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Jock: A True Tale of Friendship – TAP’s Movie of the Month December 2014

December 5, 2014

jock movieWhen I was a kid, I saw a movie called Benji the Hunted. It was about a little dog that got lost and had to find his way home, and even though he was a little dog and not a panther or a bear or a T-Rex, this hunter saw Benji as a huge threat and had this insane desire to shoot Benji. On top of that, Benji has to save some orphaned baby cougars, fend of the an attacking brown bear, and avoid a relentless timber wolf that has it in for him. Of course, Benji, being one of those resourceful little dogs, made it through alright. As a little kid, I was on the edge of my seat, rooting for Benji the entire time. Looking back, it probably wasn’t a very good movie – but there was just something about that dog. There’s just something awesome about a good dog movie. Honestly, even bad dog movies are good.

Marley and Me, Old Yeller, My Dog Skip, Turner and Hooch, Beethoven, Homeward Bound (which was based on The Incredible Journey, one of my favorite books as a kid), and Hachi (which we actually watched on the bus in Japan) are all great dog movies. They’re probably not great movies; they’ll never win any big awards, but I’m telling you, there’s just something about a good dog story.

Another one you could add to the list is Jock: A True Tale of Friendship. I’m going to be honest here, Jock: A True Tale of Friendship is not a great movie, but I enjoyed it, for two reasons.

  1. I was fascinated by the South African scenery and history.
  2. There’s a dog.

The movie is actually based one of South Africa’s most popular novels, Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpatrick. The story takes place in the 1880s and is based on Fitzpatrick’s life as a transport driver in the Bushveld region of South Africa during the gold rush of the 1880s. The book began as a series of bed time stories for Fitzpatrick’s kids, but in 1907 he published the story of the adventures in the South African frontier he had with his real-life dog Jock.

While watching Jock: A True Tale of Friendship you not only get to watch a movie about a dog, you also get a pretty interesting history lesson on South Africa.  You can find the entire movie (broken into four chunks) embedded from YouTube at the bottom of this post.

Here are some things to focus on:

Percy Fitzpatrick

Percy Fitzpatrick on a South African stamp from the 1980s. There’s a joke somewhere in here about licking his backside, but I won’t say it, because it’s probably inappropriate. Oops.

Sir James Percy FitzPatrick was born in 1862, before South Africa was even officially South Africa. He was born in what was then called King William’s Township in the Cape Colony. Both of his parents were originally from Ireland, but in South Africa, his father was a Supreme Court Judge in the Cape Colony.

When Fitzpatrick was just 18 years old, his father passed away. Percy decided to leave college to help support his mother and the family. For a short period of time, Percy worked as a bank clerk in Cape Town, but in 1884 he decided to try his luck in the Gold Fields.   His attempt to make a fortune panning for gold didn’t last long, but he had befriended an ox-wagon transport driver on his way up to the Eastern Transvaal area, and decided to try his hand at that. These years and the many adventures he had with Jock were the basis for his novel.

After the events of Jock of the Bushveld, Fitzpatrick became quite successful in business and politics. He was knighted in 1902 and served as a member of parliament for many years. He is also helped start the Johannesburg Zoo and brought citrus farming to South Africa.

One of the longest lasting impacts Percy Fitzpatrick made on the world, besides his writing, was the idea of Armistice Day. Fitzpatrick’s two brothers were both soldiers killed in action, and his oldest son died in battle during WWI. In 1919, Fitzpatrick made a suggestion to King George V of England (remember, South Africa was an English colony at this time) to observe a moment of silence every year on November 11th (11-11, the day the cease fire treaty was signed to end WWI). So, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, there would be a silence of two minutes to reflect on and remember the dead. Armistice Day is still celebrated throughout the United Kingdom, and here in America, we remember the living soldiers from all American wars on that same day – Veterans Day.

As you’ll see in the movie, or if you read any of Fitzpatrick’s books, he led a pretty incredible life, full of excitement and adventure.

The Gold Rush

In the movie, Percy Fitzpatrick seeks his fortune in the Witwatersrand Gold Rush. He arrives too late to find much gold or make much money, but this gold rush had other impacts on South Africa. So many prospectors flocked to the northern areas of South Africa that small mining towns began to emerge. Many of those prospectors found gold and became quite wealthy, but other groups of people moved to those mining towns as well.

