Saturday, March 13, 2010

Blair, The first Canine Movie Star

Before there was Lassie, there was Blair, a collie owned by British director Cecil Hepworth.

Man's best friend has been a part of films for over 100 years with Blair's debut in 1905.

According to the Guiness Book of World Records, the very first movie starring a canine was in 1905.

In 1905, Blair became the very first canine to star in a movie. Blair played Rover in Rescued by Rover.

In Rescued by Rover (1905) saves a baby (played by Cecil's daughter Barbara) from thieving gypsies but also brings the wrongdoer to justice.

This movie began the trend toward telling stories of canine heroism. It also began the trend of naming dogs Rover, which until this movie was an uncommon name for a dog.

Blair next appeared in The Dog Outwits the Kidnappers (1908). In this film, the story is essentially the same story as Rescued by Rover but this time, a car is involved and the dog drives it.

Blair paved the way for Jean, the Vitagraph Dog (the United States first canine movie star), Strongheart, Rin Tin Tin and most notably Lassie.

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