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The Underdog (1943)


Available on Prime
3.7 out of 5 stars (3) IMDb 6.1/10

During the dust bowl era of draught in the 1940's in the U.S. midwest, a family of farmers is forced to move to the city after their farm is foreclosed on. They hope to find jobs and financial security in their new home. The change is very hard on the destitute family, but it is most difficult for their son Henry, who is continually bullied by the local boys. Henry tries to donate his beloved dog Hobo to the military as a service dog, but the mutt is rejected. Hobo later proves himself a hero first saving his master's friend from a burning fire, and then helping capture a gang of Nazi saboteurs. After this, Henry begins to be accepted and is able to adjust to his new life.

Barton MacLane, Bobby Larson
1 hour, 1 minute

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Product Details

Genres Military & War, Drama
Director William Nigh
Starring Barton MacLane, Bobby Larson
Supporting actors Jan Wiley, Charlotte Wynters, Conrad Binyon, Elizabeth Valentine, Kenneth Harlan, George Anderson, Jack Kennedy, Frank Ellis, I. Stanford Jolley, Jack Rockwell
Studio Reel Enterprises
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
A good family movie. I gave it a four instead of a five star, mainly because of a few spots that seemed to skip a beat or two, so the viewer had to sorta fit things together; which wasn't difficult, just left you kinda wondering if you maybe missed something, or it got left out.
The story is a good one with feeling, especially the young boy's. He did a good job and it made me want to watch more of him. The mom and dad were good to for the script storyline. Maybe I missed a final line, but was not too sure in the final end what became of the 'bully' in the story. The viewer is given a good clue, yet it did not seem to finalize it.
Made me wish the family could go back to the farm - city life is hard enough as it is - yet they all dealt with a difficult situation in different ways. I think the boy did it best. [I felt that the beloved rifle also became a 'hero' along with the dad, boy and dog. :)] A nice touch was the decent police officer :). All in all, a good little program, dealt with a mighty subject in a short time and I think it would be OK to see more of the cast in other good family programs.
[One thing to beware of 'family' wise - the dad was a bit free with accepting the 'nightcaps' offered to him. Not a good way to tackle life's difficulties. And it would make good family discussion how each one in the script did deal with the difficulties that life dealt them, and how to keep an eye open for human traps.] Maybe not a 'perfect' five, but a good show nonetheless. Enjoy.
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Format: DVD
REEL ENTERPRISES is a Georgia-based purveyor of public domain movies, both classic era and modern. Their DVDs offer no commentary, deleted scenes or other bonus features. Dubs are "best available source" and can vary from very good to only fair.

THE UNDERDOG was directed by William Nigh, helmsman for several Mr. Wong mysteries also the WWII actioner, CORREGIDOR (1943). Perennial character actor Barton MacLane stars in this darn good family melodrama as John Tate, a man troubled by unemployment and a marriage gone awry when wife Amy (Wiley) decides to take a job. His farmboy son Henry (Larson) is having trouble adjusting to big city life because of a bully named Spike (Binyon).

John gets into a poker game at a bar and loses all his pay, unaware that card-playing partners Frank Kraeger (Anderson), who's also John's landlord, and Eddie Mohr (Harlan) are 5th columnist spies gathering data on cargo shipments and factory output.

Henry enrolls the family mutt Hobo in a special war training program, but Hobo flunks two important tests because of traumas he experienced on the farm. The dog is discharged from the program. Henry thinks his pet is a coward until the story's dramatic climax when Hobo comes to the rescue and helps thwart Kraeger's and Mohr's sabotage plot.

Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 IMDb viewer poll rating.

(5.8) The Underdog (1943) - Barton MacLane/Bobby Larson/Jan Wiley/Charlotte Wynters/Conrad Binyon/Elizabeth Valentine/Kenneth Harlan/George Anderson/Jack Kennedy (uncredited: I. Stanford Jolley)
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Format: Amazon Video
This is a very good movie but it's in b & w. This movie would be even better if it were colorized. It's shameful that small groups of influential people have pressured producers to leave great movies like this in their original low tech form rather than improving them with technology. (It is possible to have movies available in both colorized form or, if people prefer, in their original b&w.)
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