The Tender Years (1948)

81 mins | Drama | January 1948

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HISTORY

The opening credits of the film include the following written statement statement: "The producer wishes to express his appreciation to the American Humane Association for its cooperation and approval of this production." According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Noreen Nash was loaned for the production by Eagle-Lion. Contemporary reviews commented on the effectiveness of comedian Joe E. Brown's dramatic performance in the picture. His salary for the film was $25,000. The child actor Richard Lyon was the son of actors Ben Lyon and Bebe ... More Less

The opening credits of the film include the following written statement statement: "The producer wishes to express his appreciation to the American Humane Association for its cooperation and approval of this production." According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department at the UCLA Arts--Special Collections Library, Noreen Nash was loaned for the production by Eagle-Lion. Contemporary reviews commented on the effectiveness of comedian Joe E. Brown's dramatic performance in the picture. His salary for the film was $25,000. The child actor Richard Lyon was the son of actors Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
6 Dec 1947.
---
Film Daily
3 Dec 47
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jul 47
p. 18
Hollywood Reporter
3 Dec 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
2 Aug 47
p. 39.
Variety
3 Dec 47
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
From a story by
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dresser
MUSIC
SOUND
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Script supv
Dog trainer
Goat trainer
STAND INS
Double
Double
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Woodland Dreams" by G. Vargis.
SONGS
"Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord Almighty," based on "Nicaea," music and lyrics by Rev. J. B. Dykes.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
My Son and I
Release Date:
January 1948
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 30 January 1948
Production Date:
late July--late August 1947 at Enterprise Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
24 October 1947
Copyright Number:
LP2306
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
81
Length(in feet):
7,334
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12724
SYNOPSIS

Around 1870, Will Norris is pastor of the Cooperville Memorial Church and lives in the small, rural community with his wife Emily and young son Ted. Kit Barton, a newcomer to the town, is running lucrative dog fights in a rented barn. One day Barton's own dog "The Slasher," a boxer, escapes after a whipping. As Ted puts out hymn books for Sunday service, he discovers the badly bleeding dog hiding in the church. Jeanie, Ted's young friend, thinking that the dog is mad, runs off to fetch Ted's parents. However, Ted manages to calm the dog by kindness, as his father has taught him. The family helps the dog to recover and Ted names it "Dusty" after a dog they previously owned. Dusty soon makes friends with the other animals around the Norris house and barn and is an ideal companion for Ted. One morning, Jeanie is having breakfast with her grandfather Senator Cooper, when the sheriff interrupts and mentions that some man is offering a very liberal reward for the return of a dog matching Dusty's description. After Jeanie tells Ted about the man, his father persuades him that they must return the dog, not realising that Barton has been maltreating him. Jeanie drives Ted and Dusty into town but at the barn, they witness Barton training dogs to fight and rush back to tell Ted's parents. Will and Bob Wilson, the county attorney and Emily's sister Linda's fiancé, discuss possible strategies to stop the dog fights, but as the fights are legal, they ask the senator to take the issue to the legislature and propose a new law making it illegal to maltreat any animal ... +


Around 1870, Will Norris is pastor of the Cooperville Memorial Church and lives in the small, rural community with his wife Emily and young son Ted. Kit Barton, a newcomer to the town, is running lucrative dog fights in a rented barn. One day Barton's own dog "The Slasher," a boxer, escapes after a whipping. As Ted puts out hymn books for Sunday service, he discovers the badly bleeding dog hiding in the church. Jeanie, Ted's young friend, thinking that the dog is mad, runs off to fetch Ted's parents. However, Ted manages to calm the dog by kindness, as his father has taught him. The family helps the dog to recover and Ted names it "Dusty" after a dog they previously owned. Dusty soon makes friends with the other animals around the Norris house and barn and is an ideal companion for Ted. One morning, Jeanie is having breakfast with her grandfather Senator Cooper, when the sheriff interrupts and mentions that some man is offering a very liberal reward for the return of a dog matching Dusty's description. After Jeanie tells Ted about the man, his father persuades him that they must return the dog, not realising that Barton has been maltreating him. Jeanie drives Ted and Dusty into town but at the barn, they witness Barton training dogs to fight and rush back to tell Ted's parents. Will and Bob Wilson, the county attorney and Emily's sister Linda's fiancé, discuss possible strategies to stop the dog fights, but as the fights are legal, they ask the senator to take the issue to the legislature and propose a new law making it illegal to maltreat any animal including horses, cattle and sheep. The senator, however, points out that the adoption of such a law would empower inspectors to enter homes and properties to enforce and thereby infringe on an individual's right to privacy. Will does not agree with this, but the senator suggests that he return the dog in order to avoid prosecution for theft. Will reluctantly agrees and, when Barton comes to his home to collect Dusty, offers to buy the dog but cannot meet his price. Ted is very upset by his father's actions and thinks that he has failed him. On the night of Dusty's next fight, Ted slips out of the house and goes to Barton's barn. After Ted enters the area where the dogs are kept and tries to release Dusty, Will shows up, and together they manage to escape with Dusty. Barton tells the sheriff he suspects that Will has his dog and wants the minister's house and property searched. Will informs the sheriff that he and Ted have hidden the dog and insists the sheriff arrest him as he wants to stand trial. Bob and the senator ask Will to return the dog so that they can have the case dismissed and Bob won't have to try to convict him, but Will refuses, intending to act as his own lawyer. Although Bob and the senator conduct a mock trial to show Will that under the present laws and court procedures he could well lose, Will insists on continuing. Emily tells him that even if he is jailed, people all over the country will ask why and will think about the issue. The next morning, Barton's young son Frank follows Ted as he goes to feed Dusty on the island where he is being hidden. While Ted tells Dusty that he is going to take him back as he cannot allow his father to go to jail, Frank falls in the water while trying to raft across the lake. Ted and Dusty save Frank from drowning but when he cannot revive Frank, Ted sends Dusty for help. Dusty goes to Barton's place and brings him to the lake. Frank recovers and Barton tells the sheriff that he has his dog back and that the trial can be called off. Later, Bob gathers a large crowd together at the church and shows them the petition they all signed to send to the governor requesting that he make it unlawful to treat any animal in a cruel or inhuman manner and to prohibit, for ever, dog fighting. As Barton and Frank drive by on his way out of town, his cart laden with caged dogs, he stops and Frank releases Dusty to rejoin Ted and his family. +

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

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.