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The Biscuit Eater DVD Review

The Biscuit Eater movie poster - click to buy The Biscuit Eater

Theatrical Release: March 22, 1972 / Running Time: 92 Minutes / Rating: G

Director: Vincent McEveety

Cast: Earl Holliman (Harve McNeil), Patricia Crowley (Mary Lee McNeil), Lew Ayres (Mr. Ames), Godfrey Cambridge (Willie Dorsey), Beah Richards (Charity Tomlin), Clifton James (Mr. Eben), Johnny Whitaker (Lonnie McNeil), George Spell (Text Tomlin)

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Though you may not gather it from the title, The Biscuit Eater is a pretty standard Disney animal movie.
The film opens with a catchy '70s ditty called "Moreover and Me" which establishes the film's central relationship between boy (red-haired Johnny Whitaker) and a dog.

"That dog ain't nothin' but a suck-egg biscuit eater," proclaims Harve, the boy's father. But the boy, named Lonnie, loves the misfit hound, in spite of his less-than-heroic tendencies.

Harve deals the dog to Willie Dorsey (Godfrey Cambridge in a colorful supporting performance), a gas station clerk and shrewd "trading fool." Lonnie and his best friend Text manage to regain possession and decide to name it Moreover.

Lonnie and Text hope to train Moreover into a prize-winning bird hunter. The second half of the film is devoted to competition events. In the first of these, a misunderstanding puts the boys in a bit of a dilemma and a bit of silly, teary-eyed drama ensues.

Lonnie (Johnny Whitaker), Text (George Spell), and Moreover go on a walk in "The Biscuit Eater." Godfrey Cambridge shines in a comic supporting role

The dog's name is one of the few elements which distinguish this film from others, and it does play like a My Dog Skip Lite. Or to keep things in the perspective of Disney, Old Yeller without the depth and atmosphere.

The film is extremely simple, but there's a certain charm to it. There's also a number of funny lines, some of them intentionally so. Earl Holliman is supposed to be firm and feared, but he's got a goofiness to him. Patricia Crowley is likable as the mother. The two young stars possess charisma, particularly George Spell as Text.

Buy The Biscuit Eater on DVD from Amazon.com DVD Details

1.33:1 Fullscreen
Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned
Release Date: May 21, 2002
Single-sided, single-layered disc (DVD-5)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
Black Keepcase


While I highly doubt that significant efforts went into remastering the video quality of this film, The Biscuit Eater does look rather good. It is, unfortunately, presented only in 1.33:1 'Fullscreen.'
While theatrical exhibition in 1972 would most likely mean the film was framed for widescreen, there does not appear to be any framing problems, which would indicate an open matte transfer. There is quite a bit of color shimmering, but in general, the transfer is pretty decent quality, if it is not particularly sharp.

2005 Update: Late in 2004, The Biscuit Eater was released to Region 2 DVD in Germany. This presentation, though similarly without extras, offered the film in... surprisingly a 2.20:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation. Judging from the R2 DVD's screencaps and comparing them to this US disc, the 16x9 transfer is a highly matted version of the Region 1 "fullscreen" presentation. Some of the "scope" shots seem acceptably composed, but more often they appear misframed in comparison to the US disc, lopping off the dog or a significant part of characters present in the Region 1 frame. Those yearning a 16x9-enhanced DVD of the film are able to purchase the Region 2 DVD from Amazon.de, where the film is titled Die Promenadenmischung - what a mouthful! Nonetheless, based on the questionable widescreen framing, a definitive statement on the film's proper aspect ratio cannot be made at this time.

Though the package claims it is a Dolby Surround, and the audio track is encoded as 2.0, it's really a Mono track, as far as I can tell. It's rather sufficient, though, as dialogue and the film's soundtrack is relatively crisp and clear.

The Biscuit Eater DVD main menu


Not a thing, not even a trailer for this movie or sneak previews for others.


For a Disney film that few know about, The Biscuit Eater is decent family entertainment. It's not especially great enough to merit a recommendation, but I enjoyed it. It is inoffensive and passably (if forgettably) entertaining for an hour and a half. Carrying the low retail price it does, a rental seems silly, although you'll probably have a difficult time finding this one in stores.

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Related Reviews:
Other '70s Disney Films:
Snowball Express (1972) | Napoleon and Samantha (1972) | Bedknobs & Broomsticks (1971)
The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) | Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) | Freaky Friday (1977) | Candleshoe (1978)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) | Pete's Dragon (1977) | Robin Hood (1973)

Disney's Boy and Dog Films:
Old Yeller & Savage Sam: 2-Movie Collection (1957, 1963) | The Shaggy Dog (1959) | Big Red (1962)
Sounder (2003) | Teacher's Pet (2004) | Where the Red Fern Grows (2004)

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Reviewed February 20, 2004.