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The Shaggy Dog

The Shaggy Dog (1959)

March. 19,1959
| Fantasy Comedy Family

Through an ancient spell, a boy changes into a sheepdog and back again. It seems to happen at inopportune times and the spell can only be broken by an act of bravery....


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So much average


This is a must-see and one of the best documentaries - and films - of this year.

Hayden Kane

There is, somehow, an interesting story here, as well as some good acting. There are also some good scenes


It’s fine. It's literally the definition of a fine movie. You’ve seen it before, you know every beat and outcome before the characters even do. Only question is how much escapism you’re looking for.


I agree with many of the IMDB user reviews of 1959's The Shaggy Dog. It's corny but enjoyable, riddled with plot flaws that are a joy to ignore. In some cases it's timeless. (What's not to like about a cute dog that talks?) And in other cases it's dated. (Fred McMurray grabbing a shotgun and chasing the dog through the neighborhood?!) But I recommend viewing this movie for one reason alone: the "actor" who plays the title role -- Sam, the Old English Sheepdog. What a talent! He runs. He jumps through windows. He protects his owner from unwanted suitors. He climbs stepladders. Heck, he even moves the ladder and sets it up before he climbs it! At times, a puppet (or a guy in a dog suit) fills in for him, but what star doesn't have a stunt double? My favorite scene is after Tommy Kirk has turned into the shaggy dog and needs to sneak out of the dance without anyone seeing him. Sam the dog, who has approximately the same build as a panda bear, gets down low and starts to crawl across the floor on his belly -- oblivious to the fact he's crossing an open area and everyone can see him. When Roberta Shore calls out his name, Sam stops and turns his head as if to say "Wha?!" What a sweetie! If you love dogs, and especially if you love Old English Sheepdogs, you will not regret watching this movie.


Here's another flick from the past that I actually saw in the theater during it's initial run back in 1959. My Mom and Dad would take me to the movies as a kid and it was usually a Disney picture like this one. Watching them today is a little weird because they don't have that same magical quality unless you're with someone of the same age I was back then. That's why I bring my granddaughter over for company when tuning in to these old time films.The story's a blast for youngsters. Watching young Tommy Kirk turn into a Brataslavian Sheep Dog is a highlight of the picture and he gets to do it a number of times. The tale borrows from ancient fables of shape-shifting creatures and black magic, with a little bit of Lucretia Borgia thrown in for good measure. But you know, there might have been something to all that magical stuff - right after Franceska (Roberta Shore) cleans the cut above Buzz Miller's (Tim Considine) eye, all trace of the cut disappears!What's kind of interesting are those scenes of the Shaggy Dog driving Buzz's roadster and later on the police car. The Disney folks figured out a way to make it look like a dog was really driving the car, wagging tongue and all. Not too much of a problem today of course, but this was over fifty years ago and the special effects department did a pretty good job.For Annette Funicello, this was her first feature film, and even though she's not a principal, she still has a fair amount of screen time. Not to belabor the point, but it was cool way back when to see one of the Mousketeers make it to the big screen. This was also about the time I started becoming familiar with the names of the actors and actresses in the movies I saw. I happen to recall both Bob Hope and Bing Crosby being asked in separate interviews who they thought the richest person in Hollywood was. Without batting an eye or needing time to think about it, they both answered with the same name - Fred MacMurray.


I re-watched this film as I often do with my childhood favourites. I loved The Shaggy Dog as a child, and at 18 I still do. But I wasn't so taken with the spy subplot, thinking it went on for too long and took up too much time in the narrative. Also, the film feels a little too long.However, despite how silly some of it it never fails to be amusing and charming, which is more than good enough for me. The film's production values are decent and hold up fairly well, while Paul J.Smith's score is jaunty and dynamic. The script is snappy as well and the story doesn't fall into the trap of being too predictable complete with a number of very entertaining scenes especially the pursuit in the police car, hectic it may be but also entertaining.The direction is pretty good too, as is the acting. Fred MacMurray is likable with some fun acting chops, while Jean Hagen shows some great comic timing. The real star though is Tommy Kirk, who is just great here. All in all, a fun, charming and amusing movie. 8/10 Bethany Cox

kai ringler

This one had me laughing so hard,, i seriously cannot remember laughing so hard at a movie in a long long time,, for starters,, the look on the cop's face throughout the movie was priceless. Fred MacMurray was great a the dad,, as he had all of those years on My Three Sons. Anette Funicello was also pretty darn good in this,, i loved the dog driving through town and waving at the police officers, as he went by,, then you got the dog telling his dad that he really is his son,, and the shaking the hand bit,, just put me on the floor laughing,, i kinda wish that Hollywood would make something more like this in the future,, even if it's only once a year,, go black and white,, get back to old school, this movie was just a pure heartfelt joy to watch, and i think that everyone should at least watch this once for some good natured laughter.