A Dog of Flanders (1935 film)

A Dog of Flanders is a 1935 American drama film directed by Edward Sloman, based on a screenplay by Ainsworth Morgan from the story by Dorothy Yost, which she adapted from the 1872 novel of the same name by Ouida. The film stars Frankie Thomas, appearing in only his second film (the first being Wednesday's Child).

A Dog of Flanders
Directed byEdward Sloman
Jimmy Anderson (assistant)
Produced byWilliam Sistrom
Written byDorothy Yost (adaptation)
Screenplay byAinsworth Morgan
Based onA Dog of Flanders
by Ouida
StarringFrankie Thomas
O.P. Heggie
Music byAlberto Colombo (uncredited)
CinematographyJ. Roy Hunt
Edited byGeorge Crone
Release date
  • March 22, 1935 (1935-03-22) (United States)[1]
Running time
72 minutes
CountryUnited States



In November 1934 RKO announced that they would begin production on A Dog of Flanders the following month.[2] It would be the third film adaptation, and the first sound production, of Ouida's 1872 novel, Dog of Flanders, which was, at the time, considered one of literature's "heroic love stories."[3] By the end of November, Ainsworth Morgan had been assigned to develop the screenplay.[4] At the beginning of December Frankie Thomas, a juvenile actor, had been cast in the film.[5] Just prior to the commencement of filming, in late December, O. P. Heggie joined the cast,[6] and shortly after it was announced that another child actor, Helen Parrish had been added to the acting personnel, while it was also revealed that Edward Sloman would handle the directing duties.[7] Herman Pan was selected to handle the direction of the dance sequences,[8] while William Sistrom was tapped to take care of the production duties.[9] Production on the film had finished by the end of January, and the film was being edited in February.[10] In the middle of February, RKO announced that A Dog of Flanders would open on March 22;[11] and there were no changes to that date, the film opening on March 22, 1935.[12]


The Film Daily felt the film was a "pleasing human interest story nicely suited for the family", although they felt it might be at a disadvantage due to the lack of well-known actors in the cast.[13] Harrison's Reports gave the film a good review, saying it was "wholesome," with "deep human appeal". They felt the production and direction were excellent, and they enjoyed the performances of the acting crew. They rated it as an excellent children's film.[14] Motion Picture Daily gave the film a slightly less warm review, feeling that the picture was artistically satisfying due to its similarity in style to European films. Despite that slow pace, they applauded Edward Sloman's direction, and stated the "...film's beauty is simplicity abetted by touching performances and noteworthy direction done with a fine sense of feeling and understanding."[15] The Motion Picture Herald said the picture was full of "... romance, drama, comedy, tragedy, deception and triumph ...," and thought it attempted to "... capture faithfully the spirit of the book and the story."[3]


  1. "A Dog of Flanders: Detail View". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on April 1, 2014. Retrieved September 9, 2014.
  2. "RKO Studio Starting 9 Films in December". The Film Daily. November 21, 1934. pp. 1, 9. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  3. "The Cutting Room: A Dog of Flanders". Motion Picture Herald. February 2, 1935. p. 49. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  4. Wilk, Ralph (November 28, 1934). "A "Little" from Hollywood "Lots"". The Film Daily. p. 11. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  5. "Coming and Going". The Film Daily. December 8, 1934. p. 1. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  6. Wilk, Ralph (December 24, 1934). "A "Little" from "Lots"". The Film Daily. p. 6. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  7. Wilk, Ralph (December 27, 1934). "A "Little" from Hollywood "Lots"". The Film Daily. p. 7. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  8. "Hollywood Personals". Motion Picture Daily. January 16, 1935. p. 16. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  9. "Story Sales". Motion Picture Herald. December 29, 1934. p. 89. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  10. "RKO Studios Hit Stride with 7 Features in Work". The Film Daily. February 23, 1935. p. 1. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  11. "The Release Chart". Motion Picture Herald. February 23, 1935. p. 99. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  12. "Release Schedule for Features". Harrison's Reports. April 6, 1935. p. 54. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  13. "Reviews of the New Pictures: "A Dog of Flanders"". The Film Daily. July 13, 1935. p. 4. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  14. ""A Dog of Flanders" with Frankie Thomas and O.P. Heggie". Harrison's Reports. March 23, 1935. p. 46. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  15. "Motion Picture Daily's Hollywood Preview: "Dog of Flanders"". Motion Picture Daily. February 19, 1935. p. 4. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
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