Lawrence Kasdan, the man who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire Strikes Back and The Big Chill, is back with his latest Darling Companion. The film’s title refers to a family dog adopted by Kevin Kline and Diane Keaton. It arrives on April 20 in theaters, and in honor of another solid canine cinematic journey, Movie Fanatic presents the Top 10 Dog Movies!
10. Lady and the Tramp
The classic that forever made you look at spaghetti and meatballs as more romantic than you ever thought possible. The story of two canines at other ends of the wealth spectrum warmed our hearts and souls and still does to this day.
Leave it to Stephen King to give us a slightly different dog tale than the usual heart-warmers that dominate this list. Cujo is one of the author’s best page-to-screen efforts and has a complete and utter jaw-dropping suspense around every turn, coupled by the fact that our villain is a dog, and that is why, Cujo, you have our number nine spot on our top 10.
8. The Artist
Sure, technically the winner for Best Picture is not a dog movie. Yet, if you really think about it, The Artist is a story about a man and his dog. Bingo! Dog movie! And who can resist the silent charm of Uggie who stole every scene he was in? Besides, doesn’t the little guy save the day?
Benji is such a resonant classic that it is easy to see why the moniker is one of the most popular dog names in the world. His first adventure on screen is still his best and reminds us of how a solid, well-written and well-acted (by canine and human) film compels, regardless of its subject or subject matter.
6. 101 Dalmatians
We’re saluting the 1961 classic, not the live action remake starring Glenn Close. The story of those 101 Dalmatians and their efforts to avoid Cruella DeVille proves that when it comes to animated movies involving man’s best friend… Disney knows how to do it right.
5. Marley & Me
Honestly, besides being one of the best all-time dog movies, Marley & Me is probably one of Jennifer Aniston’s best films! The story, based on the bestselling true story of John Grogan, impeccably captures what it is that a dog can do to the overall entity that is one’s life. Marley so enriches his owners' lives, even if he is often more trouble than timid. What this film also achieves is to capture the underestimation people think they will feel when our best friend leaves our lives for good. We are inconsolable and Marley & Me, however sadly, captures it brilliantly.
4. Turner & Hooch
Tom Hanks co-stars with a dog and we have a fantastic film? That is exactly what happened when Hanks and his furry friend hit screens in 1989. Audiences are still talking about how attached they got to the ugly, yet cute at the same time, canine and what happened to him at the end of the film.
3. Old Yeller
Talk about a tearjerker, if there is a soul out there who can watch Old Yeller and not turn into an uncontrollable tearing mess, I’d love to meet you. Although it is hard to watch at times, this film is a must-see for families seeking to introduce their children to the magic of Hollywood. Who doesn’t love Old Yeller?!
2. Lassie Come Home
Lassie was a bona fide Hollywood superstar and he was never as good as he was in Lassie Come Home. If there is only one Lassie movie you watch, this is the one.
1. Best in Show
It’s kind of funny that our number one dog movie is unlike any other on this list. It is a farce beyond farces. Christopher Guest and his comic crew skewer the dog show world as no one else has in history with their comedy about those who make showing dogs their passion. The cast is stellar. The canines are brilliant. The writing is bitingly funny. And it's the type of movie, dog film or otherwise, that we can watch again and again and again.