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Dottie Gets Spanked (1989)

J. Evan Bonifant , Barbara Garrick , Todd Haynes , Mary Hestand  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Dottie Gets Spanked + Poison: 20th Anniversary Edition
Price for both: $36.38

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Product Details

  • Actors: J. Evan Bonifant, Barbara Garrick, Julie Halston, Robert Pall, Harriet Harris (III)
  • Directors: Todd Haynes, Mary Hestand
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Zeitgeist Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 2, 2004
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00031TYIA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,308 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dottie Gets Spanked" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Another dazzling suburban phantasm from writer-director Todd Haynes, Dottie Gets Spanked (made post-Poison and pre-Safe) is a stylized, bittersweet nod to his childhood fascination with I Love Lucy. Deep in the heart of pre-hippie 1960s America, young artistically-inclined Steven Gale is obsessed with Dottie Frank, wacky star of the eponymous hit sitcom The Dottie Show. While his mother gently encourages the boy's fixation, his father grows increasingly frustrated by his son's apparently "sissified" interests. This provocative, heartfelt mini-feature anticipates Haynes' Oscar-nominated Far From Heaven with its excavation of placid mid-century surfaces and deeply-buried emotions.

- New audio commentary by Todd Haynes
- Rare 1989 short film He Was Once: an inventive parody of 1960s kiddie claymation show Davey and Goliath, co-starring and co-produced by Haynes
- Behind-the-scenes production photos
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small gem December 25, 2004
This wonderful short film brilliantly (and entertainingly) captures the moment when a young boy's burgeoning sexuality becomes something he feels he needs to hide. Not to mention the fact that it's a spot-on period recreation, something at which filmmaker Haynes appears to effortlessly excel. A great companion piece to his later and more mature work on the same decade, FAR FROM HEAVEN. And like that film, one in which one false step could have caused the entire structure to collapse. An astonishing balancing act -- very funny, very sad, very moving.
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It was a good movie, but some people might be disappointed if they were expecting something a bit more kinky. Let me state this right off the bat: this isn't an erotic movie. You do see someone get spanked, but it is in a playacting sort of way that isn't at all arousing.

However, even though I was hoping to see something more stimulating, this was actually a very good movie. It wasn't what I was hoping to see, but it was good anyway. Due to my interests, I interpreted it a little more differently. Apparently some people think the boy has gender identity problems. Though the boy may have been considered a "sissy", I considered him becoming aware of sexual needs. He idolizes Dottie--whose show is like a "I Love Lucy"--where every episode her Ricky spanks her for her shenanigans. He seems to fantasize about being disciplined by a strong male figure, but just his luck he has parents that don't believe in spanking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars June 29, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Love this story!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Coming of a very young age September 7, 2013
The world of Leave It to Beaver never really existed, not even in the 1960s. This goes just a bit below that cleaned-up view of the world. It examines some of the complexities that we struggle with today, but that simply couldn't be spoken in those years. Specifically, a boy, age six or seven, starts to discover that his interests don't line up with the male-oriented role he's expected to grow into. Kids' gender identity forms very early, long before adult physical differences start to emerge, and this brief movie explores that part of the boy's life.

Unfortunately, the topic isn't one that interests me all that much. I'm sure that someone who's struggled with the issues, either first-hand or as a parent, would see this in a very different way. But for me, there's just not a lot to hold interest.

-- wiredweird
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