White Dog (1982)
A trainer attempts to retrain a vicious dog that’s been raised to kill black people.
Very very predictable, including the post credit scene !!!
I don't have all the words right now but this film is a work of art.
An Exercise In Nonsense
All of these films share one commonality, that being a kind of emotional center that humanizes a cast of monsters.
This movie is pretty good, only it seemed more like a made-for-TV movie than something you'd expect to see in a theater. The acting is just mediocre at best. The only thing I can see that would keep this off of TV is the language. There are a few G.D.'s in it, which was not something you heard regularly on TV back in the early 80s. Also, it isn't as graphic as it should be, which also goes along with TV-movie standards from back then. Whenever someone is attacked and/or mauled, the victim is never shown - only the dog with blood all over it. I would say this movie is worth watching once or twice, if nothing else, for the historical aspect of it. It supposedly was banned for 25 years or so until Criterion was licensed to release it on DVD, in 2008. I was surprised to see Paul Bartel, of "Eating Raoul" fame, make a cameo in this movie, and, of course, Marshall Thompson, who played in countless 50's B horror movies.
Join the debate at filmdebate.wordpress.com THE PROFESSIONAL: I hadn't heard of this movie before I was browsing the Criterion Collection collection at my local independent video store. With such great cover art and a curious synopsis, I couldn't NOT rent it. "Kristy McNichol stars as a young actress who adopts a lost German shepherd, only to discover through a series of horrifying incidents that the dog has been trained to attack black people, and Paul Winfield plays the animal trainer who tries to cure him." THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE: It felt like a movie of the week, in the most non-pejorative way possible. The soundtrack by Ennio Morricone was my favorite aspect of the movie.THE PROFESSIONAL: I came away much more impressed. I felt it was Jaws with a dog instead of a shark and The Exorcist with racism instead of some evil spirit. Now there were some definite flaws, but you'd have to say it easily tops Cujo.THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE: There needs to be a term like the "uncanny valley" for movies from the 80s and early 90s. It's recent enough that it feels current and identifiable, but old enough to feel cheesy and dated. Whereas movies much older, from the 40s and 50s for example, are so old that they are a completely separate era, and thus it's easier to accept that their styles were just the way they did things back then. The idea and execution were competent, but it was hard to take seriously. I will say it's the best animal acting/directing I've seen this side of "Homeward Bound".THE PROFESSIONAL: Somebody get that dog an Oscar! Postdogously. Yes, there is that 'gee whiz' acting quality of some of the characters / actors – but that is another similarity I see with The Exorcist. The story starts off quietly enough, with some naive individuals who become unknowingly entangled with a very dangerous situation, the true nature of which they become slowly aware of as the situation becomes increasingly more... CONTINUED AT FILMDEBATE.WORDPRESS.COM
Without any reservations about the subject matter, White Dog explores conditioning and re- conditioning of racism. It is about how racism can come about, and how it can be defeated. It is incredibly thrilling, perhaps the best use of an animal in any piece of cinema I have ever seen (and that includes CGI animals).Samuel Fuller had an interesting and new take on racism and how it can be handled. He wanted to investigate how racism can be tackled in a different way, through understanding and care. The racist just so happens to be a dog, who has been conditioned to attack black people at sight. In an attempt to recondition the dog, its trainers and owner goes through great length to hide their questionable efforts from the community around them.Another theme presented in the movie, which has already been hinted at, is the sacrifices people make in their attempts to achieve something greater. It shows how obsession can make a person lose sight of what he/she originally intended. Samuel Fuller's background as a crime reporter definitely shows in White Dog, which depicts animal attacks that makes the Discovery Channel pale in comparison. The use of graphic imagery of attacks and aggression seen in the dog makes the viewer fearful of what might happen at any moment.But sadly, there are many moments which clearly states that it is a B-movie, and therefore it is not as good as it could have been. There is nothing like a very cheesy moment to set you back from the actual intention of the piece itself. The ambiguous ending also causes a lot of people to miss out on the meaningful message at the very end, which I encourage everyone to find and think about.Overall the movie is very rewarding. The movie also makes one wonder why the movie never was given a chance in theaters, and why Samuel Fuller had to 'flee' the country after it was made. Without a doubt the movie is anti-racist, but I guess that is not how it was received...
Samuel Fuller directs this film to reflect racism through a dog's perspective. Not at all is the film racist, on the contrary Fuller's main objective is to communicate a point across during that era. I think that this film portrays what was and is still occurring. The movie is not about "ohh look how cute is that dog". it's about a dog that has been mislead and taught to do the wrong thing. The white dog has been taught to attack black people. As a puppy the dog learned that because he had a bad experience with black person every other black person was the same. However, he was just poisoned by the very owner that had a hate for black people. Julie Sawyer one of the main actresses confronts the dog's ex- owner and speaks out her mind about how he had done such a hard to the dog. Racist people that spoil the rest of the bunch should be put a stop to because categorizing people according to their skin color isn't fair. This movie raises suspense but at times the music is too over the top, overall this film contains a greater meaning.