The Adventures Of Greyfriars Bobby

  • Film
  • Action and adventure
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Are we perhaps heading for a spate of live-action animal flicks? Following hot on the heels of ‘Lassie’ comes this similarly-styled British tale of canine loyalty about a fluffy mutt that allegedly stayed beside his Scottish master’s graveside for 14 years. Call me pernickety, but according to the history books – and a statue in the grounds of Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh – the original eponymous mutt was a Skye terrier, a scruffy, dark-haired pooch with a cute, mischievous face. In this film, though, he’s represented as a frankly character-less white West Highland terrier – ‘for practical considerations’. But enough canine discrimination already.

It’s 1858, and Bobby and his master, PC John Gray (Thomas Lockyer), live and work in Edinburgh’s deprived Old Town, keeping crime at bay and performing a sterling service at calming runaway bulls on market day. Soon after the opening credits, Gray succumbs to TB and is buried in the grounds of Greyfriars Church, whereupon the dog begins his interminable ritual. Of course, the locals are besotted with the little fella and none more so than good-natured Tam-O'-Shanter-clad youngster Ewan (Oliver Golding), who comes to the pooch’s rescue when the local charity commissioner orders in the dog catchers.

In order to keep the kids focused,director John Henderson pads out this amiable little film with a cross-country adventure, a collapsing house, a scary cellar and an ‘Oliver’-style workhouse. It’s hardly riveting stuff, but it’s authentically mounted and imaginatively cast. Just a shame it’s not very emotionally satisfying. Still, the Scottish Tourist Board will doubtless be clicking its heels at the prospect of a whole new tranche of visitors.

Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday February 10 2006
Duration: 0 mins

Cast and crew

Director: John Henderson
Screenwriter: John Henderson, Richard Matthews, Neville Watchurst
Cast: James Cosmo
Oliver Golding
Christopher Lee
Gina McKee
Greg Wise
Sean Pertwee
Ardal O'Hanlon

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
1 person listening
ps23r

I bought this movie on the bases it was a family film. Only watched first scenes and turned it off because of the violence. Very disappointed!

mike, julie and max (a westie)

Never trust a critic's review! We have just finished viewing this wonderful movie. It is excellent family entertainment! We will recommend this to our twenty-something children and also the rest of our family and friends.