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Deprogramming a dog who kills Blacks is the ultimate challenge for an unorthodox African-American trainer. When a young Hollywood actress finds the injured stray, she nurses it back to health, not knowing it's a "White Dog" trained by a racist to attack only Blacks. Julie's appalled when the otherwise gentle, white German Shepherd breaks out, then returns from his nighttime foray dotted with human blood. Julie desperately races from trainer to trainer, advised to kill her pet, until the top Hollywood canine expert refers her to his former protégé, Keys.Written by
Meandering at times, but sensitive thriller about a white-colored, racist dog trained to attack African-Americans. Kristy McNichol nurses him back to health after hitting him with her car, soon learning his true nature and dedicating herself to curing the gorgeous but brainwashed creature. The random scenes of attack on black characters--one in slow-motion--are probably what doomed this film's chances at getting a theatrical release (it played Mexico, but only "preview performances" in the US). True, they are upsetting, but deliberately so. They are necessary in showing the reasoning of what happens next, but that certainly doesn't erase the controversial undermining. McNichol has a difficult time getting a grip on her character (we don't get a good idea of who she is either), but the actress's mere presence is reassuring--she's like a lovely ray. Paul Winfield gives his best performance ever as the black man who attempts to retrain the dog, knowing how slim his chances are. Some shots are repetitive, and Ennio Morricone's music is as well--though I found the passages lovely and melancholic. The slow motion taxed my patience, however all is nearly redeemed by that final shot. What tragic beauty there is in it, what a loss of innocence for all concerned. **1/2 from ****
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