Call Of The Wilderness
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The wilderness is a desolate dangerous place for man and beast. Lobo, the half-wolf hunting dog, and his master, Pierre, enjoy the simple life trapping for furs. But when sheep from the neighboring herd are found slaughtered, suspicion falls on Lobo. Early the next morning, Lobo sneaks off to search for the real killer. Pierre knows that his trusted canine partner couldn't possibly be the culprit, but when he tracks the dog down and finds him with a fresh carcass, he is compelled to follow the law of the land - Lobo must die. Before Pierre can pull the trigger, though, he is attacked and killed by a ferocious mountain lion, despite the dog's valiant attempt to save his master's life. Now being hunted for the sheep killings and the death of his beloved owner, Lobo makes his way through the wilderness to track down the carnivorous cougar before it kills again.
Francis McDonald, while not a household name, nevertheless acted in over 350 films and TV shows between 1913 and 1965. Most of his roles were classic cowboy bad guys, due to his swarthy ethnic appearance, but occasionally he played against type. One of the notable exceptions was his role as a Hebrew slave who dies in the arms of Moses (Charlton Heston) in DeMille's 1956 extravaganza, The Ten Commandments.
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The visual and audio quality of this film are both poor and the editing leaves something to be desired. The human players take a back-seat to the animal stars, who appear in nearly every scene. Despite their leads' importance to the film, the trainers and crew seemed to have little or no regard for their welfare. Both dogs and cougars underwent a great deal of stress and dangerous situations to achieve many of the shots.
Trailing the Killer is one of the movies profiled in the book Wonder Dogs: 101 German Shepherd Dog Films, along with dozens of other early dog films from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.