Since the beginning of cinema, dogs have been frequently introduced in movies. Several movies have stayed with us for decades and decades, becoming classics. Each and every movie dog has a special place in our hearts. Today, I’m narrowing down my five favorites. Here are my top picks for the five most lovable dogs in cinema. (These are in no particular order.)
A turquoise-colored car drove up to a farm house. Jenny Grogan stepped out of the front seat. Her husband, John, had blindfolded her. He wanted the birthday present he’d gotten her to be a surprise.
John led Jenny out of the car. “This place does not smell like iHop,” Jenny muttered. John laughed as he directed Jenny to the front porch. A lady walked out of the house and greeted the couple. “Are you Grogan?” the lady asked.
Replying yes, John and Jenny walked onto the porch. They heard a few dogs bark. As Jenny walked, still blindfolded, she heard the barks grow louder. “What is going on?” she wondered out loud.
“Can I look?” Jenny asked. “Almost,” John replied, leading her to the location. “Ready,” John said. “One. Two. Three.” Jenny took the blindfold off. In front of her was a large bin full of puppies. They were small, white, and running around in circles.
Jenny, super excited, walked into the bin. “They’re adorable!” she cried. She and John pet the puppies and began playing with them. As they greeted each one, the lady explained the prices, “$300 for girls, $275 for boys.” After a pause, she added, “Oh, except for that little guy there. That one you can have for $200 even.”
The lady pointed to the $200 priced puppy. He was lying on the ground motionless – not even wagging his tail. Jenny picked the dog up and held it to her face. “You’re so cute!” she exclaimed. Jenny added, “You’re like a little clearance puppy.”
John and Jenny decide to name the dog Marley, after the singer Bob Marley. Over the next several months, they would find out that Marely loves to misbehave.
Marely & Me was distributed by 20th Century Fox in 2008. The film is based on the book, Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. David Frankel directed the movie. Owen Wilson stars in it.
Marley & Me made $247,800,000 against a $60,000,000 budget. It set a record for the largest Christmas Day box office ever with 14.75 million in ticket sales. It received descent critical success with a 63% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 7.1 on IMDb.
A St. Bernard rested on a bed. Every ounce of his fur was covered in mud. The dog rolled around in the bed covers. His mud soaked into the white sheets and stained the pillows. Placing his paws along the striped covering, he smothered the bed with dirt.
Suddenly, steps echoed outside the bedroom. The St. Bernard looked up in surprise. There was his furious owner Richard gasping at the mud-filled scene. “You!” Richard growled at the dog, named Beethoven.
Beethoven stood up dramatically. He positioned his body dangerously. “No, no, no, no, no!” Richard yelled as he predicted what Beethoven was about to do. Beethoven shook his fur all over the place, spewing mud across the bedroom.
Dirt and water coursed through the room and soaked Richard. Screaming, Richard protected himself from the spew of mud. Dirt flew in all directions. It stained everything that was white. Richard’s nice suit became ruined.
Beethoven was distributed by Universal in 1992. It was directed by Brian Levant and stars Charles Grodin. John Hughes and Amy Holden Jones wrote the film. Co-stars include Bonnie Hunt, Nicholle Tom, Christopher Castle, and Sarah Rose Karr.
Beethoven grossed 147 million against an 18 million budget. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $256,475,709. The film received mixed reviews. It scored a low 31% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.6 on IMDb. Despite the critical reception, it spawned a sequel titled Beethoven’s 2nd.
Riding on his skateboard, Marty Mcfly approached a deserted parking lot. He looked across the setting and saw a van. A dog sat behind it.
Marty rode down and stopped next to the dog. Petting its face, Marty greeted Einstein. He stroked Einstein’s fur for a few moments.
Abruptly, a hiss sounded.
The van doors were opening up slowly. Fog and steam spewed out of the doors. The mist cleared to reveal a DeLorean, a type of sports car. The car backed up onto the street. The door opened, and Doc Brown, or Dr. Emmett Brown stumbled out.
After greeting each other, Doc Brown told Marty to “roll the tape.” He introduced himself on camera and proceeded with the experiment.
Doc Brown jogged over to Einstein and coaxed him to get into the car. Einstein obeyed. He buckled Einstein up into the driver’s seat and shut the door. “Please note,” Doc Brown said, “that Einstein’s clock is in precise accordance with my own watch.”
