7.5/10
7,317
107 user 52 critic

Lawn Dogs (1997)

R | | Drama | 15 May 1998 (USA)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer
When Devon, a 10-year-old girl, forges a friendship with Trent, a 21-year-old outsider who mows the neighborhood lawns, things suddenly get very complicated and private.

Director:

John Duigan

Writer:

Naomi Wallace
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7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mischa Barton ... Devon Stockard
Sam Rockwell ... Trent
Christopher McDonald ... Morton Stockard
Kathleen Quinlan ... Clare Stockard
Miles Meehan Miles Meehan ... Billy
Bruce McGill ... Nash
David Barry Gray ... Brett
Eric Mabius ... Sean Torrance
Angie Harmon ... Pamela 'Pam' Gregory
José Orlando Araque José Orlando Araque ... Salvador the Mailman
Beth Grant ... Trent's Mother
Tom Aldredge ... Jake - Trent's Father
Odin the Dog Odin the Dog ... Tracker
Tafeki the Dog Tafeki the Dog ... Tracker
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Storyline

Newly arrived in an up-market housing development, quiet ten-year-old Devon doesn't quite fit in. Ignoring the urgings of her social-climbing father, Devon chooses the company of Trent, who mows the estate's lawns, rather than of the girls her own age. Their friendship grows during her visits to his trailer home, but although it is completely innocent it is obvious that it would be unacceptable to the residents if they found out. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Innocence is a dangerous friend

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality/nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Angie Harmon. See more »

Goofs

When Devon pours a glass of water for Trent it is less than half full. In the next scene outside it is seen to be more than half full even after splashing it about. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Devon: Once upon a time, in a far off land, lived a girl and her mother and father. Their village was surrounded by a high wall. Outside the wall was the forest, home of Baba Yaga, the witch. Baba Yaga had iron teeth like three trees. His legs were like chicken legs, and he ate little girls for dinner. But inside the wall we were safe.
See more »

Alternate Versions

There is an alternate version where all or most of the profanity has been dubbed over with less extreme words. Also, during the sex scene, Trent and Pam are wearing clothes as opposed to them being nude in the original. See more »

Connections

References Sudden Impact (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

Feeling In Love
Written and performed by J.J. Cale
See more »

User Reviews

 
A hugely original and surprising drama.
25 September 2002 | by sackleywhistleSee all my reviews

I first saw this film on late night BBC in England and was half watching it while packing for college. By the half way mark, i was sucked in and couldn't not watch.

The first thing that will knock you out is Sam Rockwell. Over the last few years he has risen in fame due to high-profile parts in Charlie's Angels, The Green Mile and Mamet's Heist, but here is the arrival of a veritable acting talent. His is a simple, truthful unshowy performance that resonates throughout the film without crushing it. He is the film's heart, rather than a scene-stealer. As we learn more about his poor, white-trash lawn cutter, we sympathise and begin to realise how easily the reactions of others higher up on the food chain conspire to create chaos for him.

I won't give too much about the story away, because it frequently heads off in new, interesting directions, but essentially this is the story of Devon (newcomer child actor Mischa Barton) and the above mentioned Trent (Rockwell) and their relationship. He is poor, she comes from wealthy stock, but feels out of place in her materialistic world and they are both children of nature. What makes it compelling is that she knows this and revels in it and Trent has to be shown, by her.

John Duigan does a wonderful job of introducing strands and themes which at first seem offbeat and peculiar but which all add to the sense prejudice, division and isolation felt by these two brillaintly-wrought characters. Each find the other intriguing but are hesitant to become close because of others' values. Eventually they become friends and just as they accept this, the world around them turns on them and what started out as an irreverent comedy-drama, turns into something much darker and even terrifying.

Where the film goes from there, I will leave to you to discover. Please do, because this is a very unique film in American independent cinema. Much like the more high-profile American Beauty, what at first seems like character cliche and predictability rapidly leads you down the path least expected. Its beautifully shot, making full use of a handful of gorgeous locations, wonderfully acted, particularly by Barton and Rockwell, but also by the ever-reliably sleazy Christopher Mcdonald (Shooter McGavin in Happy Gilmore and Louise's husband in Thelma & Louise), the quietly strong Kathleen Quinlan and the lesser spotted Bruce McGill in one of his best roles as security guard Nash. The music is also peerless, at first playful and calm, building to a dramatic climax.

That climax is what makes this film stand head and shoulders above the rest. An emotional pay-off such as you have never seen in a film of this ilk. 9/10


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lawn Dogs See more »

Filming Locations:

Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,491, 17 May 1998

Gross USA:

$106,404

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$106,404
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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