Hal G. Evart's very "London-esque" 1920 dog melodrama The Cross Pull reached the screen the following year as The Silent Call, a vehicle for canine star Strongheart. Popular enough to have a dog food named after him, this handsome German shepherd continued to hold his own through 1927 despite increasing competition by newcomer Rin-Tin-Tin. When his master, Clark Moran (John Bowers), leaves to tend to business in the Big City, Flash (Strongheart), who is part wolf, finds himself falsely accused of "sheepicide." Captured by the local ranchers, Flash is condemned to death but escapes into the mountains where he finds a mate. But when lovely Betty Houston is kidnapped by nasty Luther Nash (James Mason), the true sheep killer, Flash leaves his new companion and races to the rescue. Nash drowns in the rapids, Flash clears his good name, and Betty is reunited with Clark Moran, Flash's returning owner. The 1961 film of the same title was not a remake but a sentimental story of a little boy separated from his pet dog. Owned and trained by his director, Lawrence Trimble, Strongheart died at the ripe old age of 13 in 1929; a book dedicated to him, Letters to Strongheart, was published by Prentice-Hall in 1940.
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