Beethoven (1992) Poster

(1992)

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7/10
5.1??? As bad as all that? I don't think so!
TheLittleSongbird10 October 2009
I really liked Beethoven. Of course it isn't perfect, it does have a silly ending, the plot does have its low points and the script was a tad weak in places. However, it is a charming, fun and entertaining family movie. I myself am mortified at the 5.1 IMDb rating. I seriously don't think it is as bad as all that. It isn't perfect, but it has a sense of fun. The cinematography is lush and very beautifully handled, and the direction was secure. Charles Grodin is an enormously talented actor, and I enjoyed his performance here, and Dean Jones seems to be having fun too. The child actors are appealing, and the music is lovely. I think the real star is Beethoven himself, whoever trained that dog should be told he/she did a wonderful job. With Beethoven, the film is fun, charming and very entertaining. And there are many memorable moments here. All in all, a very pleasant family film, I recommend it. It is not perfect, but it is one of the better family films out there. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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7/10
The Good & Bad Of 'Beethoven'
ccthemovieman-11 December 2006
This was almost like an old-fashioned type of nice movie "the whole family will enjoy," as the stupid trailers used to always say. They aren't always right about that, but they are with this one.

BAD NEWS - The "bad news" was (a) the silly ending, (b) some silly-stupid scenes earlier in which what you saw could never really happen, and (c) the three kids were annoying and bossy at times.

GOOD NEWS - The "good news" is, of course, "Beethoven," the lovable Saint Bernard who is a lot of fun to watch, especially with all his facial expressions. Also, it's a very entertaining story and there is absolutely nothing offensive, language-wise, in here.

OVERALL - This was popular enough to spawn some sequels, none of which were close in caliber to this one. A good family film worth viewing, but mainly if you like big, lovable dogs.
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7/10
Roll Over, Beethoven!
MovieAddict20168 April 2003
"Beethoven" isn't a great family film, but it is surprisingly sweet and amusing. It's one of those films that is strangely attracting, though you can't really understand why.

I think a lot has been built up on this film just because there were some sequel spin-offs that were more than horrible. (The 3rd and 4th sequels with Judge Reinhold were some of the worst attempts at comedy. Ever.) But the original was a nice, family-friendly film that accomplishes what it promised.

Charles Grodin plays George Newton: Family man, businessman, NOT a doggy-man. But things change rapidly when a runaway Saint Bernard named Beethoven comes to the Newton residence. Newton's children immediately get attached to the animal, but Grodin's character doesn't exactly like the fact of a big ol' slobbering dog being around his house. So there are some gags as Grodin gets mad at Beethoven for certain things he does throughout the film.

But then, evil animal vet Dean Jones tries to take Beethoven, and Newton decides to fight back for his family and bring the doggy back home.

"Beethoven" isn't anything very original, and it isn't anything very memorable, nor is it excellent quality gags. But it's a surprisingly pleasant and good-natured family film that doesn't resort to crude humor or language like other so-called "family films" out there.

Ivan Reitman, who has brought us "Ghostbusters," "Kindergarten Cop," and "Stripes" co-produced this film. He's a talented director, even if he sometimes makes average films. The thing about his films are, that even when they're average they are still pretty funny and strangely watchable. And though I'm not sure what all a producer does on a film, I think he probably did a good job with something on this film. :)

Charles Grodin is one of those actors that I've always liked because he seems very down-to-earth and regular. He is a subtle comedian that never goes OTT and doesn't come off like ANOTHER Jerry Lewis-Jim Carrey hybrid.

"Beethoven" isn't anything great, but it's strangely likable and enjoyable. When compared to other so-called family films, it's pretty nice. It doesn't skimp on the gags (even if they're not very great) and it never turns stupid (like the 3rd and 4th film).

All in all, "Beethoven" delivers what it promises, and it does it pretty nicely.

3.5/5 stars -

John Ulmer
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7/10
Fun, with a GREAT dog!
CMUltra8 November 2005
We are dog lovers and had been meaning to watch some of the Beethoven series for quite a while. We found a DVD collection of all five at a good price so we snapped it up and sat down for the first installment.

We honestly didn't know what to expect so, to minimize our risk of disappointment, decided that we were only watching to enjoy the St. Bernard. The movie turned out to be a very pleasant surprise, easily exceeding those expectations.

Beethoven is the star, as he should be. The human cast, however, perform wonderfully in providing the light framework required to string Beethoven's scenes together. Charles Grodin especially shines as the dad who is, at first, not exactly enthused about getting a dog. Much less a monster dog who only drools and sheds and eats.

