Greyfriars Bobby was a real dog, who loved his owner so much that he held a vigil, sitting by his master’s Edinburgh grave for over fourteen years after he died. And, er, that’s it. Not much to make a movie out of, is it? And that’s the problem – while the story has already spawned a book by Eleanor Atkinson and a Disney movie in 1961 – there’s very little plot to keep even the most ardent dog lovers interested.
Set in 1858, we see Bobby the terrier accompanying policeman John Gray (Thomas Lockyer) on his beat – until the day he is killed. So Bobby sits by his master’s grave, and even when he is moved twenty miles away by Gray’s widow, he charges across the fields to get back to the cemetery. There are a few Dickensian plot quirks in the second half, and some odd characters come and go (including comic Ardal O’Hanlon as a tramp and Christopher Lee as the man who comes to Bobby’s aid when he is threatened with being put down). Dull stuff, so may be worth seeking out the cuter 1961 Disney version, Greyfriars Bobby: The True Story of a Dog, instead, especially for younger children.
Is The Adventures Of Greyfriars Bobby suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Young viewers may be upset when Bobby is lost. There are also a few scenes with the movie ‘bad guys’ when Bobby is in danger that may frighten the under sevens.