60 user 41 critic

A Dog's Life (1962)

Mondo cane (original title)
Approved | | Documentary, Horror | 30 March 1962 (Italy)
A "shockumentary" consisting of a collection of mostly real archive footage displaying mankind at its most depraved and perverse, displaying bizarre rites, cruel behavior and bestial violence.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Stefano Sibaldi Stefano Sibaldi ... Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rossano Brazzi ... Self
Yves Klein Yves Klein ... Self
Henning Skaarup Henning Skaarup ... (Danish Narrator)


Nominally a documentary, this film combines a number of unrelated sequences (both real and staged) -- including a South Pacific "cargo cult", the ritual slaughter of a bull, tribal dances and rituals, and a visit to an ornate pet cemetery -- all focused on the lurid, sensational, and eccentric. Written by Michael C. Berch <mcb@postmodern.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Recommended for Adults Only See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The film was initially rejected for UK cinema and only passed in 1963 after 14 minutes of cuts with heavy edits to the animal killings, scenes showing German drug addicts, and the killing of a man by a bull. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: All the scenes you are about to see are real and were shot as they were taking place. If sometimes they seem cruel, it is only because cruelty abounds on this planet. And anyway, the duty of a reporter is not to make the truth seem sweeter, but to show things as they really are.
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Alternate Versions

A version released on VHS by GoodTimes Home Video circa 1990 is cut by roughly 15 minutes. See more »


Referenced in Cette liberté de chien (2007) See more »


Ti guarderò nel cuore (More)
Music by Riz Ortolani & Nino Oliviero
Lyrics by Norman Newell
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User Reviews

A great way to start a very influential career
9 October 2003 | by christophaskellSee all my reviews

Whether or not the narrator has all of the facts straight (as he has been accused of not having), the team of directors Cavara and Jacopetti have captured some of the most amazing footage ever featured in a documentary. All of these traditions probably do not still go on today, making this a truly fascinating glimpse into the history of how different cultures viewed and dealt with death. Presented in a totally unbiased nature, Cavara and Jacopetti simply show the events, and let the viewer decide whether or not the footage is shocking; in my opinion the best way to shoot a documentary. No disrespect is paid to any of the featured cultures, rather a strange reverence and respect for. Any amount of shocking footage is intended not to be shocking, but instead, I feel, to show the absurd amount of dedication we have to tradition. In an unbiased, unflinching way, we're showed death of everything from animals and humans, all the way to automobiles. Cavara and Jacopetti should be applauded for the influence they have had in the documentary genre, and for this great film that started it all. Rating: 30/40

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Release Date:

30 March 1962 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Tales of the Bizarre: Rites, Rituals and Superstitions See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Cineriz See more »
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Technical Specs


| (cut) | (re-release: 1970)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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