So, if you enjoy dogs and light-hearted fun, Beethoven won't disappoint. There are no Machiavellian plots or cruel content. The family is wonderfully good, the villains are comically bad and the suspense of their threat is enjoyable because you know, Beethoven's gonna win in the end.

Overall, very charming with a good, wholesome sense of humor. 6.5 out of 10.
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10/10
Geeky Randy's summary
Geeky Randy31 March 2014
Classic '90s family comedy that is a little bit cookie-cutter, but too charming to pry too much. The Newtons, an upper-middle class Californian family, take in a stray St. Bernard puppy that escaped kidnapping for cruel experimentation. Conflict involves the gentle-giant dog winning the heart of the family's strict and materialistic father (played terrifically by Grodin), topped with staying a step ahead of the evil vet (played by a clean-cut Dean Jones) who is trying to track down his escaped canine. Platt and Tucci are funny as Jones' henchmen, but their effeminacy doesn't seem fitting—would have worked better if maybe they paid a little more homage to Jasper and Horace Badun from ONE HUNRED AND ONE DALMATIONS. Bonnie Hunt couples great with Grodin, but is perhaps slightly underused. All three children are intolerable. Still enjoyable despite its flaws; its replay value can be attributed to Grodin and Dean's performances, plus the story's pet-is-a-member-of-the-family philosophy.

*** (out of four)
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10/10
Brilliant Family Film
michael-d-murrell5 May 2014
I do not how the hell one of my all time childhood favourite films is rated 5 but I can tell you this film is one of the greatest family films of all time even watching it again all these years later.

Great film about family love, awesomeness and man's best friend. I made an IMDb account just so I could make a review to defend this film as I was shocked to see it had such a low rating when in reality this film is an all time classic. Understanding the bond between man and animal really helps you tie into the emotional connection the family has with the dog.

10/10 as a family film / comedy. Will be watching with my kids for sure and you should too.
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10/10
Slobber
bevo-136784 October 2020
One of my favourite dog movies of all time. Unlike Marley and me the dog lives
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10/10
It's a dog's life
rossrobinson31 October 2003
Beethoven was made in 1992, i thought that this movie was fantastic to watch. It gets you going when there is humour in the movie. This is rated U which is suitable for people all ages. I give this movie a fantastic score 10 out of 10 because it is such a great children's movie.
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7/10
Roll over Beethoven
Calicodreamin1 August 2021
As a personal childhood favorite, I am a big fan of Beethoven. The storyline is basic and fun and that dog could not be any cuter if he tried. The cast have great chemistry and acting is decent. All put together it makes for an easy and fun watch.
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7/10
Sympathetic family movie
Atreyu_II7 January 2009
For those who have no idea what this movie is about, they may think this is a movie about the famous classical music artist. Well, it has absolutely nothing to do with it. "Beethoven" is not even a biographical or a musical, it's a family movie about a St. Bernard named Beethoven after a portion of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony" is played and the puppy barks at the same time, as if he was telling how he wishes to be named.

Anyway, generally speaking, this is a sympathetic family movie. Nothing super or tremendous, but a simple and enjoyable movie. Of course, the lovable St. Bernard is the main star and adds a lot to the movie. And anyone who loves dogs has got to love this gentle giant, if not the movie.

I am a dog lover and St. Bernards are one of my favorite dog breeds. They're huge, beautiful, affectionate and sweet dogs, although they drool at lot!

The story focus not only on our fluffy friend, but also on the Newton family: George (the father), Alice (the mother), Ryce (the oldest daughter), Ted (the middle son) and Emily (the youngest daughter). They're a nice family, but George isn't minimally interested in the dog, unlike the rest of the family (although much later in the film he has a change of heart and helps saving the day). Ryce... what kind of name is that? I hope it's not related to rice (the food). Emily is a lovely little girl and the cutest of the Newtons. Ryce, despite being so thin, is pretty in this film and I don't think she is a tomboy.

All the actors who play the Newton family are good in their roles: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Nicholle Tom, Cristopher Castile and Sarah Rose Karr. And, of course, the dog that plays Beethoven is also a great "actor".

One word about Charles Grodin: although he was in his late 50's when the movie was made, he looked as if he was about 35. Amazing how someone that age can look so young.

