A Dog of Flanders | Chicago Reader

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A poor boy in 19th-century Belgium enters a painting competition at the encouragement of one of the judges (Jon Voight), who happens to have been his dead mother's teacher. But things don't go well for the boy, who's accused by his sweetheart's father of setting fire to their barn. Full of meaningless tragedies left unjustified by the absurdly optimistic ending, this intolerable story includes an appearance by the ghost of Peter Paul Rubens, which provides unintentional comic relief. Director Kevin Brodie wrote the screenplay with Robert Singer, based on a 19th-century children's book. With Jack Warden, Jeremy James Kissner, Jesse James, and Cheryl Ladd.

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