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Beethoven (1992)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Family | 3 April 1992 (USA)
2:18 | Trailer

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A slobbering St. Bernard becomes the center of attention for a loving family, but must contend with a dog-napping veterinarian and his henchmen.



(as Edmond Dantès),
4,685 ( 478)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miss Grundel
Craig Pinkard ...
Homeless Man
Robi Davidson ...


The Newton family live in their comfortable home, but there seems to something missing. This "hole" is filled by a small puppy, who walks into their home and their lives. Beethoven, as he is named, grows into a giant of a dog... a St Bernard. Doctor Varnick, the local vet has a secret and horrible sideline, which requires lots of dogs for experiments. Beethoven is on the bad doctor's list. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The head of the family is the one with the tail. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Family


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

3 April 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Hund namens Beethoven  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,587,565, 5 April 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


So incensed were the American Veterinary Association about the depiction of a vet as leader of a dog-napping ring, they fired off a letter of protest to Jack Valenti, head of the Motion Picture Association of America. See more »


In the scene after Beethoven "attacks" the vet, Dad goes into the backyard and gets Beethoven to take him to the vet's office, the dog's neck and snout are mysteriously clean even though only moments earlier they were smeared with fake blood. See more »


Ryce Newton: Oh my gosh Emily's in the pool!
Devonia Pest: The pool!
See more »


Followed by Beethoven's 4th (2001) See more »


Roll Over Beethoven
Performed by Paul Shaffer and The World's Most Dangerous Band
Written by Chuck Berry
Produced by Paul Shaffer
See more »

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User Reviews

Gotta feel sorry for the guy
30 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

George Newton (Charles Grodin) is a loving husband and father. He works his ass of for his kids and has nothing but love for his wife, getting up early every day for them. So what do they do in return? They yell at him, treat him wrongly and when he tries to get rid of their dog for completely legitimate reasons, the kids think he's a dog-killer and his wife complains 'all the joy is left from the house'. If anything, 'Beethoven' is the story of a man abused and mistreaten. There, I said it.

Let's begin with the beginning though. 'Beethoven' is a dog (in case you didn't know yet), wandering the streets of some suburban clean cut picked fenced community, where life is nice and rich and even the bullies have their certain charm. Beethoven winds up in the (big) house of the Newtons, where the three kids (puberty-girl Ryce, nerdy boy Ted and sweet young Emily) embrace him with all they've got, as probably, there isn't any 'joy' in the family at that time. What better way to bring it than a dog!

But Beethoven isn't just fun, as he pies all over the place, drewls on the food and drags mud all over the expensive carpets. You guessed who can clean up the mess: it's old daddyo George, as the spoilt kids only want to have fun with the animal. So we see him as a match-maker between Ryce and the boy she likes, as Ted's saviour against bullies and as hero of little Emily, who almost drowned when not attended by her baby-sitter.

George, as I said, is busy with his work. He's got a company of his own (something to do with air-refresheners in cars, or whatever), who is on the brink of a crucial deal which will expand his business. But he is being conned. Enter a crucial scene: nobody knows he's being conned by his two business partners, except 'Beethoven' (yes people, this dog knows how to read those little words at the bottom of a contract). So he takes the two evil genuises for a ride, basicly ruining the deal. Now, WE know Beethoven did well, but as far as George, his wife or the kids are concerned, 'Beethoven' just cost them a serious amound of dollars. But, never mind, as wife and mother Alice says 'I never liked those two anyway'. If that would've been her spirit over all those years, the family probably would've lived in some trailerpark somewhere, without a pot to pie in and regulars on the 'Jerry Springer' show. But as long as we, the audience, know that Beethoven really saved the family, we're supposed to be OK with it. Well, for one, I'm not!

There's another story in here involving 'mean guys', as Beethoven's vet thinks he will be perfect for some sick experiment involving exploding bullets, so the vet pretends he was attacked by Beethoven, so that he can bring him to his secret lab. The same problem here occurs as in the previous scene: WE know the vet is mean. WE know Beethoven meant well. But the family DOESN'T. So when the kids, as I mentioned before, say dad is a dog-killer and mom thinks all the joy has just left their lives (take THAT, you mean father!), that is just cruel and unjust. As for all THEY know, 'Beethoven' is a pretentious danger for the kids. In particular the mom should know better!

Now, you'll probably say it's a kids movie and maybe you're right, but this movie is sending all the wrong messages into the world, and should be slammed for it. Only the decent acting by Grodin (who was 57 when this was made... he looks more like 37!) and some sweet puppies make it worth the 3/10 I gave it.

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