This tender tale of a loyal dog is inspired by a real story about a dog who has become a beloved legend in Japan and is memorialized in a popular statue.
Richard Gere plays a professor who finds an abandoned Akita puppy at a railroad station. He and his wife (Joan Allen) keep the dog, and while Hachi never learns any of the usual tricks, he shows his devotion by coming to the station every night to meet his master, even after a tragic separation.
Though it has top stars, a heart-warming story, and an outstanding director (Lasse HallstrÃ¶m of “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “The Cider House Rules”), the movie never got a theatrical release. You can see it this weekend on the Hallmark channel and it is available on DVD. (NOTE: a sad death, sensitively handled)