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TCM has ignored National Puppy Day. What is your favorite canine-centric movie?


SansFin
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TCM continues to pick and chose who and what to recognize in what should be an era of inclusiveness. Their decision to sweep puppies under the rug is amoral*. 

I am unashamedly a cat person but I acknowledge that dogs have a place in the ecosystem and can be reasonably amusing.

The selection of canine-centric movies is considerable. Old Yeller and Benji top many people's lists. 

What are some of the more interesting but little known movies with four-footed b1tches**?

 

 

* This is a reference to a very funny little movie which I doubt any of you have seen or are likely to watch. I leave the scene in question to your imagination.

** I specified: 'four-footed' to prevent the wags from listing Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and Reese Witherspoon movies.

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I consider Tortilla Flat to be a favorite canine-centric movie. Although ostensibly about the Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, and John Garfield characters, I think the real spirit of the film resides in the Frank Morgan character ("The Pirate"), who is a sort of semi-homeless person who goes around with a group of stray dogs. In gratitude to St. Francis for saving a previous pet, The Pirate saves his "two-bitses" to buy a candlestick for the church. The scene dedicating the candlestick is deeply moving, especially when all the dogs rush into the church to witness the ceremony.

A few scenes later comes the scene which is not only the best canine-centric scene in any movie, it is also one of the best scenes representing a hierophany (manifestation of the sacred) in any movie, ever.  In the midst of the Redwood (I accidentally first typed "Redwoof") Forest, The Pirate tells his dogs the story of St. Francis. Suddenly, a light shines down from the giant trees. The Pirate averts his gaze, as the dogs stand up on their hind legs and make strange noises. The light passes, The Pirate looks at the dogs and says, "Did you see him? Did you see him? It was St. Francis! What good boys you must be, to see St. Francis."

That is a remarkable scene, and informs the spirit of the film. Frank Morgan, who was nominated, should have won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, but Van Heflin won that year. The dogs should have gotten an award as well.

Btw, Tortilla Flat was directed by Victor Fleming, who directed The Wizard of Oz a few years earlier. Both Frank Morgan (The Pirate) and one of his dogs also appeared in The Wizard of Oz, Morgan playing The Wizard, and the dog playing Toto.

Teaching_TortillaFlat.jpg

tortillaflat_openyoulikemackerel_FC_470x

 

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Last August on Paul Henreid's day for Summer Under the Stars, TCM aired a film he directed and starred in, called FOR MEN ONLY (1952). It's about college hazing. One of the rituals depicted on screen involves the murder of a puppy, followed by the frat brothers trying to force the new pledges to drink its blood. 

Yeah, a far cry from the warm and fuzzy feeling of Lassie.

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  • 2 months later...
On 3/23/2021 at 3:13 PM, SansFin said:

TCM continues to pick and chose who and what to recognize in what should be an era of inclusiveness. Their decision to sweep puppies under the rug is amoral*. 

 

TCM also ignored National Heat Awareness Day on May 28. Any favorite movies about people in the burning desert, heat waves and global warming?

;)

 

Pick your holidays TCM should observe.

https://www.holidayscalendar.com/categories/weird/

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On 3/23/2021 at 1:43 PM, Swithin said:

I consider Tortilla Flat to be a favorite canine-centric movie. Although ostensibly about the Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, and John Garfield characters, I think the real spirit of the film resides in the Frank Morgan character ("The Pirate"), who is a sort of semi-homeless person who goes around with a group of stray dogs. In gratitude to St. Francis for saving a previous pet, The Pirate saves his "two-bitses" to buy a candlestick for the church. The scene dedicating the candlestick is deeply moving, especially when all the dogs rush into the church to witness the ceremony.

A few scenes later comes the scene which is not only the best canine-centric scene in any movie, it is also one of the best scenes representing a hierophany (manifestation of the sacred) in any movie, ever.  In the midst of the Redwood (I accidentally first typed "Redwoof") Forest, The Pirate tells his dogs the story of St. Francis. Suddenly, a light shines down from the giant trees. The Pirate averts his gaze, as the dogs stand up on their hind legs and make strange noises. The light passes, The Pirate looks at the dogs and says, "Did you see him? Did you see him? It was St. Francis! What good boys you must be, to see St. Francis."

That is a remarkable scene, and informs the spirit of the film. Frank Morgan, who was nominated, should have won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, but Van Heflin won that year. The dogs should have gotten an award as well.

Btw, Tortilla Flat was directed by Victor Fleming, who directed The Wizard of Oz a few years earlier. Both Frank Morgan (The Pirate) and one of his dogs also appeared in The Wizard of Oz, Morgan playing The Wizard, and the dog playing Toto.

Teaching_TortillaFlat.jpg

tortillaflat_openyoulikemackerel_FC_470x

 

I guess dogs aren't the first thing that comes to mind when I think of that film.  Typically I think of how it butchered the story from Steinbeck- and then paisans drinking wine.

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On 3/23/2021 at 3:13 PM, SansFin said:

I am unashamedly a cat person but I acknowledge that dogs have a place in the ecosystem and can be reasonably amusing.

I love cats best, too.  But I love dogs, had three, all buried in the yard.  Sadly, our animal friends don't live as long as we do. 

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I dunno why, but every time I've watched the mistitled The Courage of Lassie, it's gotten me 'right here'. Maybe it has something to do with my affinity for movies about returning injured war veterans like The Best Years of Our Lives, and although there's no dog in that one, of course. ;)

(...and yeah, I agree with Phil Packer and Shank Asu up there...My Dog Skip IS a very good film, and another movie that 'got me right here')

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On 6/1/2021 at 12:17 PM, Sepiatone said:

Hachi: a Dog's Tale

Richard Gere's SECOND attempt to nonsensically Americanize a popular Japanese movie whose basic theme only made sense in its original Japanese context.  [Qv. the American "Shall We Dance?" remake.]

In this case, Hachiko didn't live in a colorful generic small town, he lived in Tokyo, and became so famous for waiting for his master to return from Shibuya station, he now has a much more famous and nationally known statue there.  And, a Japanese movie to celebrate the local legend.

tokyo-japan-august-2018-hachiko-260nw-12

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12 hours ago, EricJ said:

Richard Gere's SECOND attempt to nonsensically Americanize a popular Japanese movie whose basic theme only made sense in its original Japanese concept.  [Qv. the American "Shall We Dance?" remake.]

In this case, Hachiko didn't live in a colorful generic small town, he lived in Tokyo, and became so famous for waiting for his master to return from Shibuya station, he now has a much more famous and nationally known statue there.  And, a Japanese movie to celebrate the local legend.

tokyo-japan-august-2018-hachiko-260nw-12

All that IS mentioned at the end of the movie.  But, regardless of time or place, the story is touching.

Sepiatone

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On 6/1/2021 at 11:26 AM, hamradio said:

Pick your holidays TCM should observe.

Tomorrow (June 4) is National Old Maids Day.  Probably fertile ground for TCM: The Old Maid; Now, Voyager; The Heiress...

I bet there's no equivalent male holiday, although logically there should be (Marty; The 40-Year-Old Virgin, etc.) 

On June 8, National Best Friends Day also looks good.  

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29 minutes ago, Fausterlitz said:

Tomorrow (June 4) is National Old Maids Day.  Probably fertile ground for TCM: The Old Maid; Now, Voyager; The Heiress...

I bet there's no equivalent male holiday, although logically there should be (Marty; The 40-Year-Old Virgin, etc.) 

On June 8, National Best Friends Day also looks good.  

635558044724762872-01-raccoon.jpg?width=

;)

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