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It's a Dog's Life (1955)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Comedy  |  23 December 1955 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 281 users  
Reviews: 12 user | 1 critic

A bull terrier tells his life story, from the streets of the Bowery to a life of luxury.


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Cast overview:
Patch McGill
Jarma Lewis ...
Mabel Maycroft
Jeremiah Edward Emmett Augustus Nolan
Mr. Wyndham
Willard Sage ...
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | dog actor | See All (2) »


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

20 July 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie many years ago, one weekend on television back when I was a child. It caused me to be eternally fascinated by bull terriers.

The movie itself, on finally seeing it again as an adult, is not nearly as bad as some reviewers would have you think. From my point of view, it doesn't condone dog-fighting, nor even abuse of women. Sure, it shows some fairly unacceptable behaviour, but I didn't get the impression that this was being shown as an example of the behaviour on which our own should be modelled. When I think how many times in my viewing history I've seen people (not necessarily women) punched, kicked, shot, tortured, and murdered in cold blood, then this movie is pretty darn tame.

Since buying the DVD, and then buying the book on which this movie was based (yes, this movie made a huge impression on the child who saw it years ago), I still think it's a good movie. Clunky, sure. A little strange sometimes - absolutely. Displays outmoded behaviours - no argument. But still, for Wildfire alone, worth a view or two.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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