Thursday, November 4, 2010

White Dog (1982)

Sam Fuller's last film before his self-imposed exile to France for the bulk of his later years. It was denied release in the U.S. due to the studio's fear of boycotts and political backlash due to the film's subject matter, which entailed a white German Shepherd, trained to kill black people, historically referred to as a 'white dog'. It was too bad the knee jerk reaction to the film's 'star' character, blotted out the the film's anti-racist message, which begged the question of whether a 'racist' animal could be retrained, by a black man, to be a peaceful and non-discriminatory pooch.

Heavy-handed, awkward, and heavily redolent of after-school special fare, horror, and melodrama, the film strangely succeeds by dint of the powerful subject matter, Paul Winfield's performance as the black animal trainer, Ennio Morricone's amazing and touching score, and its intense, if depressing conclusion.

It's streaming on netflix now. Please see it! Criterion only released it a year or two ago.

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