Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

"Savage Sam" a Bit on Tame Side

Cleveland Press June 24, 1963

Walt Disney has hedged all his bets with "Savage Sam." It's a sequel to the very successful "Old Yeller."

It has a dog, a boy, a young couple falling in love, a tough but friendly cowboy, Indians, horses and the great outdoors lovingly photographed in technicolor.

But it has a script which wobbles back and forth between a serious adventure story and comic kid stuff.

Two brothers (Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran) growing up on the frontier and a neighborhood girl (Marta Kristen) are abducted by Indians. A group of ranchers led by their uncle (Brian Keith) set off in pursuit.

They're a cinch to catch up because aiding them is none other than the boys' loyal dog, Sam.

The outcome is predictable, but unexplainable is all the levity and high jinks. The Indians are both murderous and fun loving. The pursuers are never quite so grim as they should be under the circumstances.

Keith Is Believable

Keith underplays his part and is believable as the strong, silent, capable hero.

Kevin Corcoran as the brat of a kid brother is noisy in a part that is pretty unbelievable. Tommy Kirk and Marta Kristen are adequate in their roles.

The photography, the scenery, the action and the handling of animals are all up to the high standard of other Disney films.

This is adequate family fare, OK for the very young.