Hollywood Gone To The Dogs

Hollywood Gone To The Dogs

There is​ no question that people in​ America love dogs. One look at​ popular culture in​ our country will prove beyond a​ shadow of​ a​ doubt that Americans have a​ love affair with dogs. Movies and TV shows about dogs go in​ and out of​ popularity and stories like Old Yeller and Where the​ Red Fern Grows are considered timeless classics. Only in​ America,​ however,​ do dogs manage to​ achieve celebrity status.

Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin was Hollywood’s first recognizable canine star. the​ German Shepherd was featured in​ 26 films for Warner Brothers Pictures and is​ generally credited with having saved the​ studio from bankruptcy during the​ silent film era. the​ original Rin Tin Tin died in​ 1932 at​ the​ age of​ 13,​ but his bloodline and his fan club exist to​ this day.


Ask someone to​ name a​ famous dog and you​ will probably get the​ name Lassie every time. the​ star of​ several television series,​ many movies,​ and the​ subject of​ countless books,​ Lassie is​ probably the​ most recognizable canine star in​ American TV and movie history. Interestingly,​ all of​ the​ dogs to​ portray Lassie over the​ years have been male. the​ original collie to​ portray Lassie was actually named Lad and was the​ star of​ the​ memorable original television series as​ well as​ several movies,​ most memorably the​ original version of​ Lassie Come Home.


In the​ 1970’s a​ would-be filmmaker named Joe Camp started pitching a​ “dog movie” around Hollywood. He was told repeatedly that the​ film would never work,​ so he decided to​ produce the​ film independently. Once the​ film wrapped Camp had new troubles because no distribution company would release the​ film. Again,​ Camp relied upon himself to​ distribute his family movie worldwide. Camp’s gamble paid off and Benji,​ starring a​ lovable mixed breed dog that was adopted from an​ animal shelter (the original Benji was the​ dog Higgins who had worked on​ the​ TV show Petticoat Junction) became a​ huge hit. Over the​ years there have been five Benji movies,​ television programs and specials,​ comics,​ and a​ ton of​ Benji merchandise.

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