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My Life as a Dog (1985)
"Mitt liv som hund" (original title)

 -  Drama | Comedy  -  24 March 1987 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 12,689 users  
Reviews: 55 user | 38 critic

A boy and his brother don't get along well. In order to let their ill mother rest, they're separated and sent each one with their relatives.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tomas von Brömssen ...
morbror Gunnar
Anki Lidén ...
Ingemars mamma (as Anki Liden)
...
Saga
Kicki Rundgren ...
moster Ulla
Lennart Hjulström ...
konstnären
Ing-Marie Carlsson ...
Berit
Leif Ericson ...
farbror Sandberg (as Leif Ericsson)
Christina Carlwind ...
Fru sandberg
Ralph Carlsson ...
Harry
Viveca Dahlén ...
tvättande kvinna
Arnold Alfredsson ...
Mannes farfar (as Arnold Alfredson)
Fritz Elofsson ...
Mäster
Didrik Gustafsson ...
Arvidsson, dying old man befriended by Ingmar (as Didrik Gustavsson)
...
Manne, the boy with green hair
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Storyline

Ingemar lives with his brother and his terminally ill mother. He may have a rough time, but not as bad as Laika - the russian dog sent into space... He gets sent away to stay with relations for the summer. While there, he meets various strange characters, giving him experiences that will affect him for the rest of his life. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | dog | prank | old man | friend | See All (71) »

Taglines:

Det kunde ha varit värre. Jag har faktiskt haft tur. Om man jämför...

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

My Life as a Dog  »

Box Office

Gross:

$8,345,266 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Gunnar is supposed to be from Småland, yet he speaks with a strong Göteborg accent. Both of these are "Geatish dialects" (Götamål) however the dialect of Göteborg differs enough from that of Småland that it is jarring to those who are familiar with Swedish dialects. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ingemar: I should have told her everything. Mom loved stories like that. It's not so bad if you think about it. It could have been worse. Just think how that poor guy ended up who got a new kidney in Boston. He got his name in all the papers, but he died just the same. And what about Laika, the space dog? They put her in the Sputnik and sent her into space. They attached wires to her heart and brain to see how she felt. I don't think she felt to good. She spun around up there for five ...
See more »

Connections

Features Double or Nothing (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Far, jag kan inte få upp min kokosnöt
(original song title "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts")
Written by Fred Heatherton (joint pseudonym of Elton Box, Desmond Cox and Irwin Dash)
Lyrics by Povel Ramel
Performed by Povel Ramel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Straight to the heart
8 March 2005 | by (toronto) – See all my reviews

I finally got to watch this film from beginning to end last night, after having caught glimpses of it on television. What is there in this film not to love? Beautiful Swedish landscapes in summer and winter. Attractive blond haired children or women. Hilarious eccentrics who spend their entire lives hammering nails into their roof shingles. Children on the cusp of puberty who engage in a completely unrepressed journey of sexual discovery without tilting the film into x-rating.

This is a true story based on the life of a real child whose mother was a famous Swedish writer, who had a terrible temper and also died of a disease of the lungs. As a special, there is a delightful interview with the director which is insightful on several levels. He talks about what it was like working with the child actors and how natural they were about their work. He talked about how he only realized how unconsciously hooked into the film he had become after seeing it several years after completion. The reason given was that he too was the child of a famous writer/mom who needed her space and privacy. He too had children and then was divorced. So, on many levels he found the film a cathartic experience AFTER he had watched it in a theater and watched how other people responded.

What is clear about this film is that it is charming without being cheap or smarmy. The unpretentious manner in which a touching and sad story is told is such a joyful antidote to the average Hollywood film. Unlike most American films which say too much, are too loud and spoon feed all thinking into the audience with the assumption that we are dumb, insensitive and unable to connect the dots, this drama delights with it's simplicity, allowing the drama to come to us in an unhurried telling. This film won several awards and most deserving it was. At the end we both cry and smile at the outcome. What is strengthening to know, is that the real life boy whose story this is, thrived. A really great film indeed.


44 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Recent Posts
child nudity? LarryIrwin
Why was the rating surrendered in the States in 1987? jasonay
Ingemar's Disasters Jamo57
Drinking milk and mother's illness willierap
sickan? Foley620
What Does 'Sickan' Mean? somerelief2-859-146886
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