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White Dog
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Synopsis for
White Dog (1982) More at IMDbPro »

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Up and coming Hollywood starlet Julie Sawyer (Kristy McNichol) takes in a stray German Shepherd after accidentally hitting it with her car. Though the animal seems friendly and protective at first, it soon reveals a startling aspect of its nature: it will brutally kill any dark-skinned person it sees. Facing the possibility that her pet might be euthanized for the safety of the public, Julie takes the dog to Noah's Ark, a facility that specializes in training animals for movies. She begs the facility operator Mr. Carruthers (Burl Ives) to break her dog of it's racist attack training, but he insists it is not possible. However, his top trainer, Keys (Paul Winfield) believes he can break the dog and takes on the task as a personal challenge. But Keys himself is African-American, meaning every training session is literally a life and death struggle.

The dog resists the training at first, and even escapes the facility to continue it's attack spree, culminating in the brutal murder of a black man in a church. This tragedy gives Keys new resolve and through harder, almost obsessive work, he finally gets the dog to stop senselessly attacking blacks, but soon discovers that the training has had an unexpected side-effect: the dog now hates white people instead. As the dog mauls Mr. Carruthers, Keys finally accepts that the animal's hatred cannot be defeated, only redirected to a new target, and puts the dog down with a bullet to the head. The dog breathes its last as Keys and Julie rush Carruthers away for medical help.


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