In the cast there is also an actor who is familiar from some old live-action Disney films: Dean Jones. Here, he portrays a villain - the wicked veterinarian Dr. Varnick, owner of a Porsche 911. His role is small, nevertheless he's in great shape. Actually, his role is meant to be minor. I don't think it would be necessary to make his role bigger.
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10/10
Great Family Film
rholton227 September 2005
If you love funny animal films, you will laugh till you cry at the antics of Beethoven and his human companions. The scene where the children are trying to find a name for the dog is cute and if you like classical music you will appreciate the humor behind how the name is finally derived. I was rather surprised to see Good Guy Dean Jones, star of many Disney films, in his portrayal of the dastardly and evil Vet. I almost did not recognize him with the thick "soda bottle-bottom" glasses, but as always Mr. Jones gave a stellar performance. X-Files star David Duchovney plays the part of a company representative who wants to try to take over the family's business, and only Beethoven sees him and his female partner for what they are and takes them on the ride of their lives (one of the funniest scenes of the film). I generally find sequels are not as good as the first, but in this case the humor of Beethoven's 2nd and Beethoven's 3rd hold true to first and are also worth viewing.
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6/10
Roll over you St.Bernard
bkoganbing3 March 2016
A lot of critics didn't like Beethoven, but they must be Scrooges. How can you not love this big, ungainly, lovable beast? At least the movie going public certainly liked him.

This St.Bernard puppy escapes from dognappers who take him and others from a pet shop. But even as a puppy he's resourceful and he wonders into a typical suburban home and is made welcome by the family and I mean the kids Christopher Castile, Nicholle Tom, and Sarah Rose Karr. Even their mom Bonnie Hunt kind of takes to him. What's a dad like Charles Grodin to do.

But as Beethoven grows older his clumsiness causes a lot trouble. He does have an instinct for sorting out some bad people and dealing with them. The kids get it, the parents don't.

Dean Jones is the villain here, a veterinarian who 'kills' his charges but secretly uses them for mad scientist like experimentation. Jones who was the all American hero in so many Disney films in the 60s and 70s looks like he's having a great old time as the Snidely Whiplash of scientists. He's got a pair of mooks for henchmen in Michael Tucci and Oliver Platt. In the old days they'd be played by Allen Jenkins and Edward Brophy.

This movie has little kids and a big dog in it. Now only the most hard hearted could resist that.
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8/10
Classic
jc_wout1 September 2018
Such a good movie, even after 26 years! A much watch when we have kids.
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7/10
Watching it does make me want to give my dogs a great big hug.
Hey_Sweden5 March 2015
The title canine is an adorable Saint Bernard puppy who escapes when bumbling, idiotic criminals Harvey and Vernon (Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci) rob a pet store of their inventory. Beethoven makes his way into the house of the Newton family, immediately endearing himself to the children (Nicholle Tom, Christopher Castile, Sarah Rose Karr) and wife / mother (Bonnie Hunt). The dad (Charles Grodin) is another story. He's not a real dog person, but reluctantly agrees to take on the pup as a pet. In your typical Hollywood fashion, havoc ensues, as the puppy grows into the destructive, messy (but also very loving) big brute that Grodin knew would result. The main plot concerns a thoroughly evil veterinarian (Dean Jones, in a hilarious performance) who collects dogs for test purposes.

Watching this as an adult, you can see the flaws more clearly. Sometimes this is genuinely groan inducing, sometimes predictably silly. (You can tell that co-writer John Hughes, who uses his pseudonym of Edmond Dantes, was still getting Home Alone out of his system.) It's also easier to sympathize with George, even though Grodin brilliantly portrays him as a fastidious grump who craves order in his life. He actually makes his family get up at seven in the morning on Saturdays. Another word of advice is that this isn't totally harmless; some people, not just the younger children, might find certain scenes objectionable.

Overall, though, "Beethoven" is passable family entertainment without being exceptional in any way. It may hit you where you live, however, if you're a dog person like this viewer. The perfectly cast Grodin is well supported by a cast that also includes TV stars David Duchovny and Patricia Heaton as a snotty yuppie couple, and familiar character players like O-Lan Jones, Nancy Fish, and Richard Portnow. A 10 year old Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his film debut as a schoolchild. It's particularly fun to see Jones playing the raspy voiced bad guy. Beethoven himself is quite engaging and sweet; some of the best scenes here have him making little journeys around town.

Followed by a mind boggling SIX sequels.

Seven out of 10.
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10/10
SUCH A WONDERFUL FAMILY FILM
dockerykelli27 June 2019
Beethoven is STILL such a wonderful movie to watch. It has laughter, love, intense moments when they arise. An overall great cast and storyline!!! A+++ Film
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9/10
Great kids film!
lauradevo-628847 September 2019
I loved it as a child, now my kids love it! Don't understand the bad reviews, it's a great old kids film!
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8/10
Dog alone
kosmasp17 January 2021
If something like Home Alone is considered a classic, so should this, yes? Ok you may not feel that way, I just put it out there. Yes this is predictable to more than just one degree. But it still is a lot of fun to watch. And a family film if there ever was one.