Using a remote control, Doc Brown controlled the car. He backed the car up, spun it around, and increased its speed to 88 miles per hour. Einstein tilted his head as the car sped forward. Then Einstein and the DeLorean disappeared in a flash.
Marty thought that Doc Brown had disintegrated Einstein. They got into a short argument. Doc Brown tried to explain to Marty that he had not hurt Einstein at all. “You see,” Doc Brown exclaimed, “Einstein has just become the world’s first time traveler!”
Back to the Future was produced by Universal in 1985. One of the most lovable characters in the film is Einstein, Doc Brown’s famous dog. It grossed $381,109,762 against a 19 million budget. Adjusted for inflation, that’s $867,010,540.
The film spawned two sequels. There is also a Television Series of the same name.
- Old Yeller
Burn Sanderson looked down at Arliss. “What you got in those pockets,” Burn asked as he squatted down. He felt Arliss’ pockets and pulled out a toad. Looking it over, Burn commented about its size.
Arliss snatched the toad back. “What about my dog?” Arliss demanded. Burn glanced over at a golden colored dog waiting expectantly. It was a Labrador retriever/mastiff mix. Tilting its head, the dog looked at Burn as if he understood their discussion.
“You mean you really want that Old Yeller dog?” Burn asked Arliss in a disbelief. “I sure do,” Arliss snapped back. Burn sat back and thought for a moment. He looked at Arliss and sighed.
“Well maybe we can do some swapping,” Burn proposed. He told Arliss that he would let the dog stay if he could have the toad. Meanwhile, the dog continued to tilt its head. He stared at Arliss and wagged his tail anxiously. Arliss glanced back a forth, looking at his father and the dog. He did not understand how his toad was worth a dog.
Burn decided to add one more condition to the deal. He told Arliss that he had to convince his mother to fix a a home-cooked meal. His mother agreed. Arliss looked at Burn, who called to the dog.
“Here boy,” Burn called. The dog sprinted toward Arliss and greeted him with enthusiasm. Burn took the leash off and turned toward Arliss. “He’s all yours.” Excited, Arliss called to the Labrador Retriever mix, “Come on Old Yeller.”
Old Yeller was a drama film produced by Walt Disney in 1957. The screenplay, written by William Tunberg, was adapted from the book. Both the book and the movie were successes. The book won the Newbery Honor, and the movie has a 100% of Rotten Tomatoes.
Robert Stevenson directed Old Yeller. The film stars Fess Parker as Jim Coates, Kevin Corcoron as Arliss, and Tommy Kirk as Arliss’ brother, Travis. It grossed $6,250,000 at the box office. Adjusted for inflation, that’s around $54,000,000. The studio made a sequel in 1963. It was titled Savage Sam, and it was also based on a book.
A Rough Collie trotted across the wooden floor and approached a worn door. Grabbing the handle in her mouth, the Collie opened up the door and rushed into a bedroom. She placed her two paws on a small bed and began barking at her owner, Joe Carraclough.
Joe woke up to the Collie’s barks and whines. Sitting up, he said, “Hello Lassie.” He petted Lassie for a few moments, stroking the white section of her fur. “Down stairs,” he told Lassie. After some hesitation, Lassie obeyed her owner and jogged out the door.
Joe got back in bed. Lassie knew what he was up to. Running back into the room, she woke Joe back up until he reluctantly got up for good. “Alright,” Joe mumbled, “I’ll get up.” Lassie, pulling the covers off the bed, stood up beside her owner.
In the rest of Lassie Come Home, Joe’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Carraclough approach difficult financial times. They are forced to give Lassie up to a rich duke. But Lassie loves Joe, and she does whatever it takes to reunite with the Carraclough family. Lassie is considered one of the most lovable dogs in cinema
Fred M Wilcox directed Lassie Come Home in 1943. It followed a screenplay written by Hugo Butler. Lassie was played by canine actor Pal. Joe was played by Roddy McDowall. The film was based on the Eric Knight’s novel, Lassie Come-Home.
Lassie Come Home was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It would become the first of seven films starring Lassie. Lassie Come Home grossed $4,517,000 against a $666,000 budget. Adjusted for inflation, it grossed $63,913,200.