Goodbye, My Lady

Dir. William A. Wellman. Perf. Walter Brennan, Brandon de Wilde, Phil Harris, Sidney Poitier. Batjac: 1956.

Basically, this is THE ultimate Basenji movie - This is a quintessential coming-of-age story, another canonical example from a rich tradition of animal tales about boys entering into adulthood (or specifically, manhood) by acquiring, training (disciplining), then relinquishing a beloved pet dog. As you might guess from the film’s title, Skeeter eventually has to part with Lady, who has so thoroughly bonded with him by the end that only the most stone-hearted would refuse to wish for an alternate ending.

He is offered a friend’s English Setter. “He barks and everything. Like I’m used to.” It’s an interesting consolation prize considering the Setter’s birding skills had been far outstripped by the Basenji earlier in the film, so it’s clearly insufficient to the gaping loss of Lady.

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