The Son of Rusty (1947)
APPROVED · 1h 9min · Drama, Family · 7 August 1947
In Lawtonville, the current foci for preteen Danny Mitchell and his friends, Squeaky Foley, Gerald Hebble, Nip Worden, and Tuck Worden, are to hang out in their clubhouse - an old shack in which they are squatting on the private property of retired lawyer Franklyn B. Gibson - listening to the radio serial "Fang, the Detective Dog" while they work toward collecting enough Vitabark dog food box tops, the serial's sponsor, to get the book "How to Train Your Dog to Be a Detective" to train Danny's faithful German Shepard, Rusty. Rather thank kick them off his property or let them get away with being on his property without his permission, Mr. Gibson instead uses the opportunity to teach the boys some responsibility in their actions. The foci for the boys changes with the arrival into town of a reclusive young man who they will learn is named Jed Barlow, and his German Shepard, Barb. Seemingly, Barlow is sharecropping on the dilapidated and long empty Gruber farm. Barlow doesn't want to spend any time with his new neighbors, and when he is forced to, he has a surly demeanor. Based on circumstantial evidence, the boys believe he is an ex-GI who spent time in military prison, a story which gets spread and expanded upon throughout the town, with Gerald's older brother, Luther Hebble, the chief rumor-mongerer. Luther believes he has the moral right also as an ex-GI, but one who never saw battle, never having made it any further than Chicago and never being promoted beyond the rank of Private. Luther blames the world for his current unemployment rather than his own sloth. But in Rusty and Barb's friendship - dogs who will be dogs - Danny gets to see another side of Mr. Barlow. Mr. Gibson, with a little help from Danny's father, city counselor Hugh Mitchell, may be able to give Danny, the boys, Luther and the narrow minded townsfolk a further lesson in the consequences of hurtful actions, this specific action being the gossip.
- Written by
Director(s): Lew LandersCast: Ted Donaldson, Stephen Dunne, Tom Powers