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Red Dog (2011)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 9,926 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 53 critic

Based on the legendary true story of the Red Dog who united a disparate local community while roaming the Australian outback in search of his long lost master.

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Cast

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Storyline

In the tradition of Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009), this is the story of a legendary, lovable red dog who roamed the outback looking for his original master, finding his way into the hearts of everyone he meets, bringing people and communities together, some who find love, and others who find themselves. Based on true events. Written by trivwhiz

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Home is where the heart is. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

4 August 2011 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Red Dog  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD 8,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last film role for Bill Hunter. The Cup (2011) was released later although the scenes featuring Hunter had been filmed years earlier. See more »

Goofs

DO NOT OVERTAKE TURNING VEHICLE signs as seen on the back of the workers' bus were not used in WA on long vehicles until the early 1980s. There were no such signs in 1971. See more »

Quotes

John Grant: [to his bus passengers] Did you see that?
Vanno: Red Dog...
John Grant: Well, he almost got run over.
Peeto: Nah. He was hitchhiking, mate.
Vanno: Once you picked him up, he remembers, and thinks it's his right to demand a ride anytime.
Peeto: Pushy bloke. No doubt about it.
John Grant: He only does that to people he knows?
Jocko: Of course not. Just the ones he likes.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Red Dog film has been inspired by events, which may or may not have happened, but have become Pilbara Outback folklore. All the human characters in this film are invented, fictitious and imaginary. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #9.1 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Jeepers Creepers
Composed by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer
©1938 WB Music Corp.
By kind permission of Warner Chappell Music Australia Pty Ltd
Arranged and Produced by Jan Skubiszewski
Performed by Jade MacRae and Emily Lubitz
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Red Dog
19 September 2011 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Today's GV surprise screening wasn't what I had expected, and I mean that in a good way. At first I thought it was going to be one of those rom-coms slated for screening later this month or year, but what got put out was way, way better than expected, even though it started a little slow and bewildering (unlike most other surprise screenings where one can guess what it will be), Red Dog was more than worth the price of the discounted ticket, an Australian film set in the 70s Western Australia in a small mining town based upon a folklore that surpasses almost every conventional dog related cinematic tale put out especially by Hollywood in recent years.

A trucker drives into town and pit stops at a bar, only to find a couple of burly men pining a dog down, with the sheriff about to pull the trigger, but for the trucker's intervention to put off their plan. Slowly but surely for any stranger riding into a new land, the townsfolk soon grow in numbers, as everyone started to pour in to the bar to seemingly pay tribute to the dog, christened Red Dog by everyone, with the narrative unveiling itself in episodic flashback nature with characters taking turns to tell their version and stories of how the dog impacted their lives and the lives of the mining town, and how the town got changed through their canine friend. These stories span a spectrum of emotions, and can be a simple, short scene, or an extended one especially when involving the principal characters of the film

Directed by Kriv Stenders, the film has its fair share of quirky characters and comedic situations, being funny without really trying too hard, go over the top or feeling too contrived. Everything felt as natural as can be, with excellent pacing to allow Red Dog to slowly grow on you. The tried, tested and tired route Hollywood typically takes is to load plenty of saccharine sweet, cutesy moments to deliberate tug at your heartstrings, which is why this Australian film is that fantastic breath of fresh air as it busts genre conventions, yet possessing enough pathos to lift the film into its emotional plateau, pulling you into the rowdy though genuinely sincere lifestyle the miners lead.

As for star power, Josh Lucas stars as the wanderer turned bus driver John who becomes the one and only de-facto owner of Red Dog as they form a loyal master-dog relationship, with Rachael Taylor (of Transformers fame) playing Nancy his love interest whom he met while serving the community, and she getting into a tussle with Red Dog on his bus. Their romance will form the crux which the story will revolve around briefly, although there are other stories which I enjoyed such as how Red Dog got into assisting an Italian miner Vanno (Arthur Angel) go after a nurse (Keisha Castle-Hughes), and a heart-wrenching moment involving the themes of loyalty and longing.

With an awesome soundtrack and beautifully filmed landscapes that captures the conditions of the mining town in very picturesque language, you'll laugh, you'll cry and you'll be moved by the time the movie pulls into its final reel. Now all that remains is for this film to find a proper theatrical release so that it can be watched, experienced and loved by a wider audience that it truly deserves. There may be famous dogs like Lassie in the US and Hachiko in Japan, so do add one to that list with Red Dog from Australia. Definitely in my highly recommended list as it goes into my books with the potential of being one of the best seen in this year, leaving its genre peers clearly in its wake.


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