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A Boy and His Dog (1975)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: A Boy and His Dog (1975) Reply with quote

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Wow . . . great poster, eh?

Author Harlan Ellison's satirical novel became director L. Q. Jones' satirical movie about a post-holocaust age in which savage gangs prowl the desert, fighting over the remaining scraps of modern technology and anything remotely female.



Don Johnson (remember "Miami Vice"?) plays a young loner who roams the desert with an intelligent, telepathic dog. One of the most appealing aspects of the film is the dog's dialogue (in the voice of Tim McIntire) giving Johnson wise counsel (which Johnson too often ignores), using his keen canine nose to sniff out women (which Johnson should avoid, but doesn't), and composing blue limericks:

"There once was a fellow named Lodge, who had seat belts installed in his Dodge. When his date was strapped in, he committed a sin, without ever leaving his garage."



Johnson meets a lovely and disarming girl (Susanne Benton) who lures him down to a hidden underground complex where a fanatical group of survivors live in a mock-up of Small Town America.





Their leader is Alvy Moore (who also wrote the screenplay) and Jason Robards. Because of the shortage of males (just the reverse of the female shortage on the surface), Robards promises to let Johnson fertilize the community's women. But Johnson learns too late that they intend to forcibly extract his semen and use artificial insemination!

Stay tuned for a gruesome-but-hysterical joke at the end — assuming your friends haven't already spoiled it for you.



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Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?


Last edited by Bud Brewster on Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:41 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Krel
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

L. Q. Jones, the actor who directed the movie told a story of how Tiger got the part of Blood. They were auditioning dogs for the role, but couldn't find the right one. When they called for Tiger, the office door opened and Tiger entered alone. He walked over to the desk, jumped into a chair, sat, then offered his paw for a handshake. He got the part on the spot.

David.
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Pow
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that this film is one of the rare instances where Harlan approves of his writing being adapted.

He also liked(for the most part) his Outer Limits scripts adaptations of Demon With A Glass Hand,& Soldier.
Also a Babylon 5 script he did.

Other than those examples I do not think he's been happy with any other film/tv works based upon his writing.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krel: That is the coolest dog-related story I have ever heard. If you ever find out that it isn't true . . . please don't tell us! Very Happy
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Pow: Yep, over the years we've all heard about the cantankerous Mr. Ellison. But I tend to think that for every author who made waves because he wasn't pleased with the way his work was handled, there have been hundreds who should have complained, but who didn't want to alienate the people they depended on for their professional success.

So, I'm the side of Captain Cantankerous!
Very Happy
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Doctor Kaiju
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I adore this film, really a strange one with lots of good moments.

This is one movie I would like to see get remade, or further movies made sharing its vision of the future... Mad Max sans cars with a dash of intelligent dogs and glowing, screaming muties.

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Pye-Rate
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harlan did not approve of the last line!
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, he really didn't. I found this on blastr.com

blastr.com wrote:
[Ellison] never approved of director and co-writer L.Q. Jones' decision to add dialogue to the end of the film. The film's last line, delivered by the dog, Blood, is a pun based on the implication that the starving Blood ate at least part of the boy, [Albert's], new love, Quilla.

Albert says to Blood, "She said she loved me." Blood replies, "Well I'd say she certainly had marvelous judgement, Albert, if not particularly good taste." Vic and Blood walk into the distance, laughing.

Ellison always preferred the more subtle ending to his novella. As Blood eats, Vic ponders a question Quilla asked him. "Do you know what love is?" Vic asks himself. He then answers: "Sure I know. A boy loves his dog."

Ellison has said this about L.Q. Jones' ending: "[a] moronic, hateful chauvinist last line, which I despise."

Sexism is defined as — "Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women."

There's nothing sexist about a hungry dog who eats a human being to keep from starving to death. If that was true the infamous Donner Party was a wagon train populated by sexists. Shocked

I've always thought the comment was perfectly in character with Blood. He was starving so he ate her, he didn't feel bad about doing it, and he demonstrated his characteristic wit with his reply.

The first time I heard it, I was shocked and amused — which is the lines intended purposed. Very Happy

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alltare
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer LQ's ending which was an improvement on the novel and was, as Bud said, in line with the dog's character. How can Ellison complain about the "moronic, hateful chauvinist last line" of the movie, but have nothing to say about the earlier porno movie or rape scenes, which were in the movie and I think were also in his own novel?

This is too good a movie to watch in YouTube's low resolution (240p) format. You will surely enjoy it more with better picture quality (DVD, NetFlix, etc).

I disagree with Doctor Kaiju. A BOY AND HIS DOG is a very good movie as it stands. I see absolutely no necessity for a remake, although a sequel might be interesting.

Whenever I recommend this movie to people who aren't familiar with it, I always feel that I must add this caution: "A Boy and His Dog is NOT a Disney movie".
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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alltare wrote:
This is too good a movie to watch in YouTube's low resolution (240p) format. You will surely enjoy it more with better picture quality (DVD, NetFlix, etc).

Better yet, it's on Blu-ray (which I have):

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alltare
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brent-
Thanks for that info. The BluRay release had slipped past me.

