Character Development of Judd Travers:

From the three Shiloh films, we see how Judd Travers behaved as a human being, dog owner and how irresponsible/responsible he was. Character development takes time and the actor did fantastic to make sure he lived up to the expectations from the directors and audience members.

Shiloh (1996): 

  • Judd thinks he is above the law. He assumes he can get away with so much because the Preston family never snitches on him regarding shooting animals out of season and abusing his dogs. When Marty made a bargain with Judd to work with him for 4 hours in 5 days, Judd broke his promise on the last day and arrived at the Preston household to grab Shiloh and take him back. He then stops the truck and realizes how sad Shiloh is when he is not with Marty. Judd then accepts his name as Shiloh and realized that he is not the owner anymore. He opens the door and Shiloh runs to Marty. Judd recognizes who Shiloh considered family and he drove off immediately.

Shiloh 2-Shiloh Season (1999):

  • Judd still thinks he can get away with things. This time, though, he became a heavy drinker and more temperamental. After getting in a truck accident from drinking and driving, he changed his tune, especially when Marty noticed that no one sends him letters. Marty sends him letters about Shiloh and how they both saved his life. He then realized how much the Preston family cares about him and eventually invites them into his home. Despite accepting him, everyone else has doubts that Judd can change his behavior. All it takes is someone to acknowledge, forgive and show kindness to him. Not to mention, but keeping your promises to him.

Saving Shiloh (2006):

  • Judd became much nicer and approachable. Marty is able to walk inside his home more often and discuss with Judd how it is not good to chain dogs, but rather keep them inside a fence where they are free to have room and space. Judd brings up his childhood, expressing how his father said that the dogs should stay mean and disciplined. Marty disagreed and it gave Judd a thought that maybe his father was incorrect after all, especially the horrible abuse he endured as a child. When someone in town disappears, the entire community accuses Judd because he was at the bar one night where he and that one guy almost fought. Turns out, two robbers who escaped jail killed the man but the town still didn’t accept Judd until he saved Marty and Shiloh from drowning in the nearest river. Afterwards, he was called a “hero” and received a job offer from the Fire & Rescue Squad. From then onward, Shiloh walked across the bridge with Marty on the way to Judd’s house.

To conclude this post, these movies make you realize that you cannot change someone overnight. Instead, guide them along the way and realize that you must have patience with the person you are helping and show them the beauty and reason to live life to their fullest potential. Judd Travers changed from a nobody to somebody, thanks to Marty, along with his supportive family and friends.

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