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Best in Show (2000)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  20 October 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 43,731 users   Metascore: 78/100
Reviews: 337 user | 115 critic | 33 from

A colorful array of characters competes at a national dog show.


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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 13 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dany Canino ...
New York Butcher


The owners (and handlers) of five show dogs head for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A film crew interviews them as they prepare for the trip, arrive at Philly's Taft Hotel, and compete. From Florida come the Flecks: she keeps running into old lovers. A wordless ancient in a wheelchair and his buxom trophy wife who may have a thing for the dog's handler own the two-time defending best in show, a poodle. From the piney woods of N.C. comes a fella who wants to be a ventriloquist. High-strung DINKs feud loudly in front of their Weimaraner. Two outré gay men from Tribeca round out the profiled owners. The dog show brings out the essence of the humans. Who will be best in show? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Some pets deserve a little more respect than others.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sex-related material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dog Show  »

Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$413,436 (USA) (29 September 2000)


ESP 12,369,502 (Spain) (29 June 2001)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The bloodhound is named Hubert. The name for bloodhounds in French are Saint Hubert. See more »


When the hotel manager swipes Gerry and Cookie's credit card there is no magnetic strip on the back of the card. See more »


Stefan Vanderhoof: [discussing the calendar] We're not gonna sell, just give it out to friends.
Scott Donlan: I think we should try to sell it.
Stefan Vanderhoof: Really?
Scott Donlan: Yeah.
Stefan Vanderhoof: Well, if we could give the money to Shih Tzu rescue.
Scott Donlan: They have plenty of money.
Stefan Vanderhoof: Well so do we.
Scott Donlan: What Shih Tzus need rescuing anyway? You don't see Shih Tzus straggling around the streets in an old coat "help, alms for the poor".
Stefan Vanderhoof: Like the little match girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The filmmakers wish to thank the dog owners, handlers, veterinarians and experts who shared with us their enthusiasm and unselfishly dedicated their time and energy to this film. See more »


References Rocky (1976) See more »


Terrier Style
Written by Eugene Levy
Performed by Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara
See more »

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User Reviews

"Best In Show" indeed

I'll admit that I've never seen "Waiting for Guffman", 1997's critically acclaimed comedy mockumentary about a small town thats that stages a pageant. When the advertising for Best in Show had the tagline "From the Team That Brought You Waiting for Guffman", a fair number of critics out there implied in their reviews that only people that are familiar with the film or its filmmakers and cast would have a good time seeing this film. For shame, critics, for shame times two! Any critic that implies something like that with any film probably doesn't want to share the film's wealth with the rest of the world, but this is one film that I hope people will experience, now that its video/dvd. "Best in Show" is, without a doubt, the best comedy of 2000.

The film begins with a mockumentary style, introducing the main competitors (not to mention screwballs) of the annual Mayflower "Best In Show" competition, where dogs of all breeds come to compete to see who is the top dog. We have the loveable and gullable Harry Pepper (Guest) with his bloodhound, the simple Gerry & Cookie Fleck (Levy & O'Hara) with their terriors, nut-case yuppies Hamilton & Meg Swan (Hitchcock & Posey), the gay dog groomers Scott Dolan & Stefan Vanderhoof (Higgins & McKean), and the airheaded millionare Sheri Ann Ward Cabot (Coolidge) along with her trainer Christy Cummings (Lynch). They all have their minds on one simple object: The Blue Ribbon, which will be awarded to the best dog. I have to tell you the rest?

Director/writer/star Guest's idea of humor is one that assures me that there are comedies out there that are worth laughing at, and that the idiocy of films like "American Pie" or other pointless "teenage" flicks won't take over the world after all. His idea is simple: make your comedy not just funny, but SMART funny. But instead of following in the brilliant footsteps of films like "Zero Effect" and "High Fidelity", he used a rather unusual approach (and as I understand, he also used this approach for "Guffman"). Whether you notice or not, a very large part of the film is improvisation. In other words, what the actors say and do were probably not written in the script, maybe even not even dreamed of by Guest and co-writer/star Levy. But with a gentle hand from Guest, he and the actors pulled off a hilarious theatrical feat that probably would have flopped if handled by other, less adept actors. Now that's smart!

The cast is, of course, what makes improv work the most. All of them are a (comedic) marvel to behold, especially Guest as Pepper. But the real standout has to be Fred Williard as Buck Laughlin, the clueless announcer at the competition who can spin out the most outrageously funny stories and comments that no announcer would even dream of...that is, if the announcer was trying to be funny. Williard can go from talking about the dog to suddenly going on and on about how much he can bench press. There's even a part were he gives out an idea for a new marketing strategy: have sexy women pose in tight shirts and shorts with the dogs and imply something like "have a doggie-style of a time". Its priceless, as is his performance.

I hope that people engage in this 90-minute "dogumentary". The film deserves so much recognition. It did get nominated for Best Picture-Comedy at the Golden Globes, but didn't win. I can't see why. I mean, in the comedy department, it is best in show.


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