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The Biscuit Eater

(1940 b 80')

En: 5 Ed: 6

A white boy and his black friend train a runt to hunt despite their fathers' objections.

Boys Lonnie McNeil (Billy Lee) and Text (Cordell Hickman) watch Harvey McNeil (Richard Lane) show Mr. Ames (Lester Matthews) how his dogs can hunt birds. Ames tells Harvey to sell the dogs, because he wants to raise horses. Ames promises Lonnie a puppy. Six puppies are born. Lonnie pleads with his father Harvey not to destroy the runt. A letter from Ames instructs Harvey to sell all the dogs. At the auction Lonnie wants his promise, and Ames gives him the puppy. Lonnie and Text train Promise. At night Promise jumps two fences and gets in the henhouse to eat eggs. Lonnie catches him and calls him a biscuit eater, meaning a dog that only hunts to eat. Harvey tells black Sermon (Fred 'Snowflake' Toones) to get rid of the dog as Lonnie cries. Sermon tells Harvey he left the dog for Echo by the swamp. Lonnie takes reluctant Text and a jug to trade. They see an alligator and then strange Echo. Lonnie leaves the jug, and they take the dog. Text says he can live at his house.

Text uses so much gunpowder that they shatter the shotgun barrel. Their dog Promise and Harvey's dog Georgia Boy find a skunk. Harvey angrily tells Lonnie to keep his dog away from there. At night Lonnie and Text find Promise with Lady. Sermon shoots and misses as Promise escapes. Lonnie tells Text that Promise must win the field trials, and they sign up. Harvey tells Lonnie to take his dog out of the trials, but Ames says it is okay. Georgia Boy does well, and so does Promise; but the latter pulls ahead. Sermon tells Text that they will lose their jobs if Georgia Boy does not win. Lonnie calls Promise a biscuit eater so he will lose, and Promise runs off. Judges change to Georgia Boy; but Harvey admits to Ames that he was wrong. Promise returns at night to Lady and her pups, and Sermon shoots him. Lonnie cries that he had to make him lose as Promise dies. Harvey tells Lonnie he is sorry. Lonnie says the pups are Promise's babies. Ames says they are proud of Promise and need such dogs.

Said to be the first talking feature filmed entirely on location (in Albany, Georgia), this sentimental tale of two boys is a classic underdog story.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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