Hills of Home (film)

Last updated
Hills of Home
Hills of Home FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Fred M. Wilcox
Screenplay by William Ludwig
Eric Knight
Based onA Doctor of the Old School
(1895 novel)
by Ian Maclaren
Produced by Robert Sisk
Starring Pal (credited as "Lassie")
Edmund Gwenn
Donald Crisp
Tom Drake
Janet Leigh
Narrated byDonald Crisp
Cinematography Charles Edgar Schoenbaum
Edited by Ralph E. Winters
Music by Herbert Stothart
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date
  • December 1948 (1948-12)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1,946,000 [1] [2]
Box office$2,312,000 [1]

Hills of Home (also known as Danger in the Hills and Master of Lassie [3] ) is a 1948 Technicolor drama film, the fourth in a series of seven MGM Lassie films. It starred Edmund Gwenn, Donald Crisp, and Tom Drake.



Dr. William MacLure (Edmund Gwenn) a Scottish doctor, adopts Lassie, who has an unnatural aversion to water. The Dr. tries to cure Lassie of her fears, but she remains water-shy.

Young Tammas Milton needs an operation. The doctor wants to use chloroform but the locals in the Glen are against this new idea. The doctor proves its worth by using it to put Lassie to sleep for over twenty minutes. After operating in his own house to save the young man's life, the elderly doctor in payment has extracted a promise from his father, a friend who was the previous owner of Lassie, that he will allow him to send the young man on a four-year medical course in Edinburgh so he can take over from him one day as doctor in the Glen.

The young man when recovered is sent away and the increasingly old doctor continues administering to his patients in the area, who begin to fear for his health. One snowy night the doctor is called out and sees a patient. On the way home, he dozes off on his horse and a tree branch knocks him down into the snow. Lassie rushes across a damaged bridge over a flood swollen river to get help and when she returns with two men, the bridge has been washed away.

With MacLure's life in danger, the dog is forced to dive into a raging river to get to the other side. After almost being pulled under by a whirlpool twice, Lassie makes the other side on her second attempt and seeing this, the two men wade across the waist deep flooded river. They find MacLure who is still unconscious in the snow and very cold and get him home. He eventually comes to and spends some days in bed but it has been too much for him and he dies. Shortly after his funeral, attended by all in the Glen, the new doctor arrives, having passed his exams, and takes over the practice.

Main cast


In 2010, Film Score Monthly released the complete scores of the seven Lassie feature films released by MGM between 1943 and 1955 as well as Elmer Bernstein’s score for It's a Dog's Life (1955) in the CD collection Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection, limited to 1000 copies. Due to the era when these scores were recorded, nearly half of the music masters have been lost so the scores had to be reconstructed and restored from the best available sources, mainly the Music and Effects tracks as well as monaural ¼″ tapes. [4]

The score for Hills of Home was composed by Herbert Stothart. Although none of the music masters for the fourth film in the series survive, FSM has included the opening music from the film's music-and-effects tracks to provide listeners an idea of Herbert Stothart’s richly colored score for the picture. [4]

Track listing for Hills of Home (Disc 3)

  1. Opening Title and Narration* 2:56

Contains Sound Effects


The film earned $1,407,000 in the US and Canada and $905,000 overseas, resulting in a loss to MGM of $689,000. [1] [5]

Related Research Articles

<i>Lassie Come Home</i> 1943 film by Fred M. Wilcox

Lassie Come Home is a 1943 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor feature film starring Roddy McDowall and canine actor Pal, in a story about the profound bond between Yorkshire boy Joe Carraclough and his rough collie, Lassie. The film was directed by Fred M. Wilcox from a screenplay by Hugo Butler based upon the 1940 novel Lassie Come-Home by Eric Knight. The film was the first in a series of seven MGM films starring "Lassie."

<i>The Trouble with Harry</i> 1955 film by Alfred Hitchcock

The Trouble with Harry is a 1955 American Technicolor black comedy film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay by John Michael Hayes was based on the 1950 novel by Jack Trevor Story. It starred Edmund Gwenn, John Forsythe, Mildred Natwick, Jerry Mathers and Shirley MacLaine in her film debut. The Trouble with Harry was released in the United States on September 30, 1955, then re-released in 1984 once the distribution rights had been acquired by Universal Pictures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Donald Crisp</span> English actor

Donald William Crisp was an English film actor as well as an early producer, director and screenwriter. His career lasted from the early silent film era into the 1960s. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1942 for his performance in How Green Was My Valley.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Edmund Gwenn</span> English actor (1877–1959)

Edmund Gwenn was an English actor. On film, he is best remembered for his role as Kris Kringle in the Christmas film Miracle on 34th Street (1947), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and the corresponding Golden Globe Award. He received a second Golden Globe and another Academy Award nomination for the comedy film Mister 880 (1950). He is also remembered for his appearances in four films directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tom Drake</span> American actor (1918–1982)

Tom Drake was an American actor. Drake made films starting in 1940 and continuing until the mid-1970s, and also made TV acting appearances.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pal (dog)</span> Rough Collie dog

Pal was a male Rough Collie performer and the first in a line of such dogs to portray the fictional female collie Lassie in film, on radio, and on television. Pal was born in California in 1940 and eventually brought to the notice of Rudd Weatherwax, a Hollywood animal trainer. In 1943, the dog was chosen to play Lassie in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film Lassie Come Home. Following his film debut, Pal starred in six more Lassie films for MGM from the mid-1940s to early 1950s, then appeared briefly in shows, fairs, and rodeos around the United States before starring in the two pilots filmed in 1954 for the television series, Lassie. Pal retired after filming the television pilots, and died in June 1958. He sired a line of descendants who continued to play the fictional character he originated. In 1992, The Saturday Evening Post said Pal had "the most spectacular canine career in film history".

