Old Man Dogs

This homegrown New Hampshire film about the commingling of the living and the dead has played a few New England venues, but probably will fare better on the small screen. First feature by writer-director Bill Millios is heartfelt and has something to say, but shows some rough edges due to limited budget. Limited-run regional playoff is the only possible theatrical route.

With:
Lyle Theodorou ..... Bill McNally Sunnie Theodorou ..... Julie Radochia Ned Noonan (Dogs) ..... Don LaBranche Les Witherspoon ..... Wendell Goodrum Sarah Noonan ..... Jean Henderson Iris Noonan ..... Lindsay Ordman

This homegrown New Hampshire film about the commingling of the living and the dead has played a few New England venues, but probably will fare better on the small screen. First feature by writer-director Bill Millios is heartfelt and has something to say, but shows some rough edges due to limited budget. Limited-run regional playoff is the only possible theatrical route.

Story is essentially a ghost tale about the spirits of the dead trapped by the guilty feelings of the living. Lyle (Bill McNally) and Sunnie (Julia Radochia) are hiking on New Hampshire’s Mt. Penobscot when she falls to her death. A year later, he receives a phone call from her and returns to the scene of the accident.

He finds her living with a hermit nicknamed Old Man Dogs (Don LaBranche), who has remained there since his wife and daughter died in a 1940 avalanche. Sunnie isn’t clear why she’s there or why she hasn’t left, but it develops that the mountain retains the spirits of those who die there until the living are willing to let them go.

Millios attempts a lyrical fantasy in which the living and their dead loved ones get to conclude their unfinished business. At times, he succeeds quite well , making masterful use of the New Hampshire outdoor locations. He also deftly handles emotional scenes, especially with Lyle’s growing realization of what has happened.

However, the film is hindered by several factors that scream low-budget at the viewer, from Michael Huggins’ guitar score to the less-than-crisp soundtrack to the lack of polish of some of the supporting performers. Unfortunate title doesn’t add any commercial appeal.

Old Man Dogs

Production: A Back Lot Films presentation. Produced, directed, written by Bill Millios. Executive producers, George Millios, Harry Theodosopoulos.

Crew: Camera (color), Wickham H. Strub; editor, Millios; music, Michael Huggins; sound, Marc Vadeboncoeur; associate producer, Nicholas Raftopoulos; assistant director, Michael J. Hall. Reviewed on videocassette, Boston, Nov. 8, 1997. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: Lyle Theodorou ..... Bill McNally Sunnie Theodorou ..... Julie Radochia Ned Noonan (Dogs) ..... Don LaBranche Les Witherspoon ..... Wendell Goodrum Sarah Noonan ..... Jean Henderson Iris Noonan ..... Lindsay Ordman

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