HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
Anbessa
Man in Grey, The
   
 
Newest Articles
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
   
 
  Greyfriars Bobby Bonnie Wee Bobby
Year: 2005
Director: John Henderson
Stars: James Cosmo, Greg Wise, Oliver Golding, Gina McKee, Ardal O’Hanlon, Christopher Lee, Ronald Pickup, Sean Pertwee, Kirsty Mitchell, Christie Mitchell, Ian Richardson
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the Scottish town of Greyfriars, local policeman John Gray allows a shy boy named Ewan (Oliver Golding) to befriend his faithful dog Bobby. When Gray dies in the line of duty, his body is buried in the Greyfriars Kirkyard, overseen by Minister Lee (Greg Wise). Despite strict laws forbidding the entrance of dogs, Bobby sneaks inside every day to keep watch by his master’s grave. Greyfriars’ gravedigger, James Brown (James Cosmo) takes a liking to Bobby and gives him food and protection. However, when the passing of a new dog law in Scotland threatens Bobby’s very existence, Ewan tries desperately to save his canine friend.

Eleanor Atkinson’s original novel is a favourite of dog lovers everywhere and the 1961 Walt Disney adaptation is a staple of Sunday afternoon family viewing. This remake courted mild controversy by casting - gasp! - a West Highland White Terrier in place of the novel’s Skye Terrier and, in a further mishap, had its lottery funding mysteriously withdrawn by co-developers Scottish Screen. Although filming was set to be relocated to Luxemburg, it seems saner heads prevailed and a story that is in part a hymn to Edinburgh remained on local shores. The one concession being scenes set around Edinburgh castle were actually filmed in nearby Stirling Castle.

While the title character is certainly a likeable little pooch, the film suffers from trying to warp the simple storyline beyond all recognition. Instead of a kindly old man, here Bobby’s owner is an idealistic copper eager to further young Ewan’s education, until fate deals him a cruel hand in the form of a violent mugger. Heck, even Bobby gets knifed in neck. Yikes! As in the novel and Disney’s version, everybody from Mr. Brown to a castle full of Scottish fusiliers claim Bobby as their own until it gradually becomes apparent he belongs to the whole of Edinburgh. However, the script shoehorns in a couple of glowering villains: charity commissioner Cecil Johnson (Ronald Pickup), whose motivation isn’t entirely clear, and textile factory owner Duncan Smithie (Sean Pertwee), who takes an almost-proprietary interest in Ewan’s mother (Kirsty Mitchell).

Amongst a largely agreeable cast, Gina McKee manages a few grace notes of sympathy for her bereaved widow. You feel for her as the rather selfish Ewan takes away the one thing she has left of her husband, although she sweetly lets Bobby go home. Sporting some freaky facial hair, Ardal O’Hanlon lends eccentric support as Irish rogue Coconut Tam, always ready with a money-making scheme. What’s he doing in Scotland? Search me.

The film features the expected canine heroics - mostly centred around Bobby’s long journey home - but weaves in some bizarre digressions: hints of a psychic link between Ewan and Bobby; the tenement block that suddenly collapses killing Ewan’s mother; his unlikely escape from the orphanage; and a crass comedy capper wherein Bobby pisses on his two adversaries. The orphanage scenes pile on some sub-Dickensian pathos as Ewan is worked till his fingers bleed and cruelly taunted by Johnson. However, whilst cleaning Johnson’s library he teaches himself all about Edinburgh law, leading to the protracted courtroom climax that features cameos from Ian Richardson as the presiding judge and, as the Lord Provost, Christopher Lee. Lee is wonderful and surmises both Bobby’s plight and that of the poor quite eloquently, but the scene drags on needlessly past his heroic gesture. Cinematographer John Ignatius drenches the rolling Scottish hillside in amber and orange hues, leaving things rather too close to a Hallmark greeting card. While it passes the time amiably, the film seems unlikely to supplant its predecessor as a cosy, teatime classic.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2647 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: