The Newton family from the original Beethoven movies are on vacation in Europe but do plan to join a Newton family reunion and to make sure one of their family members definitely makes it, ... See full summary »
When his parents have to go out of town, Dennis stays with Mr. and Mrs. Wilson. The little menace is driving Mr. Wilson crazy, but Dennis is just trying to be helpful. Even to the thief who's arrived in town.
The Newton family live in their comfortable home, but there seems to something missing. This "hole" is filled by a small puppy, who walks into their home and their lives. Beethoven, as he is named, grows into a giant of a dog... a St Bernard. Doctor Varnick, the local vet has a secret and horrible sideline, which requires lots of dogs for experiments. Beethoven is on the bad doctor's list. Written by
Was largely filmed in the southern area of Pasadena, however at the beginning of the film, when Harvey and Vernon are chasing down the dogs, this was filmed on the back-lot at Universal. See more »
When Alice places bacon on George's plate, she puts down two. Before Beethoven eats one, there are three. This is because the same footage of bacon being placed on a plate was used twice (which had two pieces). See more »
I really don't like our dog.
I really don't like those people, George. I don't trust them. I don't want their money. I know my opinion doesn't matter, but I'm not interested in expanding. If I had been home instead of helping you impress those morons, Emily wouldn't have fallen in the pool. And I'm not re-entering the work force, George. You're gonna have to do this on your own. And you will. Somehow, you'll make your fortune. And tucked away behind you deep in the shadows will be me and the ...
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"Beethoven" isn't a great family film, but it is surprisingly sweet and amusing. It's one of those films that is strangely attracting, though you can't really understand why.
I think a lot has been built up on this film just because there were some sequel spin-offs that were more than horrible. (The 3rd and 4th sequels with Judge Reinhold were some of the worst attempts at comedy. Ever.) But the original was a nice, family-friendly film that accomplishes what it promised.
Charles Grodin plays George Newton: Family man, businessman, NOT a doggy-man. But things change rapidly when a runaway Saint Bernard named Beethoven comes to the Newton residence. Newton's children immediately get attached to the animal, but Grodin's character doesn't exactly like the fact of a big ol' slobbering dog being around his house. So there are some gags as Grodin gets mad at Beethoven for certain things he does throughout the film.
But then, evil animal vet Dean Jones tries to take Beethoven, and Newton decides to fight back for his family and bring the doggy back home.
"Beethoven" isn't anything very original, and it isn't anything very memorable, nor is it excellent quality gags. But it's a surprisingly pleasant and good-natured family film that doesn't resort to crude humor or language like other so-called "family films" out there.
Ivan Reitman, who has brought us "Ghostbusters," "Kindergarten Cop," and "Stripes" co-produced this film. He's a talented director, even if he sometimes makes average films. The thing about his films are, that even when they're average they are still pretty funny and strangely watchable. And though I'm not sure what all a producer does on a film, I think he probably did a good job with something on this film. :)
Charles Grodin is one of those actors that I've always liked because he seems very down-to-earth and regular. He is a subtle comedian that never goes OTT and doesn't come off like ANOTHER Jerry Lewis-Jim Carrey hybrid.
"Beethoven" isn't anything great, but it's strangely likable and enjoyable. When compared to other so-called family films, it's pretty nice. It doesn't skimp on the gags (even if they're not very great) and it never turns stupid (like the 3rd and 4th film).
All in all, "Beethoven" delivers what it promises, and it does it pretty nicely.
3.5/5 stars -
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