This film is adapted from a novel by James H. Street published in 1954. The story first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post. Uncle Jesse Jackson and Skeeter Jackson live out in the woods and swamps of Mississippi. Skeeter hears an unusual sound in the night and he wakes up Uncle Jesse. They head out into the woods to find out what is making this sound. They discover it is a dog that laughs, cries tears and licks itself like a cat? No one seems to know what kind of dog this is? Skeeter brings her home and he starts to train her. He names her Lady and she’s going to be a bird dog. Skeeter and Lady start out with basic training but then they find out she is the best bird dog in the area. She has an unusual way about her but she can smell birds 60 feet away. People start to flock to their cabin to learn about Lady.
This film is in black and white and it reminded me of The Yearling of 1946 but not as much of a tearjerker. I think The Yearling is very difficult to watch but this film is not as painful. Lady is actually a Basenji and this breed originated in central Africa. They are in the sighthound category and they are hunting dogs. Lady is very cute, smart and a wonderful companion both to Jesse and Skeeter. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
94 min, Drama directed by William A. Wellman with Walter Brennan, Phil Harris, Brandon De Wilde, Sidney Poitier, William Hopper, Louise Beavers, George Chandler.
Note: Imdb 7.3 out of 10, Amazon 4.6* out of 5* with 48 reviews.
Special Note: Filmed in Albany, Georgia. There is a mistake too. A bag of C&H sugar is shown on their shelf but Domino sugar is sold in Mississippi. There was a written agreement that Lady would become the personal property of Brandon De Wilde after the completion of filming. There were 5 young dogs for the role of Lady but My Lady of the Congo did most of the scenes. Brandon De Wilde was born in 1942 and he died in 1972. His career spanned from 1951 until 1972 and he was killed in an auto accident.