- 1 hr 24 min
Rascal is a heartwarming family movie from 1969, based on the novel of the same name by Sterling North. It tells the story of a young boy named Sterling (Bill Mumy), who finds a mischievous raccoon kit in the woods and decides to keep him as a pet. Together with his best friend, a tomboyish girl named Rosalind (Pamela Toll), Sterling raises the raccoon, whom he names Rascal, and teaches him tricks and games. However, Sterling's father, Judd (Steve Forrest), is not happy about Rascal living in their house. He is a strict man who believes that wild animals belong in the wild, and he fears that Rascal might cause damage or harm. Nevertheless, Sterling and Rascal continue with their adventures, exploring the woods, fishing, and making mischief. They also enter Rascal in a local pet show, where he wins the first prize and captures the heart of the judge, a lonely widow named Mrs. Satterfield (Elsa Lanchester). But as Rascal grows bigger and more restless, the conflict with Judd intensifies. Judd tries to persuade Sterling to release Rascal into the woods, but Sterling wants to keep him as a beloved pet. When Rascal falls ill with a serious infection, Judd reluctantly agrees to take him to the veterinarian, but he warns Sterling that he will have to make a hard decision if Rascal does not recover. Rascal's fate hangs in the balance as Sterling, Rosalind, and Mrs. Satterfield pray for his recovery. Meanwhile, Judd faces a crisis of conscience, realizing that his stern discipline and lack of affection have hurt his son and caused him to seek the love of a wild animal. In the end, Rascal's illness brings the family together, and they all learn to love and respect each other in a new way. Directed by Norman Tokar, Rascal is a charming and nostalgic film that captures the innocence and wonder of childhood in the 1910s. The cinematography by William E. Snyder is stunning, capturing the natural beauty of the Wisconsin countryside and the playful antics of the raccoon. The performances by the cast are superb, with Mumy shining as the plucky and resourceful Sterling, Toll as the spunky and fearless Rosalind, and Forrest as the stern but loving Judd. Lanchester is also delightful as the eccentric and kind-hearted Mrs. Satterfield, who gives Rascal a second chance at life. Rascal is not just a movie about a cute animal but about family values, love, and responsibility. It shows how a little boy and a raccoon can bring out the best in each other and create lasting memories. It also portrays the bond between a father and a son, and how forgiveness and understanding can bridge the gap between generations. Rascal is a timeless classic that will delight audiences of all ages and remind them of the simple joys of life.