The Biscuit Eater (1940 film)

The Biscuit Eater is a 1940 children's film directed by Stuart Heisler and starring Billy Lee and Cordell Hickman as two kids who raise a runt of a dog. It was named one of the Top Ten Films of 1940 by the National Board of Review.[1] Walt Disney Productions made a 1972 remake under the same title.

The Biscuit Eater
Directed byStuart Heisler
Written byStuart Anthony
Lillie Hayward
Based onthe short story "The Biscuit Eater"
by James H. Street
Produced byJack Moss
StarringBilly Lee
Cordell Hickman
Richard Lane
CinematographyLeo Tover
Edited byEverett Douglas
Music byFriedrich Hollaender
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • May 22, 1940 (1940-05-22) (New York City)
Running time
81-82 minutes
CountryUnited States

Plot summaryEdit

Harvey McNeil breeds and trains quail bird dogs for his boss Mr. Ames. His young son Lonnie wants a dog of his own. Dixie has a litter of pups and Lonnie wants to raise the runt. Dad explains you have to keep the blood lines strong and the runts need to be killed. Also any dog that likes to eat chicken eggs is known as a biscuit eater and a poor bird dog because of its attraction to the wrong kind of bird.

Lonnie eventually gets a dog named Promise who he raises with his best friend Text. Unfortunately Promise likes chicken eggs and Dad orders the dog removed from the farm. The boys rescue the dog from the man who lives in a swamp. The boys have many misadventures with rattlesnakes, skunks and shotguns as they secretly train the dog.

To prove that his dog is a worthy bird dog, Lonnie enters 'Prom' into the field trials in direct competition with his father's champion. Dad orders his son to withdraw but Mr. Ames sees it as a good learning experience for the boy. Lonnie and Text compete all day and end up in the finals against the father's dog. Text is told if the father loses, Mr. McNeil may lose his trainer's job. Lonnie purposely calls his dog off point and loses.

Later that night Promise returns home and as he tries to jump into the dog pen he is shot by the farm hand. As Lonnie holds his dying dog, he apologizes for not letting him win and calling him a 'biscuit eater'. The father overhears his son explain how he was protecting his dad's job. Promise is the sire of the next line of pups.



  1. ^ "1940 Award Winners". National Board of Review. Retrieved January 5, 2015.

External linksEdit