You have to love animals/dogs/pets of course. Even if the dad here doesn't ... but you need that conflice. If you've seen more than movie in your life ... actually you understand that no matter what. It depends on how brazenly open a movie is about its intentions. This is quite open and it has villains that are comically in their stupidity. But this is not meant to be taken seriously ... this is supposed to entertain you ... and entertain you it does ... a lot! Good dog(s)!
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6/10
Marginally funny laughing at Grodin
SnoopyStyle27 July 2014
Beethoven is a St Bernard puppy who escapes from a couple of dog thieves (Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt). He follows George Newton (Charles Grodin) into his house. The kids fall in love with him and his wife Alice (Bonnie Hunt) wants to keep the puppy. It's a battle between George and Beethoven for the run of the house as he grows into a giant dog. He's trying to sell a business deal to Brad (David Duchovny) and Brie (Patricia Heaton). The dog is super smart and becomes the family's best friend. Evil vet Dr. Varnick (Dean Jones) has a sideline selling dogs for evil experiments while working with the dog thieves.

It's the grumpiness of Charles Grodin that makes this marginally funny. He allows the audience to laugh at him and there are some pretty good slapstick fun. It's mostly good family fare with a really evil villain. The bad guys are a little too ridiculous. That takes a little bit away from an otherwise fun family movie.
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6/10
A servicable family film that does its job.
IonicBreezeMachine2 April 2021
After a St. Bernard puppy is abducted from a pet shop by animal abductors, the puppy escapes and finds its way to the home of the Newton family. Mother Alice (Bonnie Hunt) and children Emily(Sarah Rose Karr), Ted (Christopher Castile), and Ryce (Nicholle Tom) all immediately take to the puppy whom they name Beethoven, however father George Newton (Charles Grodin) is less enthused by the idea. While Beethoven enjoys the comforts of living with the Newtons, the animal abduction ring, run by sinister vet/black market animal tester Dr. Herman Varnick (Dean Jones) sets his sights on Beethoven as a test candidate for testing a new type of ammunition.

Released in 1992 to rather mediocre reviews but very healthy box office, Beethoven certainly fits well within the oeuvre of 1990s post Home Alone/Uncle Buck family comedies that ended up defining John Hughes career in the decade. While Beethoven is still a very early revisit of Hughes to the successful formula, it is quite noticeable that Hughes is setting the foundation for common place tropes that would reappear in further films. With that said, the movie is actually quite charming thanks to a well trained dog serving as the titular character, and Amy Holden Jones balances out the Hughes' tropes with some charm and edge that help the film to keep from going overboard with formula.

The best scenes in Beethoven are just watching the dog interact with people. The filmmakers do a pretty decent job of given Beethoven a personality as the gentle giant who's full of energy and intelligence but lacking in self awareness or grace in his movements. The scenes where Beethoven casually escapes his backyard enclosure are quite fun and there's a nice small town/Disney type vibe as he meets the Newton children around town and helps them deal with bullies, getting the attention of crushes, or in one instance engaging in a Lassie type rescue during a close call. The scenes with Beethoven frolicking around with the family or various people in town (firefighters, small business owners, etc.) are charming and make the film a pleasant enough sit.

The actors are perfectly servicable. Charles Grodin is perfectly fine playing an overworked, overstressed, father (even if at points it feels like he's doing a Steve Martin impression), and the rest of the family is perfectly fine as well. Some performances unfortunately go a bit too broad for my taste, such as Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt playing a rehash of the comedic crook duo a la Horace and Jasper or Harry and Marv, or David Duchovny and Patricia Heaton playing a pair of snobbish DINK(Dual Income No Kids) who are basically insidious versions of Todd and Margo from Christmas Vacation. The real standout in the human performances is Dean Jones who washes away any history of light hearted Disney comedies and away and gives a fittingly sinister and slimey performance that honestly wouldn't be out of place in a straight thriller. It's a terrific villain performance and allows Jones to lift a bit more weight than he usually is allowed and he does so quite well.

