The "white dog" is not merely a metaphor for the destructive nature of racism. These animals are an actual phenomenon, in use for hundreds of years from slave control to South African police actions.
This movie was adapted from the 1970 novel by French author Romain Gary. He based it on a dog he and his wife (actress Jean Seberg) owned when they lived in Los Angeles.
White Dog was released uncut in Paris and London and was hailed as a masterpiece by critics!
Director Samuel Fuller has a cameo as Kristy McNichol's agent.
Burl Ives, plays the owner of the centre where they attempt to re-train White Dog. A great scene is when he can be seen using a picture of R2/D2 from Star Wars as a dartboard, using syringes for darts! His disillusionment that robots have replaced animals in the movies is hilarious.
"White Dog" was part of a series of private/unlisted screenings at the Seattle Film Festival in 1980/81. We weren't told what we would be screening in advance... The audience was horrified, but not for the right reasons. The "acting" was so bad it wasn't even laughable. Three quarters of the audience was so disgusted by the racist theme that they abandoned the theatre.
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