Retrospective 2015

Good-bye, My Lady

William A. Wellman
USA 1956
95 min

This is a simple story with a tricky background, set in the Mississippi swamps: Skeeter, an orphan boy, lives with his pauperized uncle Jesse as gator and racoon hunter. One day he finds a strange dog that isn’t barking and seems to be pretty smart. He calls it Lady and starts to train it as a bird casting dog. They become inseparable friends, until the real owner and breeder from the north shows up. In a tough decision Skeeter returns the only thing he has got. He invests the reward in a set of teeth for his uncle. In 1956 GOOD-BYE, MY LADY was promoted with this line: A Mississippi boy, his devotion to a Yankee dog – and an old man who drew a Mason-Dixon line across his heart and dared you to cross it!” Actually this A-boy-and-his-dog-story causes surprise with a distinct political agenda. Wellman sets various scenes telling of the rifts between the wealthy north and the poor south, presenting the little basenji dog as perfect protagonist for the failed aspirations of these forsaken swamp dwellers. In a minor role Sidney Poitier can be seen as a farmer living as equal neighbor in a topography of remote wetlands, where the segregation of the fifties seems to suspended.


  • Walter Brennan - Uncle Jesse Jackson
  • Brandon de Wilde - Skeeter
  • Sidney Poitier - Gates
  • Phil Harris - Cash Evans
  • William Hopper - Walden Grover
  • My Love of the Congo - Lady, the Basenji-terrier
  • Albert Sidney Fleischman
  • William H. Clothier
  • Earl Crain Jr.
  • Fred MacDowell
  • Laurindo Almeida
  • Edward G. Boyle
  • Donald A. Peters
Batjac Productions
35 mm
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