In Search Of ...

WOLF BITES    Gas Attendant: "I recollect ya said yer name was..."
                         Jim Hughes:    
"I don't recollect ever tellin' ya..."

Email from Chris Robson
May 10/04

Hi Jeff,

My name is Chris Robson, from Markdale. I have to tell you how this re-interest in the movie started. I read in the site I'm certainly not the first to show interest in the movie, but I can't believe how a small conversation in an even smaller coffee office over a cup of coffee has turned into this great website you have devoted to the movie.

About a year ago, George Stoddart and myself were talking about what Markdale was like when he was growing up, when he mentioned the fact that a movie was filmed here. he couldn't remember the year exactly and after a call to his wife, came up with (most) of the movie title. I was VERY interested of course and wanted some more info, so I called the <
Markdale> Standard to find out more about it. I was only assuming that they would have done a story or two about it. Of course, the person I spoke to was also very interested in the subject and started to ask many questions that I simply could not answer. At that point, I handed the phone over to George and a couple of weeks later, I then read a letter to the editor from you, (I think). I was actually going to call you, but could not come up with much on the internet myself. I am only  now reading the <Markdale> Standard dated April 14th and thought I'd check out the website. WOW, I appreciate the work you have put into it and can't believe the interest it has created locally, as well as from outside the area. I would really like to hear from you at some point and look forward to following it. At some point, hopefully getting a copy.

(Thanks to Chris for his comments. As you see below, a pirated copy of Wolf Dog was forwarded to us, but exhibition/distribution rights belong to 20th Century Fox. I still find myself awaiting their action on my request to have the Grey Highlands Library system furnished with a viewable copy, for historic purposes. If you also feel strongly about the issue, please write, or email...
101 BLOOR ST. W. Suite 400, TORONTO, ON. M5S 2Z7
tel: 416-643-3897   fax: 416-643-3898

Email from Muriel (Aitkens) McCrabb
April 29/04


What a nice reply to my email to your Mother and Dad, re: the movie that was made in Markdale. I had forgotten about it until...I think it was...George Stoddart wrote a letter-to-the-editor about it?!

I wish I could help you, but the recollections I have of it consist of going into Markdale to watch them film it, but I never did see the movie.

I made copies of your website for Ruth Graham, who is a very good friend of mine. She doesn't have a computer and I know she will be glad to have it. I hope you don't mind. I know you don't know me, but your father and I went to public school together. That made it all the more interesting for me.

Congratulations on a job well done, Jeff and I will look for more news about the movie.

Muriel McCrabb

(Thanks so much for contributing, Muriel! Ms. McCrabb is now living in the Port Elgin area. She still owns property locally and has occasion to be in the area on a regular basis. I am VERY grateful to Muriel's good friend, Ruth Graham for her contributions and help in making this website a place of strong interest on the web. I have no problems with any of the material being used or passed along to others. This is what its here for, after all! Enjoy!)

  From: "Jack R."
   November 25/03

   Jeff-  I have a copy of WOLF DOG on video. The quality is only fair, but I'd be happy to make it available to you.

   I got it on EBAY, where it shows up now and then. I am a great fan of ALLISON HAYES and would love to hear
   any other stories people have about her time spent during the filming!

   Great Site! Let me know if you want the copy.  -Jack R.

From "Search For Wolf Dog" guestbook

I'm the gentleman mentioned on the Search Summary and Recollections page, who was interviewed in the LA Times, 12-20-03. I've since been contacted by three (3) people about WD. I'm still working on locating a copy, but so far NO luck. If anyone can help, my tel # (see said number in Chuck Campbell note below).

Sidney P. Bloomberg
San Francisco, CA.

(My thanks to Mr. Bloomberg for his guestbook entry and for choosing this site to make this special request)

From Chuck Campbell
September 27/03

Read about your search for WOLF DOG movie on the John Hart website. This may be a 'cold lead' as the information ran in the Los Angeles Times on December 20, 2002. However, here it is, for whatever its worth.

An 83 year old former publicist for 20th Century Fox now living in San Francisco, CA claims to be able to find just about any movie that's ever been filmed.

Sidney P. Bloomberg
735 Taylor Street - #306
San Francisco, CA.
(415) 931-3676

(he doesn't have an answering machine so callers just have to keep trying until they get him in person.) Don't know if he's still active (or alive), but it might be worth a try! Good luck!

