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A Lassie picture wherein the loyal collie plays a pooch named "Bill," indicating a last-minute title change, obviously for box office purposes. As a pup, Lassie/Bill is found by teenager Kathie Merrick (Elizabeth Taylor) who nurses the dog back to health after it has been accidentally shot
by two boys out bird hunting. Soon Lassie/Bill becomes a healthy and useful dog and even helps out by rounding up stray sheep on kindly rancher Harry McBain's (Frank Morgan) land. Tragedy strikes one day when the pooch is hit by a car and, through a complicated series of events, ends up in the
Army chewing up the Japanese in WW II. After the war, the dog comes back shell-shocked and vicious. It takes all the kindness Kathie can muster to rehabilitate the canine veteran. Taylor received her first top billing in COURAGE OF LASSIE on the heels of her great success in NATIONAL VELVET
(1944). The film is an oddity in the Lassie series because it really has no relation to either LASSIE COME HOME (1943) or SON OF LASSIE (1945).