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Hounddog (2007)

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A drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley.


2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Granoldo Frazier ...
Band Member D (as Grenaldo Frazier)
Charlie Lucas ...
Band Member A
Herman McCloud ...
Band Member B
Chandler McIntyre ...
Buddy's Mother
Tom Oppenheim ...
Ryan Pelton ...
Stranger Lady (as Robin Wright Penn)


A drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Every heart has an awakening. Every soul needs a song. See more »


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a disturbing sexual assault of a young girl, and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

22 January 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hounddog  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,744 (USA) (19 September 2008)


$128,092 (USA) (5 December 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Morse and Robin Wright previously co-starred in 'The Crossing Guard (1995)'. See more »


In the scene in which Dakota Fanning (Lewellen) is lying in the bed, the character played by Robin Wright Penn asks her to sing her an Elvis song. She sings part of "Can't Help Falling In Love" which was not recorded until 1961 for the movie "Blue Hawaii". See more »


Lewellen: [to a picture of Elvis] I love you, Elvis.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Drew Barrymore/Lily Allen (2007) See more »


There Will Be Peace in the Valley for Me
Written by Thomas A. Dorsey
Performed by Dakota Fanning
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice film about Jenny, but where's Forrest?
29 November 2011 | by (Atlanta, GA) – See all my reviews

Cliché after cliché is revisited, and yet this film still holds a respectable place of its own. Think of this film as a prequel to Forrest Gump, and it could be named "Jenny's Story".

Here are just a few of the clichés to be seen, they are typical of a film set in the mid-late 50's, in a rural southern town: aggressive alcoholic cad of father who's always angry. Parents unmindful of children's well-being. Ramshackle homes in disrepair. Dirty, barefoot children left unattended. Kids buying and/or drinking beer. Over-zealous religious nut-jobs. Abused women who accept mistreatment. Trampy chain-smokers. Perverted pedophiles. Playing in the crick'. Soulful black people in oppression. Granny with a shotgun. Horrible homemade fashions. Blues and soulful music. Family love triangles. Home grown foods. Kids getting "whoopin's". Dangerous critters running amok. Pitiful characters. Creepy characters. Old myths and legends. Mutt gets shot. White plantation home. Corn fields. Sage older black man. Broke down rusted vehicles. A fiery church service... trust Me, I COULD keep going. It is through these devices that we get a real feel of the crude existence of some within our "civilized society" at different places and times.

At least they spared us the usual overworked southern accents, and graphic displays of domestic violence!

Let's face it. Some of these stereotypical clichés are completely necessary for a story of this type. You can't make biscuits without flour (southern pun). Fact is, many of these things were true fixtures at that time. My grandmother and aunts can testify as much.

Fanning's performance is the feature presentation here. It's almost award worthy, almost. Perhaps it could have won, if in a different movie. She is convincing and displays just the right amount of intensity in this serious role. She is bearing the weight of a time-period drama of a sensitive nature, and does so remarkably well for someone of her age and career experience.

Even when Lewellens actions are not wise, we understand that she's still a naive child full of hope and wonder. Lewellen is indeed precocious and independent but she's an innocent and ill-equipped to perceive why others will hurt and disappoint her.

Family support is non-existent. What family she has is threatening and harsh. Family kills her dog, abandons her on a whim, can't provide, can't offer comfort or affection, makes her feel guilt and isolates her from her friends. Her friends and peers aren't very good either, when they can betray her maliciously.

What Lewellen does have is music, a love for Elvis and his songs. Although such things are demonized by her grandmother, Lewellen finds a safe place to express herself within them. Performing Elvis' songs brings joy, a sense of pride, and something for which to dream in an otherwise depressive place.

We want to see Lewellen succeed and have some happiness, the audience cares for this character and her plight. We wish her predicament weren't so bleak and the people in her life weren't so utterly worthless (save one exception).

There was an ominous cloud lingering around the father during the whole movie, it was as if he may lose control at any moment and abuse his daughter. Every scene with the two of them together was uneasy, even though the daughter didn't behave apprehensively.

I thought the sets on this film were pretty good, so sure, they need some cinematic showcasing. There's reportedly some goofs (dealing with cars) but since I'm not an antique car expert, I was never distracted. The editing could have been better tailored, I can't quite pinpoint the specifics that could have been improved to make this film a classic... several production values are just "off" a little bit.

I did not find the snake imagery obtrusive. It conveyed the message of being strangled by sin, depravity, and shame. It represents the differing types of venom that poisonously consume a person... this message was depicted in various other ways throughout the film.

One could easily sift through this film for life lessons and spiritual significance, and not be disappointed. The films ends leaving you unsatisfied, but at least it ends on the appropriate note.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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