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Owd Bob


Aka: Koiran elämää (Finland)
Director: Rodney Gibbons
Year: 1998
Country: UK
Runtime: 105 minutes
Genre: Family / Drama

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You'd have to be some sort of an ogre to go wrong with Owd Bob. If warm, old-fashioned dog flicks aren't your thing, maybe stunning scenery is; green hills and azure seas don't get much more gorgeous than on Ireland's Celtic-breeze-whipped Isle of Man. Should neither of those appeal, though, it's easy to settle for simple good acting. Babe's James Cromwell stars as Adam McAdam, a grumpy old bugger who ticks away lonely days tending the farm alongside his champion sheepdog Zac. Then comes the day his orphaned American grandson, David, is dumped at his doorstep. McAdam, a pretty poor excuse for company, can't keep David from befriending neighbor girl Maggie Moore. Bad blood between the Moores and the McAdams runs deep, but the conflict du jour centers around dogs--Owd Bob, Maggie's pup, aims to put Zac to shame in the upcoming sheepherding tournament. Leading up to the contest, parallel story lines swirl around: Maggie's mom is dying, and a crew of local cronies suspect Zac, who's lately been spotted licking blood-stained chops, of being a sheep killer. While tensions between David and his grandfather escalate, David moves out, Maggie loses her mom, and the dogs do their stuff, with Zac coming out the victor. There's still the matter of the sheep murders, though. In a dramatic pup frame-up, Owd Bob is the fall guy, and only old man McAdam can save him from being destroyed. It's a sad ending for Zac, but one that allows McAdam's well-buried love for his grandson to surface. Whatever propels you to spring for this film, break out the family-sized popcorn bowl. Owd Bob's penchant for bringing folks together is as powerful in living rooms as it is onscreen. - Tammy La Gorce

Children's Cast:

Jemima Rooper [17] Maggie Moore
Dylan Provencher [15] David Roberts

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