Some were laborers, mostly Black Africans that wanted to raise just a bit of money to begin farming their own land back home, to begin families, or to pay for simple tools. They migrated in droves to the mining towns to offer their hard work to the prospectors. Many of these men were Zulu, Xhosa, or from other tribes. Most of these men would come and make a small amount of money, head home, and quickly get replaced by new tribesmen looking for a bit of work.

Many more people arrived to these mining towns to provide necessary services to the prospectors – people like doctors, lawyers, merchants, barbers, traders, and men like Percy Fitzpatrick – ox-cart transport drivers.

At the time, the government assumed the gold would run out quickly, and these towns were temporary settlements. However, some of them grew and grew and became more permanent. Before too long, one of those “temporary” mining towns had grown to be the largest city in the country – Johannesburg. Today, when you walk in the streets in the central parts of Johannesburg, you can still see the narrow streets that remain from the time of the gold rush, a town set up to take as little space as possible, not built for modern transportation or traffic.

Pilgrim’s Rest

Looks just like it did 130 years ago! I can’t wait to visit Pilgrim’s Rest next summer.

One mining town that didn’t grow much was the town of Pilgrim’s Rest in the north eastern section of South Africa not terribly far from Kruger National Park. The site of the first South African gold rush in 1873, Pilgrim’s Rest grew from nothing to a population of 1,500 diggers within just a few months. By 1875, Pilgrim’s Rest became the social center of life for the diggers, as well as the commercial hub in the area. Soon diggers’ tents were replaced by more permanent buildings, some of which are still there today. The name Pilgrim’s Rest comes from the feeling that after so many false hopes and failed dreams, the prospectors had finally found a permanent home.

By the 1880s, most of the gold accessible to regular people had been found and diggers began looking for gold elsewhere, and larger companies came in to get the harder to reach gold. Mining lasted there in some form all the way until 1971.

Soon after, the town was sold to the federal government and opened as a museum. We will get to visit Pilgrim’s Rest on our tour of the country, which will be amazing considering the buildings and layout of the village are almost unchanged since the 1800s. It may look much like the mining towns you’ll see in the movie.

Transport Drivers

Percy Fitzpatrick tried his hand and digging for gold, but the going was slow and he wasn’t having much luck. According to the movie, he found just enough gold to get himself out of the mining business and start his own transport wagon. As you now know, many people migrated to these mining towns to work, set up businesses, establish homes, and begin anew.   The railroads in South Africa didn’t reach into the wild areas where the mining was taking place just yet, so it was up to transport drivers, with carts pulled by oxen, to take people and their belongings, as well as transporting goods from cities like Cape Town and Pretoria to and deliver them to the pioneer towns of the north.

Fitzpatrick bought a cart and some oxen, hired a driver, and began a successful business transporting people and their stuff through the South African wilderness. It’s difficult for us to picture, but South Africa, just like The United States is an enormous country. Think about it in these terms, just before and for a while after the American Civil War, many people in the South and East moved West. Railroads hadn’t been built yet to connect the East and West coast, so most people traveled via horse drawn wagons. In South Africa it was similar, only they traveled with oxen instead of horses, and instead of the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains, they traveled through the Bushveld.

The Bushveld is a region of Southern Africa, covering parts of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Botswana. The suffix veld means it’s a flat and open land, and I’m sure everyone knows what a bush is. The Bushveld is defined as a sub-tropical woodland, meaning it’s a flat open area filled with tall grasses, tall shrubs, and trees like the Acacia and the Baobab trees.

Wildlife

I didn’t know what a kudu was, so I looked it up. I figured you might not either, so here’s a kudu. You know what word is fun to say? Yup… kudu.

The Bushveld is home to white and black rhinos giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, impala, and several other antelope species. In the movie, Percy and Jock travel through more than just the Bushveld, so they also encounter baboons, a leopard, and elephants.

