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(1994), PG [13-PG*] (1hr 31.5min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
November 2, 2011
NOvember 3, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(1994), PG [13-PG*] ... may have a little bit more cinematic power made possible by better filmmaking, but ...

Production (US): Broadway Pictures
Distribution (US):
Director(s): Daniel Petrie
Producer(s): Michael Rachmil, Dinah Minot, Barnaby Thompson, Lorne Michaels
Written by: Matthew Jacobs, Gary Ross, Elizabeth Anderson
Cinematography/Camera: Kenneth McMillan
Music: Basil Poledouris
Film Editing: Steve Mirkovich
Casting: Gretchen Rennell
Production Design: Paul Peters
Art Direction: David Crank
Viewed on DVD

I remember seeing a few of the old rerun TV episodes of Lassieª with Jon Provost as the young boy of the cast. And I remember the caliber of respect the young Provost portrayed for his stage parents. Such respect expressed by the quintessential 'young boy' in this modern Lassie is just not there. The new Lassie is basically the same style and with the same caliber of characters - except for that 'young boy' in the cast. Feed a Jon Provost with gallons of arrogance and disrespect and you'll have the new 'young boy.' This version of the famous Lassie story may have a little bit more cinematic power made possible by better artistry, but ...

Conquering a bad attitude of disrespect, hatefulness and arrogance is a noble thing to be sure. But watching it manifest in and be expressed by someone on the screen emboldens the viewer by implantation no matter the redemption achieved in the story. For example, an average teen is typically already arrogant and spiteful to some degree but to see another act that way and "get away with it" in and as entertainment emboldens the average youth to do likewise. It is inevitable. The bottom line? A noble destination such as conquering hatred and arrogance does not excuse an ignoble path of it.

Young Matthew Turner (Thomas Guiry) is not happy at all that his Dad, Steve (Jon Tenney) and new mom, Laura (Helen Slater) are moving he and Jennifer (Brittany Boyd) from Baltimore to Franklin Falls, Virginia, population 148. Matt's life is bad enough since his biological mother died and the fires of puberty are fixing to rage, but to add "stepmother" to his life's equation is just too much. Matt gripes that there are more than 148 people in a supermarket. But as a building contractor, Steve has to go where the work is found. A job in Franklin Falls promises several months of income for the Turners. Alas, the farmer with the job had to cancel it due to loss of half of his livestock. Now what is Steve to do to provide for his family?

Fortunately, the Turners were able to move into the house owned by Steve's family by marriage. His recently deceased wife, Anne Collins grew up there. As "dweeby" as it is to Matt, it is a home. And just to make matters worse, the electricity was out the evening they arrived at the Collins Farm. Matt has been fighting the move every step of the way, now he has more ammunition to give thunder to his side of the argument and spouts "Why don't we just kill ourselves" when realizes there will be no TV for about two weeks - no MTV! If it were not for Grandpa Len (Richard Farnsworth), Matt would have absolutely no reason to stay. In fact, Matt threatened to leave on the next bus. But when young ruggedly attractive April Porter (Michelle Williams) comes along, Matt starts to brighten his outlook of ... everything.

Getting in the way of Steve making it good is his competition, terbacky-chewing sheep farmer Sam Garland (Frederick Forrest). Sam is not above breaking the law to get his way. Nor is he above using Steve's land to graze his own sheep. Nor is he above sending his two sons, Josh (Clayton Barclay Jones) and Jim (Charlie Hofheimer) to do his dirty work. I wonder if Sam is aware of the angels God has in place for each of our children: angels who report directly to God. [Matt. 18:10]

I s'pect that is a good place to stop spoiling the film in case you decide that the content we reveal for you below and in the Findings section is acceptable. Prayerfully, this service will help you to make an informed moral decision as to the fitness of this film.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 34 out of 100
The violence/crime content of this film consists largely of a traffic collision with a fatality (but no gore), planning theft and sheep rustling. Additional matters of violence/crime include an assault of a teen by another teen with a rifle, action violence as a pair of teens get swept down some rapids and what might be considered typical physical friction between teen males when an attractive teen girl is their audience.

Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
A great portion of the content of Lassie is teen arrogance and disrespect toward fair authority. There is enough such content for the magnitude of it to eradicate all of the starting 100 points in this content investigation area. Arrogance and disrespect is "haughty eyes" and "proud look" in the Bible. God hates them. [Prov. 6:16 - 19, Mal. 4:1] He also warns that the arrogant will be stubble. By the way, arrogance is the strongest presence in modern entertainment. For more information, visit our ATTITUDE: In Perspective - Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations.

In addition to the arrogance and disrespect, someone uses profanity four times. [Eph. 4:29]

Sexual Immorality (S) - 89 out of 100
The only sexual content to the entire film is the attempt of one of the teen boys to get a teen girl to come to his house when his parents are gone and the teen girl in his house with no adult supervision.

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 38 out of 100
While there is no alcohol in this film at all, there is teen smoking and an adult chewing tobacco.

Offense to God (O) - 89 out of 100
God's name is abuse four times but each time without the four letter expletive. But no matter with or without the four letter expletive, God is not sanguine about anyone blaspheming His name. [Deut. 5:11]

Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
There are no murders or suicides in this movie.



If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. ["Despise" is kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o}: to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, to look down upon (which includes abuse, even by influence or bad example, lying to them, enticing/teasing them, seducing them and/or their thoughts, involving them in sin or crime, etc.). What do you want the angels for your kids to say to God? By the way, "little ones" is mikros meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are younger. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens, the most easily influenced, morally malleable age stratum.]
  • Mal. 4:1 "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire," says the LORD Almighty. "Not a root or a branch will be left to them."
  • Eph. 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
  • Prov. 6:16 - 19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look [the NIV calls it "haughty eyes"], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain. [Vain is shav {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as in slang or profanity. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or responsible discussion and in praise and prayer is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" or It's just words" or "I was acting" will not work with Him. Nor will "Everybody says that" excuse the sin of using His name in vain. If everyone on the planet who has ever drawn a breath used His name in vain, it would still be a sin to do so. If no one ever did, it would still be a sin to do so. Whether we believe it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we care or not.]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Lassie (1994) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 34 out of 100
  • traffic collision with fatality - no gore
  • animal remains gore
  • planning theft
  • teen physical assault on another teen
  • sheep rustling by teens with father as lead
  • teen threatening another teen with loaded firearm
  • teen fight
  • teens in standoff leading to endangerment of lives
  • action violence with risk to lives

    Impudence/Hate (I) - Zero out of 100
  • four uses of profanity, once by a teen
  • teen arrogance and disrespect, frequent
  • "You'll thank me when you're older" teen arrogance at younger sister with changing TV channel from Lassie reruns to a more aggressive program
  • teen boy bossy at younger sister
  • teen lie
  • teen boy using earring to communicate arrogance
  • "Why don't we just kill ourselves" by teen boy
  • teen threatening to run away
  • writers had father apologizing to teen son when apology was unwarranted
  • teen boy using "I'm going to kill you"
  • teen boy running out of house at night during a rain storm endangering himself
  • name-calling
  • dognapping
  • teen boy taking on conflict with theft of the family livestock by himself

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 89 out of 100
  • teen booty call
  • teen girl in teen boys' home without adult supervision

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 38 out of 100
  • teen smoking, repeatedly
  • adult chewing tobacco, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - 89 out of 100
  • four use of God's name in vain but none with the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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