Thursday, February 19, 2009

Blair: The Beginning of Canine Film Stars

It seems fitting for the first post of this blog, which is dedicated to dogs in film, to be about the first canine movie star; Blair. A male Collie, Blair was the star of Cecil Hepworth's six and a half minute film, Rescued by Rover (1905). 

In the film, "Rover," must rescue a baby who has been stolen from her maid by a gypsy. He trails them to an attic hideout, then races home to bring the infant's father (Hepworth) back to save her. Most of the footage is devoted to the dog's brave journey, a brand new concept in film at the time. The public loved it and Rescued by Rover became so popular it had to be remade twice because the original negative degraded to badly.

Hepworth cast his own wife, who also wrote Rescued by Rover, and baby daughter for the film, as well as the family dog, Blair.

Pictured: Blair with the Hepworths in a scene at the end of Rescued by Rover.

1 comment:

  1. When Larry Trimble & Florence Turner went to England to make films before WW1, he met Hepworth. So the first dog in British film's owner got together with the owner of the first dog in American films owner, Jean the VItagraph collie. Strange both were Collies! But Trimble was responsible for bringing in Strongheart, the very first German Shepherd dog star in US films. John Matthew.