In the movie, most of the animals are presented in a beautiful way that will have you wishing we were on a plane to South Africa tomorrow, however, the book was set in a very different time, with very different attitudes than we have in our modern society. Dog fighting (and not just with other dogs), barbaric hunting (not just the sport some of us enjoy today), and some scary moments with a leopard are all part of the story. Remember though, we didn’t select this movie to be a wildlife documentary, but to be a sort of history lesson. The different attitudes people had towards animals in those days are part of the lesson.

The Book

There have been 100s of covers for Jock’s story, but I liked the picture of the dog on this one. He looks sort of Ike a dog that might be okay fighting a leopard.

The original book is much more brutal than Jock: A True Tale of Friendship. The dogs fight and kill one another, they fight with a captured baboon for sport and gambling, and the hunters are much less humane than most sportsmen are today. Additionally, much like reading books like To Kill a Mockingbird or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, you have to keep in mind that race relations and racial attitudes were much different than they are in our world. We’ve learned enough about the apartheid period of South African history that we can understand that on some level, and when we talk about the Anglo-Zulu War and the Boers Wars, we’ll see even more reason why there’s such divide between races. Again, it’s not like our history in the US is pretty – think of slavery in the American South or European settlers’ treatment of Native Americans.

The book was written in 1907, about 25 years after the events happened. It’s a fictional story that, even with the violence and controversial (in our time) racial attitudes, was written for children. In fact, it started as a series of bed time stories for Fitzpatrick’s four kids. A good friend of Fitzpatrick’s named Rudyard Kipling, a famous author in his own right (The Jungle Book, Kim, If__), who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1907, convinced Fitzpatrick to publish the stories that became Jock of the Bushveld.

One hundred years later, Jock is considered a classic of South African literature, and more than 100 editions have been published in English, Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Zulu, Xhosa, and many other languages.

Since racial attitudes have changed so much, in the 1980s a modernized version of the book was released, cleaning out the “racial prejudices,” but keeping the charm and tone of the original book intact. Many people find this version much more palatable, but some think it ruins the history lesson by whitewashing the past.

You can find the original book online for free right here, or you can download it to your eReader device here.

Other movies

Just look at the monkey dressed like a cute little hotel bellhop. We better see a monkey dressed like a tiny bellhop in Africa or I’ll be upset.

You could really consider Jock: A True Tale of Friendship to be the movie version of that sanitized story. This movie was made by an American production company in 1994. Just eight years earlier a South African version of the movie was released. Most reviewers on IMDB and Amazon claim the South African version is much better and truer to the original book. However, when the 1986 South African film was released in the United States, the violent scenes and the unhappy nature of some parts of the story were not well received by American audiences, so the US version was made.

The American version has a pretty generic movie score that doesn’t hit you quite as much as the music in movies like District 9 and Tsotsi, but the 1986 version had music by Johnny Clegg – a musician and anthropologist from South Africa. He’s sometimes called Le Zoulou Blanc, the White Zulu, because his music is loaded with different African influences. His song, “Great Heart” is the title song in the American movie, so you do get a little taste of the popular South African artist.

Someday I’d like to see the South African version, and to be honest I’d much rather have our group watch that one, however, I wasn’t able to find it online for free anywhere and none of the local libraries had any copies. I found it for $30 on Amazon, but didn’t think we’d be able to pass it around and give everyone a chance to watch it, so we have the American version as a reasonable substitute.

Here’s the Johnny Clegg song Great Heart from the movie.

Here’s another Johnny Clegg song just for the heck of it.

In 2011, a cartoon version of Jock’s story, called Jock the Hero Dog, was released. It is available on Netflix streaming, but it’s honestly not very good. Maybe it’s worth watching if you want to see another version of Jock’s story, but aside from a few key moments it doesn’t really follow the book at all, and the animation isn’t up to the standards that you are used to in movies from Disney, Pixar, or DreamWorks. The opening scene is actually pretty cool, showing a variety of animated animals running through the Bushveld, but I would recommend turning it off after that scene.


Percy Fitzpatrick is an important figure in South African history, and Jock has become an iconic character whose name and image we’ll see throughout our travels. In Kruger National Park, we’ll see a statue of Jock, and throughout the Transvaal region, there are historical markers noting where Jock has been. Kruger Park’s main building is the Jock Main Lodge, which is near the Fitzpatrick Lodge, and the Jock Explorer Camp.

