with his own hands. Clovis’s great-grandfather asked to be buried on the land, and Chris mentions that his parents' graves are also in the vineyards. Clovis says it is to preserve family legacy by passing the vineyard down through the generations from father to son. At Jamison’s house, Finch sees a photograph of Jamison’s award winning collie, Lady McDuff, and Jamison reminisces how the collie was his best friend. Commenting that Jamison usually buys everything he wants, Finch claims his boss will never be able to take Lassie away from the Mitchell family, but Jamison considers the slight a challenge. Several days later, Jamison returns to the Mitchell vineyard, claiming that Lassie was part of the litter of pups mothered by Lady McDuff that wandered off after a fire in his kennel. Jamison says that he marked the litter with tattoos in their ears and Clovis reluctantly admits that Lassie has the tattoo. Clovis explains that the family found Lassie on the side of the road and nursed the puppy back to health around the same time his son and daughter-in-law died in a car accident. Jamison remains unmoved by the story and demands Clovis hand Lassie over within twenty-four hours, or he will call the police. The next evening, Clovis delivers Lassie to Jamison as Chris watches from his window and sees Jamison hand his grandfather a check. Furious, Chris looks away before noticing Clovis tearing up the money. When Clovis returns inside, Chris accuses him of selling Lassie. Later, Jamison attempts to win Lassie’s affection but the collie escapes by jumping over his hedges, so Jamison sends a helicopter to search for the dog. As Lassie runs from her pursuers, she falls down a rocky hill and injures her paw. Elsewhere, Jamison instructs Finch to put up posters in several states, offering a $2,000 reward for Lassie’s safe return. The next day, Lassie limps along the side of the road, and a van stops to help her. The driver, a talent manager named Gus and his client, a professional wrestler named Albert (also known as “Apollo”) tend to Lassie’s injury. Not finding any owner identification, Gus and Albert take Lassie with them on the road. Several days later, Jamison informs Clovis that Lassie ran away and asks the farmer to contact him if Lassie returns home as Chris eavesdrops. Back on the road, Lassie licks Gus and Albert as they sleep before leaving. Meanwhile, Chris runs away by climbing onto a flat bed truck transporting cars. That afternoon, Kelly learns that Chris never arrived at school and she, Clovis, and Allan report the boy missing to Sheriff Frank Andrews. Assuming Chris will come home soon, the sheriff wants to wait several hours before putting out an all points bulletin, but Clovis refuses to wait and looks for Chris on his own. Back at the Mitchell house, Allan informs Kelly that he investigated Jamison’s claims regarding Lassie’s heritage and learned there was no record of a kennel fire. Meanwhile, the flatbed truck stops in Boomtown, Nevada, for the night and Chris walks into a diner as Clovis arrives at the same location and checks into a motel. The next day, Lassie secretly rides in a boat hitched to a car. A police officer recognizes Lassie from the reward posters and pulls over the driver. Lassie leaps out of the boat, and the police officer gives chase, but Lassie escapes into the woods. After spending the night at the Boomtown diner, Chris orders breakfast from a sympathetic waitress named Alice, who asks about the boy’s background. Chris mentions he is from California, and Alice makes him a free lunch before he leaves. Outside, Chris upsets the truck stop drivers by walking around the big rigs. One trucker chases Chris, but the boy escapes by jumping onto an empty cattle truck. Back at the diner, a missing persons news report about Chris airs on the television behind the counter and both Alice and the trucker recognize they boy. Meanwhile, Lassie walks along train tracks before jumping into a boxcar. Nearby, a police officer pulls Clovis over and informs him that Sheriff Andrews ordered local police to find him. He reports that witnesses have spotted Chris in the area, and they have a lead on his whereabouts. Elsewhere, Chris is nearly trampled to death when the truck stops to load cattle, but Clovis and the police officer arrive just in time to save him. Clovis and Chris return home and, the next day, Allan updates the Mitchell family on his investigation: Jamison sold Lassie to a man named Jack Sinclair, who officially registered himself as Lassie’s owner, but Allan convinced Sinclair to transfer ownership to Clovis. That evening, the Mitchells confront Jamison, who confesses the truth and decides to call off the search for Lassie. The next day, Lassie comes across a group of young banjo performers who feed her. Later, as the band practices, Lassie befriends a kitten. That evening, the band performs at a local “hoedown” as Lassie watches and an audience member recognizes Lassie from the reward posters. The man chases Lassie and accidentally knocks over a torch, which starts a raging fire on stage. Lassie and the kitten are trapped backstage, surrounded by flames, but Lassie lifts the kitten in her mouth and pushes it out of a window to safety. On Thanksgiving Day, Clovis, Kelly, Allan, and Chris sit down for dinner. Sheriff Andrews phones Clovis to tell him about Lassie and the fire, reporting that Lassie did not make it out alive. Clovis cannot bring himself to tell Chris and Kelly, and says that the police spotted Lassie nearby. As the family says grace before dinner, Chris sees Lassie outside in the distance. He runs outside to greet Lassie, and the boy and dog frolic through the vineyard. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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