The movie in terms of the movie itself it's perfectly fine. It doesn't reach the gold standards of Disney animal movies like '67's That Darn Cat or either of The Incredible Journey movies, but it also doesn't embarrass itself as seen in cases like C. H. O. M. P. S. or Bingo. Beethoven rests comfortably around the level of a Benji movie but with a bigger budget and more polish. The direction by Brian Levant is very exaggerated and lacking in subtlety or restraint, but unlike his other movies he tries to resist the temptation to go full cartoon logic (save for one scene with Duchonvy and Heaton). The movie is very much a collection of character based plots in the first half loosely connected with the second half being more based around the animal abduction ring. There's not much in the way of surprises, but it's all done well enough.

Beethoven is an above average family film anchored by a good performance from its central dog. The movie does a good job of making Beethoven feel like a character, and while the script is certainly formula its at least well done formula that moves at a good pace and doesn't linger on any point long enough to drag. Beethoven is the kind of movie you can watch with your kids and they'll enjoy it while you'll smile once every so often. It won't stick with you, but as family films of this type go it's one of the better ones.
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8/10
childhood
v-562898 February 2021
I loved the movie when I was child... I watched it again... yeah... it is probably not that great... but still definitely more than 5...
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9/10
Cute movie
Catherine_Grace_Zeh17 November 2005
BEETHOVEN, in my opinion, is a cute movie. I thought that George (Charles Grodin) was a little cold-hearted, but Alice (Bonnie Hunt) and the children (Sarah Rose Karr, Christopher Castile, Nicholle Tom) were very nice people. Beethoven was a sweet dog, though. He even saved the Newtons in times of trouble. Way to go, Beethoven! Dr. Varnick (Dean Jones) was a little scary to me, but I thought he gave a smashing performance. I thought that Emily (Sarah Rose Karr), Ted (Christopher Castile), and Ryce (Nicholle Tom) looked nice in the clothing they wore when they served George his breakfast. In conclusion, I highly recommend this movie to all you dog lovers or Charles Grodin fans who have not seen it.
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8/10
Classic
Jon-hark-brown-113817 May 2021
You know, I rewatched this for the first time in maybe 25 years and after having a family of my own.

This isn't the best film ever made by a long shot, but it's so endearing I couldn't help laughing, smiling and crying along. My 2 yo loved it too.
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7/10
Always refreshing after a hard day's work
Abby-931 December 2000
If you take yourself too seriously, Beethoven will either gross you out or provide a great, relaxing dose of psychotropic slapstick. It is frequently TOO MUCH, and then again, can't get enough of the gorgeous St. Bernard actors. The honesty of the human kids; the exquisite changes portrayed by their dad, Charles Grodin; the down-to-earth Bonnie Hunt (until her disappointing emergency phone call); and-- You will find yourself thinking, "Here's the puckish Stanley Tucci--" "Oliver Platt--master of deadpan." "David Duchovny's comic range is really broad--WOW." There is also a fine supporting cast of dogs, and i can't even watch the villain, he's so evil. A roller coaster ride that doesn't knock your rug off or mess up your do, with fine irrelevant complexities to keep you from falling asleep too early, i.e. before the kids do.
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Great memories watching this as a kid
joecave861 June 2018
Great film for kids and dog lovers don't listen to all the negative reviews,watch it now!
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9/10
Sweet, heartwarming film-one of the best "family dog" movies ever
g-zimmerman114 April 2004
This story of a family who grows attached to a St. Bernard that wanders into their lives is truly touching. George Newton, his wife Alice, and their three kids are the family. The kids and even Mom fall instantly in love with the puppy, but Dad wants nothing to do with it. He reluctantly agrees, but doesn't exactly forge a friendship with the growing St. Bernard. Meanwhile, Beethoven does his best to endear himself to the rest of the family, helping big sister Ryce attract the attention of a boy that she likes, scaring off bullies that harass brother Ted, rescuing little sister Emily from a swimming pool and giving a couple of sleazy con artists "the ride they deserve". After Beethoven misbehaves one too many times, Dad takes him to a veterinarian who, unbeknownst to him, is actually an evil scientist who uses dogs for lethal lab experiments. This doctor wants very much to get his hands on Beethoven. When he pays a house call to the Newtons, he stages an incident where, after tearing his clothes and smearing red dye all over himself, he provokes the dog so it looks like he is being attacked. This causes Dad to waste no time taking Beethoven to the doctor's office to be put to sleep. His wife and kids, suspecting the doctor is lying, go to his office, where Dad finally discovers the doctor's true activities. This film has everything that a great film should: a believable story, sincere performances, and lush cinematography. I would have given it a perfect 10, but it does have one major flaw: the casting of usually good-natured Dean Jones as such an unscrupulous character.
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