Jock: A True Tale of Friendship doesn’t have the emotional impact of the political subtext that the other movies we’ve watched have had (maybe the South African film does), but it is worth watching before we travel to South Africa just to get the history lesson, to see what life was like 120 years ago, and to understand the impact the gold rushes and even Jock’s story have had on the country.

So get yourself some South African snacks and watch Jock: A True Tale of Friendship.

We ask that all of our South Africa travelers take the time to watch Jock: A True Tale of Friendship (or one of the other two versions of the movie if you want) then come back here to discuss the movie, the history, the places we’ll see, the wildlife, and even the book. The longer and more in depth our discussion gets, the better it is for all of us. Jock: A True Tale of Friendship can be found on YouTube, which we’ve embedded below. The cartoon version is available on Netflix streaming.   The South African version can be found on Amazon to buy, but it’s expensive, so just watch the free one.

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43 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2014 4:55 pm

    I have to say, I really liked this movie. If I had to pick, I’d say this was my second favorite movie thus far, after Tsotsi and before District 9. I did notice the difference in attitude towards animals and hunting, and found it odd that happy music was played when Peter killed his first animal. Overall, though, I did enjoy it. However, I do have a question. Were the landscapes shown similar to those that we will see, or have they been overrun by urban areas?

    • December 23, 2014 10:40 am

      I sure hope that we see landscapes similar to what was in the movie. I’m going to guess that when we head outside of Johannesburg towards Kruger National Park, we’ll see that sort of natural environment.

  2. Kelsie Stanley permalink
    December 29, 2014 3:21 pm

    I really enjoyed this movie. I liked how Percy had different ideas than the rest and wasn’t afraid to make it happen. The hunting restrictions were one of these ideas. I also liked how Percy never gave up on jock even though he was the runt. The landscapes were beautiful throughout the movie, especially the sunsets. I do have one question though, is the situation Percy was in something that actually happened to people back then?

    • December 29, 2014 3:57 pm

      I’m actually reading the book Jock of the Bushveld right now. I’m only about a quarter of the way through the book so far, but the book Percy is quite different from the movie Percy. The book Percy mentions (as the narrator looking back) that no one thought about animal conservation or hunting regulations back then, but so far the character has done an awful lot of hunting and killing. It seems that the movie folks tried to make a character that was more relatable to today’s audiences that think about that sort of thing.

      I’m not sure what “situation” you’re referring to, Kelsie. Do you mean living on the road the way he did? If so, that was his job. He was a college student working in a bank when his father died. He decided he needed to do more to help his family, so he tried to make money in the gold rush. He was unsuccessful, though. The areas near where gold was developing quickly – think about the American west and pioneers in covered wagons. Percy started to work as a transport driver, taking people’s stuff and goods for stores through the wilderness from large civilized towns to these small settlements that were slowly growing. It took many months to make these trips, so he lived a life on the road.

      If that doesn’t answer your question, please ask again so we know what you were wondering about.

    • cj moody permalink
      February 7, 2015 1:53 pm

      I definitely agree, it was nice seeing someone have different views from everyone else. But why do you think Percy didn’t give up on Jock?

  3. Hannah Breier permalink
    December 30, 2014 10:17 am

    Jock: a true tale of friendship was one of my favorite movies so far this year. I really liked how Rocky made such an impact on the movie even though he was in a few parts of it. He taught Percy how important government regulations are, taught him about dogs, and hunting. I also really enjoyed Jim. He was a funny guy and added some hilarious moments in the movie. Last, I enjoyed the music. At some parts, it was weird that they would play it in sad moments. But, it taught me a lot about South African culture.

    • December 31, 2014 10:36 am

      What else do you think it taught you about South African culture?

    • cj moody permalink
      February 7, 2015 1:56 pm

      What exactly did you like about the music? Did you just like it as a whole or was there a specific part about it that you enjoyed?