-Chuck Campbell

From Anna Marie Vickerson
April 11/03

My mom (Diane Brodie) says she remembers a Mrs. Mabel Douglas doing Allison Hayes' hair. Also, her brother David was in the film briefly holding a dog in front of the Bank of Montreal on Main Street. Also, it was a Canadian movie. If so, have you tried going into the National Film Board Of Canada? You can email them. The board was established in 1939, so they may be able to help you. Let me know.


From: Ron Wyvill, Apr. 02/03
Jim: Thank you so much for your message.
Mike was correct.  I totally enjoyed the conversation last night regarding 'Wolf Dog' with Mike (Anderson), Paul (Hutton) and Jerry (Bartley).
Paul, Jerry and I along with many other citizens of Markdale and area appeared in the movie as extras.  In fact Paul was a stand in for Tony Brown in some scenes .  Some of the scenes that I remember being shot were:
- The building in which the Standard Office is now located was at that time a BP Service Station.  There was a scene shot there by the gas pumps in front of an early 50's Ford 'woody' wagon with Jim Davis, Allison Hayes and Tony Brown as the kid.  I remember that this was a particularly hot day and the crew purchased ice cream cones for all the extras.  I also remember that I was visible in this scene when I later saw the movie in Owen Sound.
- A feed store across the street now approximately where the IGA parking lot is.
- I. B. Lucas' Law Office, recently the location of Country Critters store.  This was converted to the sheriff's office.  I. B. Lucas's sign was taken down and replaced with the Sheriff's office sign.  The sign support is still there.
I remember obtaining Jim Davis' (more recently of Dallas fame) autograph while he was having lunch in the old Marigold restaurant which is now the Home Hardware.  Unfortunately, that autograph is long gone.
Back in 1985 I had this great urge to track down a copy of the movie.  I thought that it would be great to show on my brother in law's Markdale Cable channel.  It would prove to be a great historical documentation of what Markdale looked like in '57 and what many of the residents looked like back then.
I spent considerable time trying to track it down but I guess I eventually lost interest.  I have a file with a few notes in it showing that I talked to Elwy Yost, the Ontario Censor Board, and the Toronto office for 20th Century Fox.  The person at 20th Century advised me that there was no known copy of the movie in Canada.  She suggested contacting 20th Century Fox in L. A..  Unfortunately, I don't think I followed through on that lead.  I also talked to some film rental agencies in New York City to no avail.  I think my trail stopped there when it was suggested that I try the film museum in New York.  Some where along the way, I seem to recall being told that the stars of the movie had destroyed the prints.  I did not record this info in my file.
I think that I will try to contact 20th Century in Beverley Hills in the near future.  I will keep you posted.
Thanks for the copies of the posters.  I will be hanging them in my 'home theatre'.  I suspect that the location in which they were photographed was Williams Lake but I have nothing to base that assumption on other that there were other scenes shot in Chatsworth and Williamsford as well as on a farm north of Markdale and Williams Lake is sort of in the middle of these locations.
Also thanks for the web sites.  I spent some time on them last night and plan to spend some more time later.
With enough interest by enough people maybe someday we can eat some popcorn while once again enjoying 'Wolf Dog'.


From Les Adams: April 14/03

I saw it
<Wolf Dog> the first time on original release at the Queen Theatre in Abilene,Tex., and saw it again later (late 70's) on some cable station out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The latter tells me there should be a tape of it floating around somewhere, but I don't have one. Eddie Brandt's store in L.A. might, they have a website but I don't know what it is.
Other than Jim Davis and Allison Hayes, all of the cast were either Canadians or carried a British passport. One other exception would be John Hart of Lone Ranger and Columbia serial fame (in a small bit), but he was married to Canadian actress Beryl Brainwaithe <should be "Braithwaite"> , so guess he was around and handy when this was made.
Sorry I can't help any more than that. Best regards,


