Lassie (1994 film)

Lassie is a 1994 American adventure family film directed by Daniel Petrie and featuring the fictional collie Lassie.

Lassie 1994 release movie poster
Directed byDaniel Petrie
Produced byLorne Michaels
Written byEric Knight
Matthew Jacobs
Gary Ross
Elizabeth Anderson
Music byBasil Poledouris
CinematographyKenneth MacMillan
Edited bySteve Mirkovich
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
  • July 22, 1994 (1994-07-22)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$9,979,683[2]


The Turner family moves from the big city (Baltimore, Maryland) to the rural countryside in the small town of Franklin Falls in Tazewell County, Virginia, hoping to start a new life. The move creates problems for everyone, especially 13-year-old Matt (Tom Guiry), who feels lost and alone in his new surroundings, and still has not come to terms with his father Steve's (Jon Tenney) remarriage to Laura (Helen Slater) after his mother's death. But with the help of a stray Collie dog named Lassie that the family takes in, Matt learns to adjust to his surroundings and his family's struggling situations. After Lassie saves Matt's life from an aggressive gray wolf one night, the two form an unbreakable bond.

However, as his father Steve's planned job falls through, Matt with help from his grandfather, Len Collins (Richard Farnsworth), helps convince the family to start up a sheep farm, which had been his mother's dream. While the Turners get to work, a ruthless neighbor and wealthy sheep farmer, Sam Garland (Frederic Forrest), will stop at nothing to prevent them from succeeding, because it means that they will be occupying some grazing land that he's used in the past. In addition, Sam has two sons, Josh (Clayton Barclay Jones) and Jim Garland (Charlie Hofheimer) who attend school with Matt. Both boys dislike Matt, but Josh's hatred mainly stems from jealousy because a fellow student April Porter (Michelle Williams), whom Josh likes, is more interested in Matt.

Eventually Sam, with the help of his sons and henchmen, steals the Turner's new sheep herd, and kidnaps Lassie. However, she manages to escape, and she and Matt manage to claim their sheep back. However Josh and Jim catch up to them, and in the ensuing scuffle Josh finds himself struggling in a raging river, heading for some massive rapids and a huge waterfall. Matt manages to rescue him, but is unable to save himself. Lassie then rescues Matt, but ends up going over the waterfall herself, to Matt's horror. Sam, after learning that Matt had saved his son, Josh's life, apologizes to the Turners for his actions and for the loss of Lassie. The Turners hold a memorial for Lassie at a nearby tree where Matt's mother had carved her initials years before, and Matt carves Lassie's name above his mother's initials. However, Lassie manages to survive the waterfall, and although injured, she returns home not too long afterwards and is reunited with Matt at his school.


  • Howard as Lassie
  • Tom Guiry as Matthew Turner
  • Helen Slater as Laura Turner
  • Jon Tenney as Steve Turner
  • Brittany Boyd as Jennifer Turner
  • Frederic Forrest as Sam Garland
  • Richard Farnsworth as Len Collins
  • Michelle Williams as April Porter
  • Joe Inscoe as Pete Jarman
  • Yvonne Brisendine as Mrs. Jarman
  • Clayton Barclay Jones as Josh Garland
  • Charlie Hofheimer as Jim Garland
  • Jody Smith Strickler as Mildred Garland
  • Margaret Peery as Mrs. Parker
  • David Bridgewater as Customer
  • Earnest Poole, Jr. as Highway Patrolman #1
  • Jeffrey H. Gray as Highway Patrolman #2
  • Robert B. Brittain as Grommet Fireman
  • Rick Warner as Timid Neighbor
  • Kelly L. Edwards as Smoking Girl
  • Jordan Young as Smoking Boy
  • Katie Massa as College Student

Filming locations

Lassie was primarily filmed in Tazewell, Virginia, although most river scenes were filmed at or near Sandstone Falls near Hinton, West Virginia.


Lassie was released to positive reviews.[3][4][5] As of December 2013, the film holds a "fresh" rating of 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews.

Box office

The movie debuted at No. 9 at the US box office.[6][7]


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