  4. Stephanie Melendez permalink
    December 30, 2014 3:46 pm

    I really enjoyed this movie! This movie made me realize that a dog can really be a man’s best friend. The relationship between Percy and Jock was absolutely incredible. Jock was probably so close to Percy because he was the only one that cared for him. There was never a moment that Percy never believed in Jock. The other thing that I really liked about Percy was that he was different from the others. He always thought outside of the box and had different ideas and strategies about different perspectives. Plus he wasn’t afraid to voice his concerns. On another note, I noticed that the landscapes and views throughout the movie were breath taking. Just to think 5 months from now we can be seeing these spectacular landscapes and views. This movie made me open my eyes up and realize that we should never give up on anyone!

    • December 31, 2014 10:38 am

      How was Percy different? Do you think that was real, or was that just the Hollywood people trying to give you a character you’d like more?

  5. Stephanie Melendez permalink
    December 31, 2014 12:58 pm

    He was different because he had different thoughts and strategies about hunting. Personally, I think it was real because we all have the right to our own opinions. Even thought Percy was the new guy of the group, it sure looked like he was ready to take charge.

    • December 31, 2014 1:05 pm

      You should read some of the book, Stephanie, or maybe someday see the South African version of the movie. I’m only on chapter 8 of the book, but the book Percy and the movie Percy are very different characters so far. You can get the book for free online at the Project Gutenberg site.

  6. Gianna Kriechbaum permalink
    January 1, 2015 9:14 pm

    Honestly I didn’t think this movie was very good. It may just be because it’s the american version, but even so I still didn’t enjoy this movie. Tsotsi was very touching, even though some points were just unnecessary, it was still enjoyable. And district 9 is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen. It has a good plot, with a great metaphor, and a very good theme. I didn’t get much of anything from Jock and I wish it had a better purpose. But for the beautiful scenery it could have been worse. The nature and animals is something I can’t wait to see and it was good to see an example of what we will be viewing. Still, this is my least favorite movie out of the three so far.

    • January 2, 2015 8:57 am

      Gianna, I appreciate your honesty, and I agree with you. I read a bunch of reviews of both the American and South African versions of the movie, and the entire time I was watching this (American) version, I wished I was seeing the South African one instead. I definitely would have assigned the South African version of the movie if I’d been able to find it free or cheap for everyone to watch.
      However, the reason I chose this movie – even though I didn’t really like it – was because the book Jock of the Bushveld is one of the most popular books in South African history. It’s considered a classic, and I wanted all of us to have at least a basic understanding of Jock’s story, because I’m sure we’ll see a lot of him on the trip.

  7. Hannah Breier permalink
    January 3, 2015 9:22 am

    I think the main thing that taught me about the culture was Jim and his hometown. They had their own music, celebrations, and even unique clothing. When Jock and Percy killed that leopard, they treated them with royalty as if they were their own kind.

  8. Hannah Breier permalink
    January 9, 2015 5:04 pm

    I think it was because Jock had saved their hometown. They are true hearted people and they were sharing how much they appreciate them. It shows how even people we don’t know can be so kind.

  9. CJ Moody permalink
    February 4, 2015 7:56 pm

    Although this movie had no “history” in it, it was still a pretty good movie. And even without the flat out history you can see what part of South Africa is like, especially wildlife. Personally i enjoyed seeing the wildlife but really wish i could’ve watched the South African version. But i also enjoyed seeing Jim and his people because it shows how white and black africans can differ and how grateful their people are. All in all i thought this was a great movie and could see why it is such a popular story in South Africa.

    • February 4, 2015 8:17 pm

      CJ, Jock’s story takes place in the 1880s-90s during the South African gold rush. It doesn’t have the hidden history that District 9 had, but the entire movie gives you a look at what life in South Africa was like 125 years ago. Knowing this, does it change the way you view the movie now?

      • CJ Moody permalink
        February 4, 2015 8:31 pm

        Wowser… That wasn’t the most logical post… Now that you say it, I was thinking about that during the movie but i watched in halves so i forgot all about it! But it makes more sense now… Is there anything that Jock can’t take on?!

  10. Maddy Trouvais permalink
    February 6, 2015 11:11 pm

    I really enjoyed this movie. The scenery was beautiful. There were so many animals around the bushveld and I just thought it was neat seeing all the animals that we are going to be seeing when we go actually in the wild. The storyline was also pretty touching. I loved how from the moment Percy laid eyes on Jock, that he would be there for him no matter what. He was so protective over him in a good way and it was really touching.

