6.2/10
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39 user 10 critic

Benji (1974)

A stray dog saves two kidnapped children.

Director:

Joe Camp

Writer:

Joe Camp

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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A gentle and wise grey spider with a flair for promotion pledges to save a young pig from slaughter for dinner food.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Patsy Garrett Patsy Garrett ... Mary
Allen Fiuzat Allen Fiuzat ... Paul
Cynthia Smith ... Cindy
Peter Breck ... Dr. Chapman
Frances Bavier ... Lady with the Cat
Terry Carter ... Officer Tuttle
Edgar Buchanan ... Bill
Tom Lester ... Riley
Christopher Connelly ... Henry
Deborah Walley ... Linda
Mark Slade ... Mitch
Herb Vigran ... Lt. Samuels
Larry Swartz Larry Swartz ... Floyd
J.D. Young J.D. Young ... Second Policeman
Erwin Hearne Erwin Hearne ... Mr. Harvey
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Storyline

The first movie about the famous golden mutt. Benji is a stray who has nonetheless worked his way into the hearts of a number of the townspeople, who give him food and attention whenever he stops by. His particular favorites are a pair of children who feed and play with him against the wishes of their parents. When the children are kidnapped, however, the parents and the police are at a loss to find them. Only Benji can track them down, but will he be in time? If he can save the day, he may just find the permanent home he's been longing for. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

At last! A motion picture that just plain makes you feel good! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 October 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beniamino See more »

Filming Locations:

Denton, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$39,552,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Joe Camp made this film in response to the overabundance of low-quality family films released through the "four wall distribution" concept. ("Four-walling" is a sort-of self-distribution process where a filmmaker and/or distributor rents a theater to show their films, and receive all box-office revenues.) In an interview with "Variety Magazine" in 1977, Camp said, "It has become an industry-caused thing, but the G rated classification has to some degree become 'if it's G, it can't be for me'." Camp was concerned that "four-wall fast-buck distributors" had oversaturated the market for G-rated films, so in response to the low quality of these films, he created "Benji." See more »

Goofs

When Benji first enters the children's home on his own at the beginning of the film, a very obvious man in a white collared shirt opens the door. See more »

Quotes

Riley: [Trying to solve the mystery of the disappearing pudding cups, Riley leaves an open container out] I'm leaving it right here. On purpose.
Henry: And I'm sure it'll still be there tomorrow, and on purpose, too! Now, come on, let's go!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end credits did not scroll. Instead they were shown in still form over a different background of a still shot of Benji from the actual movie. See more »

Connections

Followed by Benji's Very Own Christmas Story (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Benji's Theme (I Feel Love)
Music by Euel Box
Lyrics by Euel Box and Betty E. Box
Performed by Charlie Rich
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Blockbuster hit for the under-12 crowd
25 September 2005 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Joe Camp probably had no idea this family film about an independent mutt turning neighborhood hero was going to touch off such a reaction at the box-office. "Benji" doesn't have the earmarks of an ambitious movie, nor did its initial publicity suggest it was going to be anything more than a matinée flash-in-the-pan, but positive word-of-mouth amongst kids was incredibly high, and "Benji" became the fifth highest grossing film of 1974 (no small feat; it's just behind "The Godfather Part II"). Although the slim plot pilfers heavily from Disney's "That Darn Cat!", the canine star Higgins (from TV's "Petticoat Junction") is an amazing find: his expressions and reactions are priceless, and the film's narrative--Benji's escapades, his human friends, his romance with a little white pooch--proved to be immediate and bracing with the target audience. Charlie Rich's song "I Feel Love" was Oscar-nominated (!), underlining the doggy romance with uplifting sentiment, the kind that makes a crowd-pleaser. Followed in 1977 by "For the Love of Benji"; but, with a different, look-alike dog and a hoked-up story, the sequel didn't crossover to older children. **1/2 from ****


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