White Dog

1982

White Dog

Critics Consensus

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92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

73%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,308
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Movie Info

A powerful saga about racism. Julie Sawyer (Kristy McNichol) hits a handsome white dog with her car one night and then nurses it back to health. One day, the theretofore mild-mannered dog saves her life by viciously attacking and killing a rapist who breaks into her home. Lucy discovers that the dog has been trained to attack black skin. She consults an animal trainer, Carruthers (Burl Ives), who urges her to have the dog exterminated. But a maverick black trainer, Keys (Paul Winfield), who has tried before to break the training of such dogs but never succeeded, steps in. ~ Michael Betzold, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for White Dog

All Critics (13)

Audience Reviews for White Dog

  • Sep 02, 2015
    The excellent editing and gripping story (despite the expository dialogue) compensate well for Fuller's problems in direction - he really knows how to work with dogs but has serious trouble to articulate the action in the mise-en-scène without killing the tension.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 16, 2012
    *some spoilers in review My rating is lower than what the general consensus says of this film, and yes I understand it's making a statement about racism and isn't just about an attack dog. The dog is gentle and sweet around loved ones but a total monster amongst blacks, like many racists. That's a nice message and all, but the film itself doesn't add up. There were minor details that I'd be willing to wipe off, but after a dog kills a man, the dog will be put down, without a doubt. That would not be simply covered up, and it doesn't make sense from any side to cover it up. Then into the more technical stuff outside the story, Kristy McNichols performance was painfully amateur, and the rest of the cast wasn't a whole lot better. Fuller as a director did a fairly impressive job, but as a co-writer he failed miserably in an attempt to make a realistic screenplay. The ending that attempted to be depressing, was predictable in a sense. It tried to hard in my opinion, but didn't let out enough.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2012
    [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Upon it's original release Samuel Fuller's masterpiece White Dog was wrongly accused of being racist, when it is in fact one of the least racist films i've ever laid my eyes upon. Firstly the plot is fairly straight forward and doesn't really need to be looked at in depth, the film however is powerful and incredibly profound. Basically a rising actress accidentally hit's a seemingly beautiful dog on the road, she takes it home and cares for it, and over time realises that on the inside the dog is not so graceful. That it is in fact a "white dog", she then searches for a cure, and finds a man who happens to be black who works with animals frequently, who is then determined to cure it of it's hatred for dark skinned humans by any means neccessary. This is a simple film that has many ambitions and thoughts on a subject that is often very hard to touch upon, but it manages to do so flawlessly with mighty, hard hitting drama. It features some brilliant performances from it's small cast and mesmerising direction and screenwriting from the always interesting director. To a purpose it's brutal and violent and in addition the perfect example of style and substance working together in a way that doesn't require a massive budget and I really enjoyed watching it. In my personal opinion the ending of this masterful and sadly forgotten picture is arguably the most intriguing act it boasts. I wont spoil it, but what I will say is that White Dog has an underlying message that is greatly debatable below it's delightful entertainment value that genuinely moved me. That racism can actually be cured, and can only ever be subjected or triggered by hatred, and that hate is the single aspect of one's emotions, whatever the species, after it's been infected, that is truly impossible to cure.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Jul 13, 2012
    A powerful film about the extent to which some people are racist. In White Dog, this dog is a "racist", it was trained to attack black skin only. From the haunting first scene where the dog is hit to the very sad last scene, this film proves to be a masterpiece. Although I was not quite fond of the ending, the rest of the movie was very well done and well acted. Favorite Scene: After sparring with Keys, the dog is tired and lays with him in the ring
    Anthony L Super Reviewer

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