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White Dog (The Criterion Collection)

3.6 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Samuel Fuller's throat-grabbing exposé on American racism was misunderstood and withheld from release when it was made in the early eighties; today, the notorious film is lauded for its daring metaphor and gripping pulp filmmaking. 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. A snarling, uncompromising vision, White Dog is a tragic portrait of the evil done by that most corruptible of animals: the human being.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES:
New, restored high-definition digital transfer of the uncut version, approved by producer Jon Davison
New video interviews with producer Davison, co-writer Curtis Hanson, and Sam Fuller s widow, Christa Lang-Fuller
An interview with dog trainer Karl Lewis-Miller
Rare photos from the film s production

PLUS: A booklet featuring new essays by critics J. Hoberman and Armond White, plus a rare 1982 interview in which Fuller interviews the canine star of the film

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Kristy McNichol, Christa Lang, Vernon Weddle
  • Directors: Samuel Fuller
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2008
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001GCATWA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,586 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "White Dog (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
In 1982, Samuel Fuller's "WHITE DOG" created a storm of controversy that resulted in a limited theatrical release with no follow-up video until now.

What was falsely labeled an incendiary racist film that could provoke real life violence is instead a bold anti-racist parable about how racism is learned or taught. In the movie the metaphor is a dog that has been trained to attack people with dark skin.

The origin of the story is a harrowing true incident Romain Gary wrote about in Life magazine.

The movie story is simple. Julie Sawyer (Kristy McNichol in her first adult role) is a young actress who, while driving one night, accidentally hits a white German shepherd on a mountain road. She takes it to a vet and tries to find the owner. In the meantime, Julie grows attached to the dog. One night it saves her from a intruder who attempts to rape her. Later, the dog runs away and comes home bloody. On a movie set with Julie, the dog attacks a black actress. Julie realizes the dog has been trained as an attack dog so she takes it to "Noah's Ark" an animal shelter and training facility hoping the dog can be deprogrammed in some way. She is told that the dog is a "white dog," one trained to attack black people. At the facility, Keys (Paul Winfield), a dog expert sees this as an opportunity to see if racial prejudice can be unlearned.

This low-budget film is sometimes heavy-handed but is immensely watchable and the restored uncut widescreen transfer is, as with all Criterion editions, made from the best elements available and is very crisp and clean.

Kristy McNichol has a natural, winning charisma on screen. Her top billing is justified and she has an easy, believable chemistry with the dog (actually five dogs were used).
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Format: DVD
This is one of those rarely seen, much talked about, "legendary" films that has never been released on home video, and has been rarely screened. Until now, of course.

This film was made for Paramount Studios in 1984, but they never gave it a theatrical release. The plot, about a stray dog taken in by Kristy MacNichol that is a "white dog", a dog trained to kill and maim black people, was considered too hot for them, and the film ended up being a legendary, unseen work. It ended up being the final film of the great Sam Fuller (who directed and co-wrote the screenplay with Curtis Hanson, the director of L.A. Confidential). Is the film great, or is it a disappointment? Well...

The film is mixed. When it works, it's very, very good, and when it doesn't, it's slightly embarrassing (which may have been another reason why Paramount didn't release it in the States). It's never cringe inducing or creaky, but there are notable flaws here. There is bad dialogue (some of which sounds dubbed in, and it's bad dubbing), overacting, some bad camera moves, sledgehammer music cues (especially during an early attack scene), and boring, arbitary secondary characters (Kristy MacNichol's boyfriend and a policeman, for example). The first third of the film is a bit dull. But when Paul Winfield enters the film (he's the trainer that attempts to cure the white dog of its racism), the film is much better. Winfield is great here, playing an entirely believable, passionate person who really wants to cure the dog of its hatred of black people. There are some powerful moments, like when Kristy goes to the pound to look for her dog. We see in long shot a dog placed in a chamber that puts him to sleep.
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Format: DVD
The troublesome Televista bootleg dvd is totally gone in amazon. Because Televista product is too disappoint to collect. Most of customers(collectors)complain Televista released dvd. But I've seen UIP issue dvd(Made in U.K.)& It's really great. Region Free(ALL)and perfect quality(Cover Art & Disc & Chapters & Screen & Sound). It include Bonus Features(Posters & Lobby Card & STAFF Profile)so it's suitable for collectors. Forget Televista bootleg DVD and get legal UIP product! UIP(United International Pictures). Now, you can purchase it in amazon list!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The last American film of Samuel Fuller, White Dog, stands as an analogy of the American culture in what, since the election of President Obama, has been deemed as a post-racial world. And while one would argue the election of a black president is a turning point in our country's and culture’s history, the racial hatred that has risen exponentially since President Obama's election - a good portion of it directed at him - would suggest that our culture has a long, long, long, way to go before we can even hint at it being a post-racial world.

That said, White Dog, based on a true story, is one film in a long line of Fuller's work throughout his career that have dealt with the issues of racism. The title dog is a white German Shepherd that is accidentally struck while on a dark road by a car driven by a young actress played by Krtisty McNichol (Eight is Enough). She takes the dog to a local vet then brings it home to heal while she posts signs in the neighborhood looking for its owner. The next night, an intruder, a white man, breaks into McNichol’s home and the dog rushes to her rescue, dramatically breaking through a glass window in slow motion - when it actually meant something back then - to subdue the perp, holding him until the police arrive. After the incident, the dog and McNichol lovingly bond and she brings the dog to the studio for an acting gig she has. While the dog rests peacefully on the studio floor, McNichol's acting partner, a young black woman, begins to speak her lines which wakes the dog from its slumber. The dog jumps up and viciously attacks the black actress. McNichol soon discovers that this dog is a white dog, a dog purposely trained to attack black people. Enter Paul Winfield, a black man who is an animal trainer for films.
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White Dog (The Criterion Collection)
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