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A Boy & His Dog

3.9 out of 5 stars 257 customer reviews

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(Nov 18, 2003)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A BOY AND HIS DOG is a wild, kinky and darkly hilarious cinematic adventure, a cult classic for almost 30 years and an inspiration for an era of sci-fi films, including the Mad Max movies. Based on the Nebula winning novella by Harlan Ellison and directed by L. Q. Jones, it stars Don Johnson, Jason Robards and Susanne Benton.

Set in the year 2024 in Post-Apocalyptic America, 18-year old Vic (Johnson) and his telepathic dog Blood (voiced by Tim McIntyre) are happy scavengers in the desolate wilderness ravaged by World War Four, where survivors must battle for food, shelter, and sexual companionship in the desert-like wasteland. Vic and Blood eke out a meager existence, foraging for food and fighting gangs of cutthroats. When they find a woman named Quilla Jones (Benton), she lures Vic into a bizarre underground city, where he is to be used against his will to impregnate dozens of young ladies!


The film's dark, edgy satire is refreshingly dry... enchantingly devoid of both sentimentality and didacticism, instead it juxtaposes the desolate, rubble-strewn surface, and the surreal, silent-majority underground. Which world is stranger? Ellison reportedly stated that 'A Boy and His Dog' is one of the best adaptations of his work.

A funny nightmare... It is alive with invention. --Los Angeles Times

Brilliantly grotesque! --The New York Times

Special Features

  • Trailer gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Hal Baylor, Susanne Benton, Don Carter, Ron Feinberg, Michael Hershman
  • Directors: LQ Jones
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (257 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C825J
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,804 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Boy & His Dog" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael R Gates VINE VOICE on March 9, 2004
Format: DVD
It's the year 2024, and most of the Earth's nations have been demolished by yet another world war (the latest being WWIV). In this postapocalyptic world, slow-witted survivor Vic (Don Johnson) forages through the ruins for food and women with the help of his faithful dog, Blood (voiced by Tim McIntire), with whom he is able to communicate telepathically. Blood, more intelligent and more cultured than his young "master," often gets impatient with Vic's immature behavior and lack of interest in his attempts to educate the boy, but he nonetheless loves Vic and sticks with him to help him survive. And after several minor adventures and one huge misadventure, Vic does learn one incontestable actuality: Nothing is more important to a boy than his dog.
Based on an award-winning novella by the curmudgeonly SF writer Harlan Ellison, A BOY AND HIS DOG was adapted and directed by character actor L.Q. Jones and co-produced by Jones and Alvy Moore (the latter probably best known for his portrayal of scatterbrained Hank Kimball on TV's GREEN ACRES). While Ellison has said many times publicly that the film is the most faithful adaptation of any of his works, he has nonetheless complained vehemently about some of Jones' "adjustments"--most notably the minor addition of some gross or vulgar dialogue--and tried unsuccessfully to get them changed. Whether or not Ellison's complaints have merit, A BOY AND HIS DOG has come to be regarded as a science-fiction classic, its popularity undoubtedly due to its likeable characters who, despite their constant bickering and individual quirks, are redeemed by their committed friendship and their sarcastically humorous approach to survival.
The performances in A BOY AND HIS DOG are top-notch.
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Format: DVD
A cult favorite for years, this faithful version of Harlan Ellison's classic novella enjoyed some mainstream popularity in the mid-'80s when its star, Don Johnson, hit the big time with "Miami Vice." In recent years the movie has settled back into cult status, which is for the best. Johnson (in an excellent performance) is Vic, a simple-minded survivalist who wanders what's left of post-apocalypse America with his dog Blood (played by Tiger of "The Brady Bunch," with voice by singer Tim McIntire), with whom he has a telepathic bond. Vic's main ambition in life is to, well, find female companionship; he demands that Blood sniff out girls for him. He meets a seemingly innocent young woman who leads him down to a strange subterranean civilization where all the men are sterile. Eventually, Vic is presented with a hard choice. The decision he makes has remained controversial; the one-liner that ends the film is even more so. (Ellison didn't write the line and has expressed discomfort with it. I think it's one of the great final lines in movie history.) If you haven't seen this film, chances are you've seen a dozen better-known SF movies it influenced (like the "Mad Max" series), and Kevin Costner's "The Postman" was a windbag '90s variation on the same theme. If you've only caught this on television, you haven't really seen it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
...which is why I keep buying every new release that comes out in the hopes that it will be better than the last. No such luck. This is the same transfer as the previous two releases -- from the original laserdisc, and with the same problems: dropped frames, dust and scratches all over it. And despite Amazon's description, this release is NOT ANAMORPHIC, though, like the others, it is widescreen. (I've submitted a change to the description). I could live with the dust and scratches -- after all, all the known prints of this film have been knocking around for almost thirty years, and as far as I know no pristine negative exists anymore. But I *wish* we could get an anamorphic transfer. How is it that a Hugo award-winning film that is so loved by critics can be overlooked for a decent DVD treatment for so long?

Now, the good: In addition to the now-familiar (and very entertaining) L.Q. Jones commentary track which has appeared on all the others, we also get two trailers restored to the DVD (these appeared on the first release, but not the one from Slingshot). And the fact that it is available once again at all -- I didn't relish the idea of shelling out ~$100 if something happened to current copy. Kudos to Firstrun for printing 'em again.

But dangit, won't *someone* step up to the plate and give us a decent anamorphic transfer? I'm begging here, which even Blood could only bring himself to do once.
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Format: DVD
Mid-70s post-nuclear apocalypse movies are not a genre I generally enjoy. "A Boy and His Dog" (one of the first of the type) is the exception that proves the rule.
The shattered world above is not the interesting part of this film, and it moves slowly for the first hour while we're in it. What keeps us watching is the great dialogue and interaction between Vic (Doh Johnson) and his dog, Blood. Vic and Blood can talk to each other, and the dog is rather smarter than Vic. Once we go "downbelow," into the survivalist enclave called "Topeka."
One reason I didn't give this film 5 stars was the slowness at the start; the other reason was the poor quality of the DVD transfer. If ever a movie cried out for remastering, this is it: it really does look like they just transferred it from VHS. There is a commentary track with film critic Charles Chaplin, director L.Q. Jones (this was his last film directing), and John cinematographer Morrill. It makes for interesting listening.
If you like this genre, this is an essential film to add to your library. If you're not as fond of apocalypse movies, call this one a rental.
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