There is a rule in Hollywood that you never kill a dog. People do not want to see a dog get hurt in any way. It is so traumatic to see a cute dog get hurt or killed. I never thought I would be one of those people who almost cry when a dog, or any animal for that matter, has something bad happen to it but now that I have a cute Yellow Lab puppy (who looks like she is one she is so tall and so big) named Indy (full name is Indiana Bones, of course, after Indiana Jones) I go crazy if a dog or animal gets hurt. Fortunately in the 1949 film The Sun Comes Up the only things that hurts poor Lassie (this is a Lassie film) are his feelings.
Helen Lorefield Winter (Jeanette MacDonald) is an opera singer. She has not sung live in three years since her husband died and she now has to look after her son Hank. Helen’s agent tells her she has been away too long and has been keeping too much of an eye on Hank. She replies that she does not care she will quit everything if Hank feels he is not getting the mother he deserves. Eventually Helen gets talked into giving a performance. Her driver brought Lassie to pick Helen and Hank up after the show. Lassie jumps out of the car in the middle of a busy street. Hank goes to get Lassie and he is hit by a truck and killed.
Helen has been in a depression for months. She finally wants to get up and get away. She hates Lassie she will not even acknowledge he is around. The maid convinces Helen to take the go away after all the dog is lonely without Hank too and Hank would not like the way she (Helen) has been treating the dog. Helen goes out into a small town in the mountains. She is not too crazy about being up there at first but then she gets the hang of the way of life and enjoys herself. One day a kid named Jerry walks past the house. When he comes around the following day Lassie runs out to him to play. Jerry is a handy boy and Helen pays him to do things for her. After a while she does not want Jerry to come around anymore. It pains her to see the boy she thinks too much of Hank. She changes her mind though after Jerry saves Lassie from a deadly rattlesnake. He is surprised Lassie does not know how to survive in the mountains. Helen has Jerry teach the dog about the area and to play with him.
Jerry makes Helen very happy. She becomes so happy she calls her agent to say she wants to go out on tour again. Eventually there is nothing Helen will not do for Jerry. She comes to love the boy very much.
This was the last film Jeanette MacDonald made. MacDonald was fabulous. The more of her films I see the more I enjoy her. She is very watchable she seemed professional and comfortable in front of the camera playing different characters. Although I liked the film I kind of feel bad MacDonald had to end her career with a Lassie film. At MacDonald’s acting was top notch because it helped to watch the film.
The Sun Comes Up was cute but to me the story was a bit dragged out. There were some shots that could have been cut down. This is not one of Jeanette MacDonald’s greatest but The Sun Comes Up is worth watching just for her. And also for Lassie who was adorable and sweet