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It's a Dog's Life (1955)

Approved | | Drama, Comedy | 23 December 1955 (USA)
A bull terrier tells his life story, from the streets of the Bowery to a life of luxury.



(story "The Bar Sinister"),

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Cast overview:
Patch McGill
Mabel Maycroft
Jeremiah Edward Emmett Augustus Nolan
Mr. Wyndham
Tom Tattle
Sally Fraser ...
Dorothy Wyndham
George Oakley
J.M. Kerrigan ...
Paddy Corbin
Wildfire ...
Wildfire - a Dog


In the early 1900s, a bull terrier living on the streets of the Bowery rises from a street-tough engaging in dogfights to pedigreed show dog among the upper crust. All the while, he has two ambitions--to be reunited with his mother and to get even with his father who deserted her. Written by <dbubbeo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | dog actor | See All (2) »


Not since "The Wizard of Oz" has M-G-M created a motion picture with such wonderful appeal for young and old. See more »


Drama | Comedy


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

23 December 1955 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bar Sinister  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There were actually two dogs used to play the lead. Wildfire was used for close-ups and non-action shots, and a double was used to perform the tricks. See more »


Referenced in My Three Sons: It's a Dog's Life (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

A nice way to spend an hour and a half.
28 February 2001 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

This is a period piece, set in what appears to be the late 1800s. Much of the film is narrated by the main character, Wildfire, a bull terrier, who moves upward from the Bowery in this "rags-to-riches" fantasy. At times Wildfire's narration may be `too cute', but remarkably it doesn't stray too far. This device of personifying the dog truly works, particularly due to the script. Wildfire gets high praise for his performance. Dean Jagger is excellent as is Edmund Gwynne.

The film is well-paced and I found it much more entertaining that I anticipated. This is good escapist fare-the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad, but not too terribly so.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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