The Belstone Fox
When you hunt the Belstone Fox ... you hunt HIS wayJan. 01, 1973UK88 Min.PG
The director and star of BORN FREE re-team to tell the story of Tag, a fox reared with a fox-hound. From the book THE BALLAD OF THE BELSTONE FOX by David Rook and later remade as the animated Disney film “The Fox and the Hound.” A magnificent family film that ultimately brings up questions about the ethics of fox-hunts, mixes the fun of Benji with the drama of Old Yeller.Based on the novel “The Ballad of the Belstone Fox”, this heartwarming film chronicles the life of a fox much smarter than the dogs that hunt him. In fact, they never could catch him!Good to see Eric Porter, a very underrated actor, in the role as a gamekeeper, who puts his head in the noose, when he rears a tame fox. A 1970’s film which reminded me of my country days, before things because a bit too sophisticated. Good film for a quiet hour or two. A very young-looking Dennis Waterman as a hunt assistant, before his break into the big time with John Thaw. One of these films hat you don’t think-sounds very interesting, but when you sit down and get into it, you just need to see it to the ens. Jeremy Kemp as a rather worn out English country gentleman,is a pleasure to watch.I would recommend the film to anybody, I don’t know how I miss it first time round.
I watched this film for the first time in about 25 years earlier today. I had good memories of seeing this as a child and it was great to see it again. The film centres around a fox called Tag who is fostered by a fox hound and becomes great friends with Merlin, one of the dogs he grew up with. He is always far too clever for the fox hunters who are after him and despite many attempts they are never able to catch him.
The film takes a rather dark turn half way through when the fox leads the foxhounds on to a railway line when a train is coming and there is complete carnage as a lot of the dogs are killed.
This leads Eric Porter to become totally obsessed with catching the fox. He won’t go after it with a gun, he is determined to hunt it down in the usual way. It becomes a battle of wills between him and the fox. Merlin the dog will not attack the fox owing to their friendship.
A wonderful film, beautifully photographed, it briefly touches on the ethics of hunting early on. This is unlikely to be on TV again since fox hunting has been banned but the DVD is well worth seeing. It is impossible to watch without rooting for the fox.
Original titleThe Belstone Fox
IMDb Rating6.7 183 votes
TMDb Rating7.1 6 votes