A Dog of Flanders (1960)

96-97 mins | Drama | March 1960

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HISTORY

The following written acknowledgment appears at the end of the film: " A Dog of Flanders was filmed entirely on location in Holland and Belgium. We wish to thank all the people of those two countries whose kindness and cooperation made this possible. We further wish to express our sincere gratitude to Father Weleerwaarde Herr Vanheirkon for permitting us to film the interior of the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp." The NYT review misspelled several of the actors' names, including the dog's. A Dog of Flanders won the Grand Prix at the 1960 Venice Children's Film Festival. For information about earlier films based on Ouida's novel, please see the entry for the 1935 RKO film A Dog of Flanders in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 . Subsequent projects based on the novel include an animated television series which was broadcast in Japan in 1975, and the 1999 Woodbridge Films production A Dog of Flanders , directed by Kevin Brodie and starring Jeremy James Kissner and Jack ... More Less

The following written acknowledgment appears at the end of the film: " A Dog of Flanders was filmed entirely on location in Holland and Belgium. We wish to thank all the people of those two countries whose kindness and cooperation made this possible. We further wish to express our sincere gratitude to Father Weleerwaarde Herr Vanheirkon for permitting us to film the interior of the Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp." The NYT review misspelled several of the actors' names, including the dog's. A Dog of Flanders won the Grand Prix at the 1960 Venice Children's Film Festival. For information about earlier films based on Ouida's novel, please see the entry for the 1935 RKO film A Dog of Flanders in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 . Subsequent projects based on the novel include an animated television series which was broadcast in Japan in 1975, and the 1999 Woodbridge Films production A Dog of Flanders , directed by Kevin Brodie and starring Jeremy James Kissner and Jack Warden. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
28 Dec 1959.
---
Daily Variety
23 Dec 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
23 Dec 59
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Jun 59
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Jul 59
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Dec 59
p. 3.
New York Times
1 Apr 60
p. 37.
Variety
23 Dec 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
SOUND
MAKEUP
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
Prod mgr for Cinetone, Amsterdam
Patrasche trained by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (New York, 1872).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Release Date:
March 1960
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 31 March 1960
Production Date:
mid June--late July 1959
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
31 December 1959
Copyright Number:
LP15647
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
96-97
Countries:
Netherlands, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19442
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In a rural village outside Antwerp in nineteenth century Belgium, Nello Dass, a poor orphan who helps his infirm grandfather Jehan deliver milk, dreams of becoming an artist like his idol, Peter Paul Rubens. One day, a drunken peddler brutally beats his dog and leaves him to die by the side of the road. While returning from their milk route, Nello and Jehan come upon the nearly dead dog and Nello begs to bring the dog home and nurse him back to health. Jehan reluctantly agrees, and Nello decides to name the canine Patrasche, after Rubens' dog. Alois Cogez, the miller's little daughter, gives Nello a bone for his dog, but the Dass family is so poor that grandfather insists on flavoring the soup with it first. Alois' father, a prosperous businessman, disapproves of his daughter's friendship with the "ragamuffin" Nello. Under Nello's loving care, Patrasche thrives and gradually loses his wariness of humans. While delivering milk to Antwerp one day, Jehan stops at the diamond mart, intending to apprentice Nello to a diamond merchant he knows there. The merchant has drowned, however, and the cold-hearted merchant to whom Jehan speaks refuses to help the boy. In his grandfather's absence, Nello draws a sketch of a fountain in the town square, attracting the attention of artist Piet Van Gelder. The gruff Piet, frustrated by his own work, at first scoffs at the boy's ambition and then relents and gives him advice on technique. Concerned about Nello's future, the practical Jehan admonishes the boy to give up his dream of becoming an artist. That night, the cold-hearted landlord comes to ... +