    • February 7, 2015 2:55 pm

      The relationship between Percy and Jock was great, but did you learn anything new about South Africa’s history from this movie?

  11. erin seymour permalink
    February 7, 2015 4:23 pm

    jock was my favorite movie. the relationship between Percy and jock was amazing and the plot was fantastic. The man that hated the dog was my least favorite character and the part where jock had gone death was the saddest part of all, it really turned the movie around though. it was a saddening twist. I hated the monkey. It just made me mad at it because it killed every innocent animal it saw and its owner was a jerk he wanted the monkey to kill every animal it went up against, even though it was innocent. he bet on the poor animals lives and that is not humanly to act in such a way

    • February 7, 2015 4:56 pm

      What did this movie teach you about life in South Africa in the late 1800s?

  12. Cameron Smith permalink
    February 9, 2015 4:55 pm

    I really like this movie because it shows a lot of the animals that we will get to see when we visit Kruger national park. I also thought that the setting chosen for a movie about a dog was really nice. I’ve seen a lot of dog movies but this one stood out to me because the dog didn’t die at the end. It always makes me sad when a dog dies even if it’s just a movie. So I would have to say I really liked the movie.

    • February 10, 2015 12:07 pm

      I hate to tell you, at the end of the book (and the South African version of the movie), Jock does die. He went deaf from the kick from the kudu, so Percy let him live on a friend’s farm for a while. The farmer heard some animals getting into his chickens one night and shot the animal. He accidently shot Jock, who had already gone in to kill the intruder. Do you think the movie is better happy, or would it have been better to follow the real story?

  13. Dylan Blough permalink
    February 21, 2015 7:57 pm

    At the beginning this looked like a low budget movie and I was a little skeptical on how the movie would go. But after watching it myself (and my dog) found the movie a good representation of the bushveld and how dangerous the area can be. But I agree with you as well as Gianna that the movie wasn’t really in my ballpark and is on the bottom of the list of the Movies of the month we have seen.

    • February 21, 2015 9:23 pm

      Do you think the South African version may have been better?

      • Dylan Blough permalink
        February 21, 2015 11:23 pm

        Yes, I think the South African version would have been better. I say this because I think that a South African director and crew would take more pride and determination to make the movie accurate and enjoyable, compared to an American crew and director.

  14. Yazmine Thomas permalink
    February 27, 2015 12:54 pm

    This movie reminds me of Hatchi, the movie we watched in japan. Although the movie Jock doesn’t resemble any of the same plot points as Hatchi, it shares one common factor; the bond between a dog and its owner. This wasn’t the best movie, but I enjoyed the overall theme of the film; fight for what you believe. I keep thinking that maybe the monkey scene is symbol. For example, the monkey is like poachers who attack innocent animals and the people who bet on the animals are the people who pay for the poacher’s goods. I might be a little far-fetched but it crossed my mind when watching the movie. The scenery looked beautiful ( would’ve looked even better in HD). I thought the sunsets provided the best scenery.

    • February 27, 2015 1:04 pm

      I had forgotten about Hachi. That was a fun movie to watch on the bus. I also “read” too much into the fighting baboon and kept thinking of the minority government’s treatment of the black majority. Of course the movie was set decades before the official start of Apartheid, but that’s what I thought of anyway.

    • Austin Stein permalink
      March 11, 2015 8:31 pm

      Yasmine, that is actually a really good connection! I hadn’t thought about it, but yeah, this movie does remind me of Hatchi! While I think Hatchi was the stronger film about animal companionship, both still did what they set out to do very well. I glad you made that connection! Now I want to go back and re-watch Hatchi. Hopefully this time I don’t cry.

