August 26 is National Dog Day. Here is an offbeat, unusual and unofficial day of observance that it is at least as deserving of being a national holiday as Columbus Day. Who doesn’t love dogs? Except for maybe those who live next door to one that barks all night and tears up their yard? The movies and dogs go way back so even if you don’t have a pooch to call your own, you can celebrate National Dog Day. Of course, not all movie dogs are actual canines.
Any of the series of “Blondie” movies from the 1930s and 1940s will do quite nicely as a way of celebrating National Dog Day. Daisy Bumstead is a vital element to the long term enjoyment of this series. In fact, I have already declared Daisy to be the greatest movie dog of all time. Yes, that’s right: better than Rin Tin Tin, Won Ton Ton, Lassie or that copycat from “The Artist.” If you truly believe that dogs are endowed with the best traits that humanity has to offer, you’ll fall in love with Daisy from the “Blondie” movie series.
Dog Day Afternoon
As indicated, not every memorable movie dog has four legs. One of the best movies with the word “dog” in the title for watching as part of your commemoration of National Dog Day is “Dog Day Afternoon.” What stars out as just another bank robbery soon becomes the kind of media event that seems far more timely today than it did back in the 1970s. Al Pacino’s character turns the simple little bank robbery into Reality TV event when things suddenly go horribly wrong. From that moment on, “Dog Day Afternoon” turns into a series of increasingly surprising revelations about the bank robbers that gradually turn transform from folk heroes into objects of derision of the crowd outside and those watching on TV at home learn the real reason behind the robbery.
Best in Show
Many movies about dogs present the dogs as the main character or as the character upon who the plot turns. “Best in Show” is an example of a movie even rarer than those featuring pregnant women that is not about having a baby. The dogs are there in almost every scene, but they never really get the chance to show their personalities or get treated as individuals. Since this is a mockumentary about the world of show dog competitions, director Christopher Guest may be making his sharpest satirical point of all without revealing a single sharp claw. After all, when you watch the real dog shows which the film mocks, have you ever noticed that these outstanding examples of the dog world usually lack any sense of personality easily found in the most common mutt in the neighborhood?
A Goofy Movie
The argument goes that Walt Disney’s character of Goofy is a dog. I don’t buy it. I mean, Disney already had Pluto who looks like a dog and acts like a dog. Goofy doesn’t have much about him that is canine in either appearance or behavior. “A Goofy Movie” may be the film meant to settle this argument once and for all, but this is one conspiracy theory I buy.
For more from Timothy Sexton, Yahoo!’s first Writer of the Year, check out:
Best Movie Dog Ever: Daisy
Why the Real Lassie was a Male Dog