In a rural village outside Antwerp in nineteenth century Belgium, Nello Dass, a poor orphan who helps his infirm grandfather Jehan deliver milk, dreams of becoming an artist like his idol, Peter Paul Rubens. One day, a drunken peddler brutally beats his dog and leaves him to die by the side of the road. While returning from their milk route, Nello and Jehan come upon the nearly dead dog and Nello begs to bring the dog home and nurse him back to health. Jehan reluctantly agrees, and Nello decides to name the canine Patrasche, after Rubens' dog. Alois Cogez, the miller's little daughter, gives Nello a bone for his dog, but the Dass family is so poor that grandfather insists on flavoring the soup with it first. Alois' father, a prosperous businessman, disapproves of his daughter's friendship with the "ragamuffin" Nello. Under Nello's loving care, Patrasche thrives and gradually loses his wariness of humans. While delivering milk to Antwerp one day, Jehan stops at the diamond mart, intending to apprentice Nello to a diamond merchant he knows there. The merchant has drowned, however, and the cold-hearted merchant to whom Jehan speaks refuses to help the boy. In his grandfather's absence, Nello draws a sketch of a fountain in the town square, attracting the attention of artist Piet Van Gelder. The gruff Piet, frustrated by his own work, at first scoffs at the boy's ambition and then relents and gives him advice on technique. Concerned about Nello's future, the practical Jehan admonishes the boy to give up his dream of becoming an artist. That night, the cold-hearted landlord comes to collect the rent and offers to buy Jehan's brass bed, the last remnant of his happy marriage, but Jehan refuses his offer. The next morning, Patrasche eagerly climbs into the milk cart harness and Jehan, hobbled by old age and pain, stays behind at home. In Antwerp, Nello visits the cathedral that houses Rubens' triptych of the crucifixion, but is turned away by the priest for lack of the one franc viewing fee. When he leaves the cathedral, Nello finds the peddler trying to steal Patrasche, but Piet comes to their rescue. In his skirmish with the peddler, Nello injures his hand and Piet takes him to his studio for treatment. There, Nello tells Piet of his plans to enter a painting in the children's Christmas contest. When the boy questions him about his paintings, Piet becomes angry and throws him out after giving him some pens and drawing paper. Corrie, Piet's long-suffering model, tries to comfort the boy. Soon after, the peddler returns to beat Nello and steal Patrasche. When Alois sees the peddler dragging the reluctant dog, she calls to her father to come to Nello's defense. Enraged by the peddler's brutality, Cogez turns the growling Patrasche loose, and while fleeing the angry dog, the peddler runs into a windmill blade and dies. Alarmed, Cogez orders Nello to leave the mill and never return. Finally recognizing Nello's talent, Jehan gives the boy his few remaining possessions to sell so that he can buy some art supplies. In Antwerp, Nello visits Piet's studio, where Piet insults Corrie by declaring he will never marry her. After Corrie runs crying from the room, Piet tutors Nello on how to blend colors and gives him some paints. When Corrie returns, Piet confesses his love to her and they embrace. With his new paints, Nello decides to draw his grandfather and his dog, but once the portrait is finished, Nello discovers that the old man has died while posing in his chair. With his last coins, Nello pays for his grandfather's funeral. Having lost all his milk customers, Nello is unable to pay the rent and the landlord barters Jehan's beloved bed for one month's reprieve. Now destitute, Nello's one last hope is to win the contest money. Cold and hungry, Nello begs for food for Patrasche and then hurries to hear the result of the contest. After his painting loses, Nello, desperate, goes to Alois and pleads with her to take care of Patrasche because he can no longer afford to feed him. After Nello tearfully departs, Patrasche whines at the door for his master. Soon after, Alois' parents return home and, apprised of the situation, Cogez decides to find Nello and offer him an apprenticeship. Just then, Piet knocks at the door and, holding Nello's painting, declares that he wants to apprentice the boy. Alois then suggests that Patrasche will lead them to the missing Nello. On Christmas Eve, in the midst of a snowstorm, Nello visits the cathedral, and the priest relents and allows him to view the painting at last. As Nello gazes skyward toward the triptych, Patrasche, by Alois, Piet and Corrie run into the cathedral and hug him. +

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.