<i>Lassie</i> (1954 TV series) 1954 TV series

Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie dog named Lassie and her companions, both human and animal. The show was the creation of producer Robert Maxwell and animal trainer Rudd Weatherwax and was televised from September 12, 1954, to March 25, 1973. The seventh longest-running U.S. primetime television series after The Simpsons, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Gunsmoke, Law & Order, Family Guy and NCIS, the show ran for 17 seasons on CBS before entering first-run syndication for its final two seasons. Initially filmed in black and white, the show transitioned to color in 1965.

<i>Maytime</i> (1937 film) 1937 film by Robert Zigler Leonard

Maytime is a 1937 American musical and romantic-drama film produced by MGM. It was directed by Robert Z. Leonard, and stars Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. The screenplay was rewritten from the book for Sigmund Romberg's 1917 operetta Maytime by Rida Johnson Young, Romberg's librettist; however, only one musical number by Romberg was retained.

<i>Son of Lassie</i> 1945 film by S. Sylvan Simon

Son of Lassie is a 1945 American Technicolor feature film produced by MGM based on characters created by Eric Knight, and starring Peter Lawford, Donald Crisp, June Lockhart and Pal. A sequel to Lassie Come Home (1943), the film focuses on the now adult Joe Carraclough after he joins the Royal Air Force during World War II and is shot down over Nazi-occupied Norway along with a stowaway, Lassie's son "Laddie" – played by Pal. Son of Lassie was released theatrically on April 20, 1945, by Loew's.

The 20th Academy Awards were held on March 20, 1948, to honor the films of 1947. It is notable for being the last Oscars until 2005 in which no film won more than three awards.

<i>The Sun Comes Up</i> 1949 film by Richard Thorpe

The Sun Comes Up is a 1949 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Technicolor picture with Lassie. Jeanette MacDonald had been off the screen for five years until her return in Three Daring Daughters (1948), but The Sun Comes Up was to be her last. In it, she had to share the screen not with an up-and-coming younger actress but with a very popular animal star. Although her retreat from a film career can be blamed largely on an increasingly debilitating heart ailment, MacDonald continued to make concert and TV appearances after this. Her last radio performance was a broadcast version of this same story on Screen Guild Theater in March 1950.

Herbert Pope Stothart was an American songwriter, arranger, conductor, and composer. He was also nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning Best Original Score for The Wizard of Oz. Stothart was widely acknowledged as a member of the top tier of Hollywood composers during the 1930s and 1940s.

<i>Family Classics</i> American TV series or program

Family Classics is a Chicago television series which began in 1962 when Frazier Thomas was added to another program at WGN-TV. Thomas not only hosted classic films, but also selected the titles and personally edited them to remove those scenes which he thought were not fit for family viewing. After Thomas' death in 1985, Roy Leonard took over the program. The series continued sporadically until its initial cancellation in 2000.

<i>Challenge to Lassie</i> 1950 film by Richard Thorpe

Challenge to Lassie is an American drama directed by Richard Thorpe in Technicolor and released October 31, 1949, by MGM Studios. It was the fifth feature film starring the original Lassie, a collie named Pal, and the fourth and final Lassie film starring Donald Crisp.

<i>The Painted Hills</i> 1951 film by Harold F. Kress

The Painted Hills, also known as Lassie's Adventures in the Goldrush, is a 1951 drama western film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and directed by Harold F. Kress.

<i>Courage of Lassie</i> 1946 film by Fred M. Wilcox

Courage of Lassie is a 1946 Technicolor MGM feature film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Morgan, and dog actor Pal in a story about a collie named Bill and his young companion, Kathie Merrick. When Bill is separated from Kathie following a vehicular accident, he is trained as a war dog, performs heroically, and, after many tribulations, is eventually reunited with his beloved Kathie.

<i>Apartment for Peggy</i> 1948 comedy film directed by George Seaton starring William Holden.

Apartment for Peggy is a 1948 American comedy-drama film directed by George Seaton and starring Jeanne Crain, William Holden, and Edmund Gwenn. The plot is about a depressed professor whose spirits are lifted when he rents part of his home to a young couple. It was based on the novelette An Apartment for Jenny by Faith Baldwin. Campus exteriors were filmed at the University of Nevada, Reno.

<i>Cairo</i> (1942 film) 1942 film by W. S. Van Dyke

Cairo is a 1942 musical comedy film made by MGM and Loew's, and directed by W. S. Van Dyke. The screenplay was written by John McClain, based on an idea by Ladislas Fodor about a news reporter shipwrecked in a torpedo attack, who teams up with a Hollywood singer and her maid to foil Nazi spies. The music score is by Herbert Stothart. This film was Jeanette MacDonald's last film on her MGM contract.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lumsden Hare</span> Irish actor

Francis Lumsden Hare was an Irish-born film and theatre actor. He was also a theatre director and theatrical producer.

<i>Its a Dogs Life</i> (film) 1955 film

It's a Dog's Life is a 1955 film adapted from Richard Harding Davis’s 1903 novel The Bar Sinister.


  1. 1 2 3 The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
  2. Another source puts the cost at $1.2 million Variety February 1948
  3. Turner Classic Movies: Hills of Home (1948) Linked 2014-06-06
  4. 1 2 "Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection (1943-1955)". Film Score Monthly . Retrieved November 21, 2019.
  5. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46