This week it was my son's turn to pick the movie for Sunday night, and we watched Shiloh. It is the story of a boy (Marty) and the dog (Shiloh) that he wants to have. At the start of the film, the dog belongs to a mean spirited neighbor who wants Shiloh for a hunting dog, but Shiloh runs away because of mistreatment. Marty befriends the dog but has to return him, over his vocal protests that its owner will again mistreat him. After Shiloh again runs away, Marty, concerned now for Shiloh's life, hides him and concocts a plan to buy him from the owner. When Marty's parents eventually find out, they insist that the dog be returned to its owner. Marty works to earn money and negotiates a deal with Shiloh's owner to acquire the dog, but at the last minute the owner goes back on the deal. Eventually, though, the owner grudgingly realizes that Marty wants the dog far worse than he does, and agrees to let Marty keep Shiloh.
I am not normally fond of movies that star or prominently feature animals. It's not that I'm not fond of animals (I own two dogs, which I walk with every day) but animal films have never grabbed me. The character I liked the most in this film is Marty, because at the wise old age of eleven, he is willing to do whatever it takes to keep Shiloh safe. He puts in a week of serious manual labor for the dog's owner, as well as multiple other odd jobs to earn money to pay for Shiloh's care. This was one dedicated kid!
The film is set in West Virginia, so there's lots of pretty scenery, although the film doesn't dwell on that. The acting is good, solid but not spectacular. The dog in the title role is well trained, but is not on-screen that much of the film, and when on screen, often doesn't do much. Never the less, this was an enjoyable family film, or for anyone who is an animal lover.