Accompanied by his dog, Jack, a teen slave in Virginia (Benjamin Gardner) escapes his plantation at the outset of the Civil War and goes to Pittsburgh to see a struggling minister (Frank Kasy). They join the 102nd Pennsylvania Regiment and see lots of action. Louis Gossett Jr. Narrates as the elderly version of the protagonist while Eddie Huchro is on hand as a seasoned corporal.
Based by the book by Florence W. Biros, "Dog Jack" (2010) is a Civil War movie in the mold of "The Colt" (2005) and "Pharaoh's Army" (1995),but without the funds of those low-budget flicks. In other words, if you can't handle really low-budget movies I suggest staying away. I was able to acclimate to its limitations and enter into the world of the characters and enjoy it. Inspired by true events, I liked how the film showed the challenges of a black soldier being accepted by members of a white platoon and the camaraderie that slowly develops. Furthermore, the music is a highlight and there are some moving dramatic scenes.
Most of the story takes place in the woods/fields or at a farmhouse while everything else was obviously shot at historic sites. For the most part, the forest/camp/action scenes are surprisingly well done considering the budget. Some acting by the peripherals is questionable with a few lines sounding too eye-rolling quaint, which could've been better written/executed. Nevertheless, I think it's interesting how you can make a worthwhile little movie with very little funds if you're efficient and know what you're doing.
If you liked "Glory" (1989) and don't mind micro-budget flicks, give it a try.
The film runs 1 hour, 53 minutes, and was shot mostly in Darlington, Pennsylvania, but also Pittsburgh (Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial),Wisconsin (North Freedom),Illinois (suburbs of Chicago) and Iowa (Mt. Pleasant).
Action / Drama / War
Action / Drama / War
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This is the story of a slave boy and his dog who escape the master's plantation, join the Union Army, and have to face their former master on the battlefield. The story is inspired by the historical true-life adventures of the beloved mascot of the Pennsylvania 102nd, who was so prized by his regiment for his skills in battle, that he was twice exchanged for a Confederate prisoner of war.
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