I have the DVD. According to Amazon, the BD is remastered/restored. If you have seen the DVD version, how would you compare the picture quality of the 2 discs?
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Brent Gair
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alltare wrote:
...
I have the DVD. According to Amazon, the BD is remastered/restored. If you have seen the DVD version, how would you compare the picture quality of the 2 discs?

I'm afraid I've never seen the DVD so I can't do a comparison. However, checking reviews, there is a general consensus that the BD is an improvement. I found this quote, "...For starters, this new high-def transfer of the film is a huge improvement over the prior DVD versions that existed." And this, "...Shout! Factory's Blu-ray + DVD of A Boy and His Dog is a long awaited upgrade for this one-of-a-kind independent picture. Disc companies Lumivision and First Run put out woefully inadequate DVDs in the early days of the format, which now can happily be discarded."
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alltare
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brent-
I did some checking after I read your reply. My DVD, which I bought way back in 2000, isn't by Lumivision or First Run. It's by Slingshot DVD and claimed to be "digitally remastered at THE ENTERPRISE". It's wide screen, letterboxed, NON-anamorphic, and according to some of the commenters at Amazon, it's the same print as the old laser disc and the other DVD versions you spoke of.

https://www.amazon.com/Boy-His-Dog-Don-Johnson/dp/B00000IXPN/

Your Shout Factory Blu-Ray sounds like it has a much better image quality, and it's anamorphic, so it's now on my wish list. I guess the only thing that my DVD has going for it is the great A-bomb cover art, which I like a lot more than the BluRay's.

I notice that my DVD and the BluRay are both "collector's editions". Just what the heck does that really mean, anyway?

EDIT (a day later): OK, I now have the Blu-Ray version. The picture is very much better than the DVD's and it's well worth the price. In comparing the 2 discs side-by-side, I also discovered that the DVD's picture is cropped a bit on all 4 sides. It's widescreen, but not as wide as the BluRay, which actually contains more "picture information".
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

________________________________________

Check out some of the threads I found for this movie on other boards. This is a sample of what's included on All Sci-Fi's Multi-Board Alphabetical Index.

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* A Boy and His Dog (1975)

A Boy and His Dog (1975) @ SFMB

A Boy and His Dog (1975) @ All Sci-Fi

A Boy And His Dog @ Pushing the Envelope

A Boy and His Dog (1975) @ CHFB
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Bogmeister
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Well, now . . . here we have A Boy and His Dog (1975). I obtained a Laserdisc in 1996. Don Johnson (Miami Vice) stars in an early role and Jason Robards also pops up.



The year is 2024. The atomic bombs we see going off some years before do not represent World War III as many think. The titles tell us it's World War IV. What happened to World War III? Probably pushed aside to another part of Harlan Ellison's mind. (Actually, I re-checked: Blood the dog tells us WWIII was the Cold War, from 1950-1983, according to this re-telling of history).

Nowadays, we can argue that World War III is happening now, as it has been for the past decade or two, and World War IV is the one where we really empty our nuclear arsenals.



When I first saw this in a theater in the seventies, I confess I was put off by some of the elements. I was old enough already to recognize the dark, twisted humor, but some of the narrative, mostly in that weird underground recreation of small town Americana (the last half-hour), was just too bizarre and a turn-off.

Someone was trying very hard to offer a vicious sideways view of certain institutions many hold dear — I get it. L.Q. Jones himself (the director) has stated repeatedly that this isn't for kids, despite the dog — the most likable character, of course . And the best one, perhaps. As the story goes, the dog was almost nominated for an Oscar, as a person. Overall, this is an unusual & esoteric depiction of a post-holocaust landscape.



The one thing that caught my attention & appreciation right off the bat was the set design, the visual depiction. I watched Vic (Don Johnson) and the dog wander over this desolate landscape, sometimes surreal, sometimes downbeat (well, almost always downbeat) and thought — yeah, this is the way it really would be.

There was a lot of thought put into the visuals, based on some theorizing that I never heard before. Like, that setting off all the nukes at once would stop the Earth's rotation just for a fraction of a second — but with enough momentum for the oceans to sweep over the land masses. So, now everything is covered with a 20-foot layer of dried, caked mud.

And that's what we see here, in this film.



ABOVE: Vic HUNTS FOR FEMALES & FOOD; Vic ATTENDS AN OUTDOORS MOVIE SCREENING

I also liked it that makeshift theaters were still operating. Out there in the middle of nowhere, in the desolation, someone was still running a projector, officiated by armed guards. And one could still sit down and watch some old movie on a tattered screen — maybe even a softcore porn film.

Even Ellison himself liked this film and he had that reputation of trying to throw Hollywood producers out of windows when they would erase a line of his written dialog. They screened this film for him right after putting it together and he walked out after simply stating that this was his story! Oh, btw, L.Q. Jones has said that director George Miller admitted he more-or-less copied A Boy and His Dog for his own post-holocaust adventure The Road Warrior, but with simply a lot more action.

_______________

BoG's Score: 7 out of 10




BoG
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Krel
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:

Sexism is defined as — "Discrimination based on gender, especially discrimination against women."


WOW! The definition of sexism is pretty sexist itself. Laughing

David.
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