Pickle Hill's Notchee Boy, JC
in "Legends Of The Fall"

Pedigree


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 Notchee.

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."