Top Five… Dogs
Never work with children or animals – the mantra of every film director. For all kids and most animals this rings true, but when it comes to dogs, some performances have been so monumental the canines could have told the directors to woof off if they so wished.
5. Shadow – Homeword Bound: The Incredible Journey
Three great animal performances here, and not many crappy humans to distract. Sally Field’s pampered Sassy and Michael J Fox’s perfectly enthusiastic Chance are contenders, but it is Don Ameche’s old Golden Retriever who really stands out. Instead of worrying about who will feed them when their owners disappear, the threesome actually set out on the road because they think the family may be in trouble (*sniffle*). And then poor old Shadow gets stuck in that hole and can’t climb out (*sob*). Of course, the real reason he makes the top five is my late dog was also called Shadow… (okay, now I’ve a lump in my throat.)
How could we not include the matriarch of all cinematical canines? I say matriarch, even though the collie was nearly always played by a male dog because their coats are nicer. According to Wikipedia, Lassie has featured in 11 films, 11 TV series, 2 radio series and 59 books – not bad. Little known fact: Lassie also donned dolphin and kangaroo costumes for several Flipper and Skippy films, respectively.
3. Hooch – Turner and Hooch
Easily the cutest dog on the list. The French mastiff is a big, slobbery mess and the most adorable thing since Dumbo. This slot was closely contended by Jerry Lee from K-9, which is the same film except with an Alsatian. However, Hooch laid down his life in the line of duty, while Jerry Lee got to swan off into the sunset with his poodle bitch.
2. Sam – I Am Legend
Can animals get oscars? That was a question many people were asking when this post-apocalyptic, scary-during-the-day-scenes, crap-during-the-night-scenes thriller hit cinemas. I believe there was even an internet petition to start a new Oscar category for animals after Will Smith was out-acted by the Alsatian. And that scene when Smith realises she has been bitten… (aw man, that lump in my throat is back.)
While this list is made up of some pretty great dogs, none of them realise how lucky they are having the natural awesomeness of being a dog thrust naturally upon them. Everyone laughed at this pig when he said he wanted to be a sheepdog, but who’s laughing now? Yes, we are still, because it’s a very funny film. Anything that can impress James Cromwell deserves to be number one on any list.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE DOGS? (and before you start, rumour has it an Animated Dogs list may be en route…)