Here Pickle Hill's Notchee Boy is shown on the "Legends
of the Fall" scene with stars Sir Anthony Hopkins, Julia Orman ,
Brad Pitt and Aidan Quinn. The film was shot on an Indian reservation
outside Calgary Canada in 1992. "Notchee," owned by Maria Dobbs,
and his father Pickle Hill's Iao "Peppy" as the understudy were
employed by Tri-Star Pictures for the filming of this picture. Originally
the story was much more closely tied to the Borzoi scenes in which the
Borzoi attempts to protect his owner, Julia Oramn, against a monsterous,
murderous Bear which is determined to take all that Brad Pitt loves away
from him in the legend.. The Borzoi was taught to act against the bear
and fight the bear who takes the Borzoi's life.
Notchtee was shipped to Hollywood before the filming began in order to
have an artist make an efigy of him for the bear to tear to pieces. That
was a story in itself, as Notchee was so large as to need a 700 crate
which could not fit into the doorway of the planes hold. The crate was
dismantled and reassembled inside while the dog walked up the gang plank
from the tarmac and was secured in his 700 crate. The reverse was enacted
upon arrival in Hollywood and then the whole thing done all over again
when the dog was shipped back to Seattle. In addition to all of this,
"Pepe" who was not marked like Notchee had to be dyed to match
Before the filming began. Pepe decided to take a tourist view of Belview,
Washington, and went over the fence of the home where he was staying.
He was strolling around and ended up in the office of a lawyer who phoned
the number of the tag he found on Pepe's collar. Not realizing that he
was calling California he demanded that we pick up the dog within 30 minutes
as he had a plane to catch. We frantically called Phyllis Brettell (Phantom
Lake Borzoi) as we could not get in touch with Ann who was out looking
for him. Phyllis finally conviced the lawyer to leave the dog with the
vet next door. And we all reunited within 45 minutes.
Shortly after both dogs were sent up to Calgary area to begin the shooting,
it began to rain and rain and rain. Since all shots were of the picnic
scene outside, the costs of employing these dogs began to become a consideration
after three weeks.They decided to send them back home again. Within two
days of their return the rain stopped and they had to be shipped back
up to Canada. They had frequent flyer miles by then.
After another month, things broke down on the set between one of the stars
and the director. The star was fired and all ceased because of the need
to hire another person for the part. After this delay it was decided to
eliminate the scenes with the dog, so all of them are on the cutting room
floor someplace except for about five minutes at the begining of the film.
The remaining scenes are in the train station and some of the scenes in
the home. If you watch the film you can see the dog following the car
on the way to the picnic, but not in the pcinic scene itself.
Just having those short scenes with the Borzoi in it was
such a big expense, one wonders how many other expensive events it takes
to make a movie like this?
Here is a snapshot that Maria (Notchee's owner) took while
visiting the set where they were filming "Legends of the Fall."
Notchee is on the right with Julia Orman, Aidan Quinn and Brad Pitt. You
can see a film tripod without a camera on the far right.
This is Notchee posing with the ranch foreman from the scenes
of "Legends of the Fall."