Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Those Calloways

By Tom Cassidy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Dull hunter story has animal cruelty and outdated terms.

Movie PG 1965 131 minutes
Those Calloways Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 7+
I liked that this story is a realistic representation of 1920 America for historical value. People had to survive off the land. If an animal attacked ,one had to kill it or be killed. This is true today. It is called self -defense. The story was not disrespectful to Indians. The main character was raised in the Indian village and his good friend and in the end, true blood brother, was an Indian. This fact was part of the story line and that the particular Indian village had a close connections with the geese. By today's standards, I am sure one would find the pacing of the movie is comparatively slow but the story and the topics are lessons all people have to learn. For example, many people today face problems by drinking and should absolutely be discussed with children as they age as society glamorizes alcohol consumption in modern advertising. This movie realistically addresses the negative side of drinking alcohol. Yes, the teenage boy should not have forced a kiss on the teenage girl and that was very bad behavior. This is another lesson children must learn, especially young men, it is wrong to manhandle a woman and force any contact against her will. It is amazing to me that people in this generation want to judge and put modern societal labels on stories from the past. This movie moment is not a "Me too" issue, the character did not rape her or coerce her for a sexual favor. The teen character was jealous, angry and made a mistake which are all topics of discussion for teenagers, how to handle emotions that hurt and overwhelm and attraction to someone. My final comment is to the "safe space" attitude. There is no place on this planet that is 100% safe. The best one can do is be as prepared as possible through education and knowledge to handle situations, whether physical or emotional. All parents do the best they can to prepare their children for life and we have to wait a long time to see how we did. Good luck and God Bless...
age 5+

1960s Disney Movie About 1920s Fur Trappers

I feel like the ratings for this movie are a little over the top. The the bear is not viciously beat with a broom. Anyone used to working with large animals would be comfortable with the treatment of the bear. They do not show a wolverine being killed with an ax. It might be insinuated. I don’t even remember how the trapper killed it. It was that underwhelming. This is a Disney movie from the 60s not the Walking Dead. I don’t remember a scene with a dog fighting, but maybe I saw a censored version. My 16 year old did complain about the cheerful music accompanying the dog fighting to swim through ice water. He worried the dog would be cold and said it “wasn’t funny”. I felt the short haired dog was not the type that would be taken on a trapping expedition. Some kind of double coated dog would have made more sense. The family wanted to protect the geese because they considered them sacred. The family is somehow influenced by Native American culture, although this is not well explained. The subject of indigenous peoples is treated by the white characters as you would expect 1920s white people would treat it, although the protagonists seem rather friendly toward them and seem to take some flack for that. There is some fist fighting which feels a little odd because the town people seem to regard it as a right of passage for young men. And there is an accidental shooting when a conflict breaks out over hunting the geese. However, there is conflict resolution through the court system in the town and between women and men through talking it out. The protagonists grow through the course of the movie. The father gives up alcohol and rises to the occasion to build his wife a better home. The son works things out with his girl friend. I do agree their kissing scene was not as consensual as we would like in 2022. (I watched Rocky today and had the same complaint.) Overall I enjoyed this movie. It was beautifully done, and the characters and plot was interesting. If you are a vegan, probably not for you.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a long, boring slog, punctuated with real-life acts of animal cruelty. Running at a tedious pace, it's stuffy attempts at comedy would have felt dated even when Those Calloways was first released in 1965. The only interesting thing about this cruel movie is it's a great example of the tired, aimless state that Hollywood filmmaking had collapsed into just before the young pioneers of the American New Wave came in at the middle of the 60s and shook it up with fresh, dynamic movies.

The story preaches a message of caring for nature. But the characters and filmmakers take the notion of compassion, string it up, and set the dogs on it -- forcing us to watch every miserable step of the way. With so little to offer, the scenes of animal cruelty are even more painful to watch and make for a wholly bleak experience. This is one "classic" Disney tale that's best filed under "better left forgotten."

Movie Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate