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How to Kill Your Neighbor's Dog (2000)

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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:
Melanie McGowen (as Robin Wright Penn)
False Peter
Brian Sellars
Trina Walsh
Derek Kellock ...
Amy's Father


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 USA:

$18,956, 24 February 2002, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$48,564, 21 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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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 »


References Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996) See more »


Don't Sleep in the Subway
Written by Tony Hatch / Jackie Trent (as Yvonne Harvey)
See more »

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User Reviews

Personality disorder comedy
19 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

The film is about a writer struggling with his block, his wife struggling to have children and the sweet girl next door who brings life to the writer and his wife. The film is not necessarily blockbuster quality and will do better on video rentals and sales. I saw a rough cut, so I cannot comment on the sound or editing. There are funny moments, and you will love the relationship between Kenneth Brannagh's character and the little girl. Can't give away any more!

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