Cinema’s long-standing relationship with man’s best friend has been central to so many stories throughout the decades. Our collective love of dogs has often made many a movie-dog the accidental highlight of a film. Thus, as we near 100 episodes of Movie-Go-Round, it’s time to look back on the five best four-legged friends we met along the way.
5. Kevin | I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Owned by Elijah Wood’s eccentric character Tony, Kevin is an early highlight of this Netflix Original. Sure, he poops on Melanie Lynskey’s lawn, but that’s hardly Kevin’s fault. Also, Kevin is a true polyglot; Tony talks to him in both English and Mandarin. We give Kevin a 11/10. He’s a good boy, and it’s concerning Tony owned more throwing stars than he did doggie bags.
4. Roof Jump Dog | Dunston Checks In
In our first You Did This to Us, listeners subjected us to the mid-90s abomination that is Dunston Checks In. In the film, an unnamed dog runs from its owner, peers over a roof, and surprised by Dunston the ape, subsequently jumps off the roof. More than anything, this scene is just bizarre. Did they forget this is a kids movie? Good news, though: Humane Hollywood reports the scene was shot in several, very safe cuts. No good boys were harmed in the making of this tragedy. We rate him 13/10; it’s not his fault an ape is loose in a hotel.
3. Metaphorical (Nearly) Invincible Dog | Crimson Peak
Another nameless canine, this scrappy little papillon just won’t die. Despite Thomas Sharpe’s (Tom Hiddleston) best attempts to abandon this little ball of fluff, it always returns. It’s the ghost of the past horrors of the house! The film not-so-subtly aligns Edith with a metaphorical butterfly, and “papillon” is “butterfly” in French! This mysterious little good boy is a highlight of the film, though RIP, because after all, he was only nearly invincible… 15/10.
2. Daisy | Gran Torino
Only two things can soften this reckless and racist old man living in a dangerous neighborhood: a close-knit Hmong American family and an old dog named Daisy. This yellow labrador basks in the limelight as one of the dogs with the most screen time on this list. (Just like how she basks in the sunlight of Walt’s porch for 99% of those scenes.) Plus, it’s Clint Eastwood’s actual dog! Daisy well-deserves a coveted 16/10 rating, especially considering she had to put up with Walt’s grumpiness for all those years.
- Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. | Everything Is Illuminated
Our highest movie-dog honors goes to Sammy Davis Jr. Jr, the blind seeing eye dog that assists a not-so-blind Grandpa. After all, Grandpa’s “seeing eye bitch” is “not only for blind people, but for people who pine for the opposite of loneliness.” This deranged dog is a much-needed companion in the grandfather’s lonely life, a life that unfolds in beautiful, heartbreaking detail as the film progresses. Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. is more integral to the story than the dogs preceding him on this list, which perhaps is why he remains the most memorable. 18/10, Sammy Davis Jr. Jr is still a very good boy.
“Father did not purchase her at all, but merely retrieved her from the home for forgetful dogs. Because of this, she is not a real seeing eye bitch, and is also mentally deranged.”
Honorable Good Boy Mentions: Wolverine in Logan and the crystal foxes in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.