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It's a Dog's Life (1955)

Approved | | Drama, Comedy | 23 December 1955 (USA)
A bull terrier tells his life story, from the streets of the Bowery to a life of luxury.

Director:

Herman Hoffman

Writers:

Richard Harding Davis (story "The Bar Sinister"), John Michael Hayes
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Cast

Cast overview:
Jeff Richards ... Patch McGill
Jarma Lewis ... Mabel Maycroft
Edmund Gwenn ... Jeremiah Edward Emmett Augustus Nolan
Dean Jagger ... Mr. Wyndham
Willard Sage ... Tom Tattle
Sally Fraser Sally Fraser ... Dorothy Wyndham
Richard Anderson ... George Oakley
J.M. Kerrigan ... Paddy Corbin
Wildfire Wildfire ... Wildfire - a Dog
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Storyline

In the early 1900s, a bull terrier living on the streets of the Bowery rises from a street-tough engaging in dogfights to pedigreed show dog among the upper crust. All the while, he has two ambitions--to be reunited with his mother and to get even with his father who deserted her. Written by <dbubbeo@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dog | dog movie | dog actor | See All (3) »

Taglines:

Not since "The Wizard of Oz" has M-G-M created a motion picture with such wonderful appeal for young and old. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 December 1955 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bar Sinister See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There were actually two dogs used to play the lead. Wildfire was used for close-ups and non-action shots, and a double was used to perform the tricks. See more »

Quotes

Wildfire - a Dog: We ate at only the best restaurants in the Waterfront at little old New York. Well, behind the best restaurants anyway. Hoffmeier's garbage can belonged to me and my mother. Everybody knew that. That's Ma, working on a steak bone. As for those mongrels, thinking they were going to push us out of the way, that was a large mistake. Although I do not admire the expression, it was strictly dog eat dog on the Waterfront.
See more »

Crazy Credits

[prologue] "I agree with Agassiz that dogs possess something very like a conscience." Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man. See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Three Sons: It's a Dog's Life (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Oddball little delight
24 November 2003 | by KS-8See all my reviews

I TiVo'd this movie because I have an absurd sentimentality for animals. A friend actually snickered when she saw this on my TiVo "to do" list. No matter. I watched it on a night when I needed to just veg out - no challenging foreign films that night, thank you.

Boy, was I glad I did! As other posters have stated, this is a weird movie. No children star in this movie, but it has a talking dog narrator! And he's actually trained as a fighting dog -- something you probably wouldn't see in a "talking dog" movie made today.

Vic Morrow's voiceover was a bit distant -- joking a bit too much when you knew the dog was in sheer terror, for instance. But I liked the New York accent. It worked for the little street tough that the dog (his name was Wildfire) was supposed to be.

Human cast was terrific, especially Edmund Gwenn. Dean Jagger also good.

If you have a tolerance for G-rated talking animal movies, this one is different and worth checking out. It's not exactly a kids' movie -- children may be bored, in fact, since the action, though fast, isn't exactly at the breakneck cartoony pace that kids today are accustomed to. And there is some implied violence and "adult situations." But it's a brisk story that moves along nicely, and with some genuinely funny moments. And a sweet ending.


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