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07 March 2015

Dave and Dusty (1946-1949)

Dave and Dusty (1946-1949) is a series of short British films chronicling the friendship between a young boy and his shaggy dog. The two friends get into trouble and have various adventures, meeting a host of colourful characters along the way. Raphael Tuck & Sons published a series of black and white postcards of the popular duo, apparently in aid of The Tailwaggers animal charity.

Dave and Dusty
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons. Photo: Pathé Pictorial. Publicity still for Dave and Dusty (1946-1949).

Dave and Dusty
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons. Photo: Pathé Pictorial. Publicity still for Dave and Dusty (1946-1949).

Cinemagazine


Between 16 December 1946 and 9 May 1949, Dave and Dusty were the cute stars of New Pictorial, a weekly cinemagazine by British Pathé.

They were also featured in the weekly newspaper The People. For a while Dave and Dusty were ‘Britain's Most Popular Film Pair’, according to a book which was published about them in 1948.

The series started on 16 December 1946 with the short film Dave Meets Dusty.

Dave stands outside a pet shop window and looks in at a little shaggy dog. The dog looks back and licks the glass between them. Dave goes inside and asks to have a look at the dog. A girl fetches the pup and puts it in Dave's arms.

Dave counts out his savings and finds he hasn't quite enough to pay for the dog. The woman at the counter says she will pay the balance. Dave decides to call the dog Dusty. He ties a piece of string to Dusty's collar and walks out of the shop with him.

Dusty looks a trifle reluctant to be led. Outside the shop Dave picks up his new dog and gives him a cuddle as he walks down the street.

Dave and Dusty
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons. Photo: Pathé Pictorial. Publicity still for Dave and Dusty (1946-1949).

Tailwaggers


Where the first film was shot is unknown: “Location of events unknown probably somewhere in London’, writes the British Pathé site, where all the Dusty and Dave adventures can be seen.

A further adventure takes place in the beach town Brighton in East Sussex.

Dave and Dusty are lying on the beach, Dave is asleep. The waves start to roll up the beach. Dusty looks concerned as the waves come nearer, but Dave sleeps peacefully. When the waves come up to his feet, Dusty licks his face to wake him up.

Dave looks shocked at how far the water has come up and runs off with Dusty. Dave was played by little David Warner.

One of the black and white postcards by Tuck’s shows him sitting on a bench with Dusty on his lap. The postcard is captioned: "Dusty's a faithful dog, and when he gets on Dave's knees, he thinks he's in the lap of luxury."

On some of the postcards there is an advertisement for The Tailwaggers animal charity.

Dave and Dusty
British postcard by Raphael Tuck & Sons. Photo: Pathé Pictorial. Publicity still for Dave and Dusty (1946-1949).

Pathé Pictorial


First released in March 1918, Pathe Pictorial was the longest running series in the history of the British cinemagazine, in continuous production for over fifty years.

It established the general format of the genre, focusing on stories of general interest, acting as a supplement to the company’s newsreel Pathe Gazette. Its longevity can partly be explained by its willingness to adapt and re-brand itself although to the audience it was always Pathe Pictorial.

In October 1931 (issue no. 704) it finally absorbed sound to transform into Pathe Sound Pictorial. In 1936 it became New Series Pictorial, which was shortened to New Pictorial in 1944. As well as producing regular news stories, British Pathé often included in the New Pictorial additional forms of entertainment mixed in to add a bit of variety.

These could be entirely fictional pieces such as Dave and Dusty. Production manager at the time was Howard Thomas and the editor was Terry Ashwood.

As competition from television became more heated in the mid 1950s, colour was introduced in January 1955 to mark its topical stories out from its rival.

By the introduction of colour television in the mid 1960s the days of the cinemagazines were numbered. Pathe Pictorial finally ceased production in March 1969.


Dave Meets Dusty (1946). Source: British Pathé (YouTube).


Dave And Dusty (1948). Source: British Pathé (YouTube).

Sources: British Universities Film & Video Council, The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, and British Pathé.

1 comment:

Bunched Undies said...

Hahaha…these are wonderful. And all of a good cause!