An ex-police/army dog (German Shepherd), named Rex inherits a fortune from an eccentric millionaire. But someone poisons him for his fortune, and he gets to go back to earth as a human ... See full summary »
An ex-police/army dog (German Shepherd), named Rex inherits a fortune from an eccentric millionaire. But someone poisons him for his fortune, and he gets to go back to earth as a human detective to bring his killer to justice, and protect the girl who used to look after him. Written by
I first saw this low-budget black-and-white film at the age of fourteen, promptly forgot the forgettable title, but never forgot the premise or the wonderfully waggish Dick Powell. Now, many years later I've remembered the title and managed to obtain a VHS copy from an online auction house, and as an adult in pretty good standing, I can report that it's still rather delightful.
The premise: "King," a German shepherd dog, inherits a fortune, is poisoned by a heartless villain, and his spirit is taken up to "Beastatory." There he asks for a chance to return to earth as a "humanimal" in order to clear up the circumstances surrounding his own death. His request is granted, and he is installed in a Film Noir-ish office as a salty private eye with the whimsical name of Rex Shepherd, accompanied by a Kentucky thoroughbred filly as his secretary Goldie (Joyce Holden).
The casting is exquisite. Dick Powell, though really quite a nice-looking actor, always struck me as having a slightly canine look; I believe he succeeded so well in private-eye roles partly because of the perception that he would doggedly "sniff out" the truth. The next-in-line heiress (Peggy Dow) is pretty and wholesome. The butler and the housekeeper are suspiciously sinister. The heiress's boyfriend is suspiciously affable. And a host of minor characters bear traces of resemblance to various breeds of dogs.
The whole family, from about eight years up, can enjoy this film on different levels. But you'd best like corn, and I don't mean popped.
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