The Runaway (1962)
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A young delinquent from a Mexican border town sets out to cross the border and search for his long lost father, in the process befriending a loyal greyhound puppy and a sympathetic priest who helps train the dog to become a champion racer. For Felipe (Roger Mobley), every day above ground is cause for celebration; not only does he have to fend for himself in a small border town, but he dreams of one day crossing into California to track down the father he never knew. After befriending a greyhound pup for companionship, Felipe and his four-legged friend hop a truck headed for the border in hopes of gaining entry into the United States. Unfortunately, an eagle-eyed customs agent spots the Felipe while searching the truck. Just as it looks like Felipe will be heading back to Mexico, the owner of the truck - a kindly priest named Father Dugan (Cesar Romero) - convinces the agent to allow them passage. Later, when driving back to Mexico, the greyhound falls from his hiding spot in the truck and gets badly injured. But while the local vet recommends that the dog be put to sleep in light of his injuries, Father Dugan recognizes the bond he shares with the boy and makes the case for an operation. As the surgery gets underway, the doctors are forced to improvise - using the staff from a statue of St. Michael in order to fix the dog's leg. In light of this unusual development, Felipe names the dog "St. Mike" and begins training him to become a professional racer. Thanks to a little help from Father Dugan, Felipe undergoes a kind of moral rehabilitation while "St. Mike" becomes fast enough to take top prize in an important race. Later, when the dog's original owner appears to congratulate Felipe, the young boy's newfound morals are put to the ultimate test. … More
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