  15. Brian Cottingim permalink
    February 28, 2015 6:44 pm

    I thought it was a good movie, and I think the film makers did a good job making sure the watchers of the movie were as attached to the dog as much as Percy was. I was hugging my dog the whole time, god, I hated that baboon. Staying on the subject of what I said before, the film makers also made me hate the two antagonists. The dude that almost killed the dog (I’m going to reference the dude as Joe) and the dude that wanted to kill the dog with a baboon (I’m going to reference him as Bob). I feel like Percy of jock was ‘enemys’ with Bob and Jock’s enemy was Joe. The best-friends would stick up for one another and kick their butts. For example, Jock killed Bob’s stupid beast they call a baboon, and Percy “owned” Joe every time he would say something about Jock. I also want to touch on when the other dude I don’t know the name of (the guy that gave Percy the gun) said something about “you only kill what you need, and nothing else.” This is where my poaching comment intertwines with this comment. I do believe the “gun guy” had the ethically right view of hunting v. poaching.

    • March 1, 2015 9:34 am

      Unfortunately, the view points about hunting and environmentalism were put there by the filmmakers in modern times for modern audiences, those ideals were not present in Percy Fitzpatrick’s original book. Does that change what you think about the movie?

      • Brian Cottingim permalink
        March 1, 2015 4:32 pm

        No, not particularly. Although it was based off of the book, it does not change how I feel. The film makers obviously put these parts in there to make it more appealing. It created a message that suck with me the entire movie. I feel it’s not about the original, it’s what they make of the original.

        • March 1, 2015 6:18 pm

          How do you feel, then, about the idea that most South Africans say that this version of the movie (there is another version that is actually from South Africa) is terrible, because it changes many of the major themes from the book and is not longer historically accurate? Isn’t there something to be said for a movie set in the past that actually reflects the way things were in the past?

  16. Austin Stein permalink
    March 11, 2015 8:28 pm

    Oh my god this movie was fantastic. Out of all the movies I’ve seen so far for TAP, this one connected with me on an emotional level and I never wanted to stop watching. The bond between Jock and Percy warmed my heart so much, and despite all the trouble Jock caused, Percy still loved him. This is how animal companionship works at its finest and I just loved it. Sure, the story got dark at parts and those moments were pretty tragic, but it was all counterbalanced by the true friendship Jock and Percy had. The messages were good as well, if not a bit forced (ex. needing to limit hunting for greater good).

    Although I enjoyed this movie thoroughly, I had some complaints. Was I the only one who thought the intro was extremely fast paced? I can’t say it felt rushed, but it was odd and unnatural. Not only that, but some of the coherency of this one didn’t feel right to me.It might only be me, but I felt it jumped around in plot a lot. It was a bit off putting, but nothing extreme.

    Overall, Jock was a wonderful movie with some slight problems. I would definitely come back and watch this one again, but with my own dog at my side. He resembles Jock so much.

    • March 12, 2015 7:29 am

      Does it change your opinion of Jock to know that a lot of those messages were not in the original book (or the South African movie), but were added for American audiences? Is it less authentic?

      • Austin Stein permalink
        March 12, 2015 7:39 pm

        I do say the additions of those messages does degrade the movie’s authenticity; knowing that they were a Hollywood addition isn’t surprising, but considering it’s an adaption of a book, it falsifies what the true meaning of the story is. And if they were supposed be for American audiences, then it makes the situation worse. If they wanted to spread the message to stop poaching, they should have made an entirely new story and movie and not tamper with an existing classic.

  17. Ronnie Stovall permalink
    March 27, 2015 10:49 pm

    I enjoyed the movie Jock the hero dog. It started off a little slow but all movies start like that. I liked the setting how beautiful Africa was and all the animals . I also thought about how horrible it is that man would drown a puppy a runt or not. Jock grew up and was more help that any of those other dogs he was the best. And that baboon was a total jerk.

  18. Kate Gall permalink
    March 28, 2015 1:08 pm

    So far I’d have to say that this is my favorite movie that I’ve watched for Tap. It was a very touching movie and the bond between Percy and Jock was unrealistic. No matter what Jock did, such as getting into fights with different animals, or attacking people, Percy always cared for him and loved him anyway. It was really amazing that Percy spent his whole life taking care of Jock. They did everything together and were the best of friends. It was very inspiring to see what a relationship the two of them had created. Jock was the perfect dog, he listened to Percy and did everything he was told unless he was told to eat by other men of the tribes. Jock was also a strong dog and always protected Percy if he thought something wasn’t right. Overall, this was a very good movie and im looking foreword to watching the next movie of the month.

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