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How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (2000)

1:10 | Trailer
Shy, chain-smoking, insomniac Peter McGowan is an L.A. playwright with a string of hits that preceded his current ten years of failed productions. His mother-in-law is sinking into senility... See full summary »


6 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter McGowen
Melanie McGowen (as Robin Wright Penn)
False Peter
Brian Sellars
Trina Walsh
Derek Kellock ...
Amy's Father
Debra Salhany


Shy, chain-smoking, insomniac Peter McGowan is an L.A. playwright with a string of hits that preceded his current ten years of failed productions. His mother-in-law is sinking into senility, a stranger is meandering the neighborhood claiming to be him, neighbors have a new dog that barks all night; his wife wants to have a child, and he does not: he's become impotent. He's working on a new play when a single mom moves in next door with her 8-year-old daughter. His wife immediately invites the girl into the McGowan household. Will this child stir Peter's paternal feelings? Will she also help him get his dialogue right? And what of his doppelganger and the neighbor's dog? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


One man's pet is another man's peeve.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

5 March 2003 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Como Matar o Cão do Vizinho  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,956 (USA) (22 February 2002)


$48,564 (USA) (19 April 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Outside of festivals, the film did not receive a major theatrical release and wound up going directly to cable. See more »


[first lines]
Handler: Mr. McGowen, I think we're ready. This way, please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits roll, there is a short break showing the scene portraying the dog after it had been shot. The director shouts "cut," and the dog gets off the ground and barks. See more »


Referenced in Family Guy: Dog Gone (2009) See more »


I Couldn't Live Without Your Love
Written by Jackie Trent (as Trent), Tony Hatch (as Hatch)
Performed by Petula Clark
Courtesy of GNP Crescendo Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

Looking for a wonderful, under-the-radar movie? This is it.
4 March 2002 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

Wow, what a great movie. I had to talk a friend into seeing it, and we knew nothing about it. We were not disappointed at all. It takes a little while to get rolling, but once it does, the dialogue is wittier than anything Hollywood will ever churn out. It is refreshing to see a movie that doesn't play to the lowest common denominator. The acting was perfectly executed, and the writing was some of the best this year. Robin Wright-Penn was at her best, especially in an emotionally intense argument between her and Brannagh over remarks he made to the neighbor. And Brannagh was definitely in his element here, with some wonderfully razor-sharp dialogue that he executed perfectly. There was a handicapped child that was a bit contrived and predictable, but she was a wonderful actor and her role in the plot kept it from being trite. You just don't see writing this good in Hollywood. That fact would just boil inside you as you watch this and realize that it will never get a wide theatrical release. That is until an hysterical interview of the author (Brannagh) unfolds throughout the film. The comments he makes to the interviewer (Ros from Frasier) make light of Hollywood's blindness to anything that is not ignorant drivel and send you from the theater with a great feeling that all hope is not lost. You may have to look around, but you can still find an intelligent movie. And this is one of them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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