Hachi: A Dog's Tale
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From Academy Award®-nominated director Lasse Hallström (2000, The Cider House Rules) comes HACHI: A DOG’S TALE, a film based on one of the most treasured and heartwarming true stories ever told. Golden Globe winner Richard Gere (2002, Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, Chicago) stars as Professor Parker Wilson, a distinguished scholar who discovers a lost Akita puppy on his way home from work. Despite initial objections from Wilson’s wife, Cate (Academy Award® nominee Joan Allen – 2000, Best Actress, The Contender), Hachi endears himself into the Wilson family and grows to be Parker's loyal companion. As their bond grows deeper, a beautiful relationship unfolds embodying the true spirit of family and loyalty, while inspiring the hearts of an entire town.
Based on a true story from Japan, Hachi: A Dog's Tale is a moving film about loyalty and the rare, invincible bonds that occasionally form almost instantaneously in the most unlikely places. College professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) finds a young Akita puppy that's been abandoned at the local train station, and he's instantly captivated by the dog. Assuming the dog's owner will return to the train station to claim him in the morning, Parker takes the puppy home overnight. But when no one comes to get the dog, Parker convinces his wife, Cate (Joan Allen), to welcome him as part of the family. He dubs the puppy Hachiko--Hachi, for short--because of the Japanese symbol for good luck that's hanging from his collar. Hachi is a somewhat peculiar dog that refuses to learn to fetch or master other people-pleasing tricks, but he is a faithful companion and friend to Parker, alerting him of potential dangers and accompanying him to the train station each morning and meeting him there after his return trip each evening. An unforeseen event will continually test Hachi's devotion. This film is neither overwrought nor sappy; it is heartfelt and immensely powerful despite its tendency to drag in a few places. Prepare to be moved to tears by this beautiful, seemingly simple film--it's about so much more than just the relationship between a man and his dog. --Tami Horiuchi
A Bond of Loyalty - The Making of Hachi: A Dog's Tale
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I'd actually heard the story many times. A loyal dog returns to train station to meet his master even after he dies. But the film really brings the point home following the entire life span of the dog. But what I feel makes this film stand out is how it shows the perspective of the dog, a great reminder that "Hachi" is the protagonist in the film and giving insight into the emotions he felt. Additionally, the dog was portrayed as a dog, not a human character in a dog suit capable of impossible feats and acts, which for me, made the story so much more enjoyable and made the dog so much more believable.
Please disregard the one-star rating given by the Akita breeder in Nevada who didn't really rate the film so much as criticize peoples tendency to purchase dogs because of movie influences. It should also be noted that the Japanese Akita as a breed would have most likely disappeared had it not been for the original Hachi's popularity in Japan during the 1930's when the story was popularized by local newspapers of the time.
I would rate this as probably the best dog movie ever to come out of Hollywood. If you've made it so far as to read reviews, you really should just buy it. I can't imagine any dog lover being disappointed in this magnificent film.
I extend my deepest appreciation to Mr. Hallstrom, Richard Gere, Joan Allen, and the Akita trainers for bringing this unforgettable story into my home, where it will be enjoyed again, and again.
My wife, who NEVER comments on a movie, said "That was one of the best movies I have ever seen."
Our 14-year-old Beagle usually rests in one place for ten minutes and moves to another spot in the room. While we watched HACHI, she remained between us on the sofa for the entire movie. She sensed our contentedness and rose only to lick our faces during the film's powerful emotional scenes.
Kudos to Mr. Gere for his diligence in making his relationship with the dogs feel genuine...and for the most amazing death scene I have ever witnessed portrayed in a film.
Since the real HACHIKO died in 1934, this film was long overdue, but more than worth the wait.