Ruth Graham, Markdale
Markdale Standard Letter-To-The-Editor
Wed, Apr. 09/03
Fond Memories
George Stoddard's letter in The Markdale Standard of March 12 brought back memories of the summer of 1957.
Gordon Craig attended the centennial celebrations of S. S. No. 11, Artemesia at Vandeleur on the invitation of my father, Howard Graham, who was the Vandeleur correspondent for many years. I had just graduated from Grade 13, and Mr. Craig asked me to work at The Markdale Standard for the summer.
My duties included proof reading the district correspondence, writing up weddings and obituaries, editing the joke file (that was great fun), selling advertising, typing letters (I even typed my own glowing commendation to McDonald Institute!) and on those hectic first days of the week proofreading the newspaper.
The barometric pressure of the newsroom could be determined by whether a typo slipped through. Each noon , Gordon and Martha took me to their home for dinner. They treated me like a daughter and Jim looked up to me as a big sister. Towards the end of that summer, news arrived that a movie was being filmed in Markdale. Mr. Craig pushed me out the door with instructions to get a scoop. His manner indicated that he wouldn't take "No" for an answer.
The main corner was jam packed with people watching filming in action. I was terrified, but there was no escape. I looked around in desperation, and my eyes met with Norman Hartley, custodian at The Markdale Standard.
I tearfully explained my dilemma. I CAN'T DO THIS, I sobbed. I'LL HELP YOU, he replied. He guided me over and introduced me to one of the cast, and I ended up at a local restaurant with an exclusive interview. My feature on Wolf Dog was reprinted in several newspapers and was reputed (by Mr. Craig) to be the best coverage of the movie.
But my most outstanding recollection of the whole event that has shone down through the years was that simple act of kindness shown to me by another employee of The Markdale Standard.
Ruth Graham,

Jerry Bartley, Markdale
Markdale Standard Letter-To-The-Editor
Wed, Mar. 19/03
Remembers Film
I write in response to the letter from George Stoddart regarding a movie filmed in Markdale. I remember it very well.
The year was 1958 and the name of the movie was Wolf Dog. Some of the main actors were, Jim Davis of Dallas fame, Allison Hayes (who played his wife) and Tony Brown (who played their son.)
Austin Willis played the bad guy in this movie of ranchers and farmers squaring off against one another. I believe the German Shepherd's name was Prince.
Some of the scenes were filmed where the Standard office is now. It was a BP service station at that time. Across the highway where the IGA is, was a feed store owned by Fred Peters Sr. The front had a western town look to it and I believe was used as the Sheriff's Office.
Some scenes were shot at Roy Brown's farm on the Holland-Euphrasia townline and others up near Massie.
A couple of the local celebrities that we caught brief glimpses of were Sandi Uhrig and Clarence Bourns <probably "Bowins"?> who was the local police constable at the time.
It certainly created lots of interest in Markdale and brings back a lot of memories.
Jerry Bartley, Markdale
We'd like to thank the Markdale Standard, the local weekly newspaper in which the two previous letters were originally published.

For these excerpts of
our thanks to the publishers: The Markdale Historical Society - 1988
Found on pg. 282, under heading of RECREATION
   One exciting event of the 1950s was the shooting of a movie right on Markdale's main streets. Producer-Director Sam Newfield in August, 1957 began location shooting for a cinemascope feature picture although their main base was in Owen Sound .
   Regal Films, a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox, with a group of some 50 actors, actresses, producers and technicians from Hollywood ,Toronto , Australia and Great Britain were included. Over half the cast were Canadians.
   As early as 8:30 a.m. a crowd of curious merchants and other spectators filled the street across from Peters' Feed Store where filming was done. Peters' Store sported the sign SHERIFF'S OFFICE - PUTNAM COUNTY, SHERIFF MACE and the I.B. Lucas law office became the headquarters of PUTNAM COUNTY CATTLE ASSOCIATION. The picture was unofficially titled A BOY AND HIS DOG.
   It was a modern day western set in 1950 and featured Jim Davis and Allison Hayes who played ranch owners, and Anthony Brown of Willowdale a child C.B.C. television star, the 11-year-old son of T.V. actor Sid Brown, who played their son, Paul.
   There was the usual wealthy ranch owner (Austin Willis) and bank robbers and considerable excitement.
   From this area the crew moved for further shooting to Fergus and then to Toronto .


WOLF DOG TRIVIA: For scenes filmed in Markdale local businesswoman, the late Mrs. Mabel Douglas once did Allison Hayes' hair style.

LOBBY CARDS II  (Allison Tribute)
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All stories and text copyrighted property of Jeffrey R.P. Wilson - 2005