Dogfight

Dogfight

5.0 1
Director: Nancy Savoca

Cast: Nancy Savoca, River Phoenix, Lili Taylor, Richard Panebianco

     
 

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River Phoenix stars in this period drama about a young man, naive in some ways and worldly in others, who learns an important lesson about the nature of beauty. In the fall of 1963, Eddie Birdlace (River Phoenix) is an 18-year-old Marine Corps volunteer who is about to ship out with three of his buddies for a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Planning a massive blowout for… See more details below

Overview

River Phoenix stars in this period drama about a young man, naive in some ways and worldly in others, who learns an important lesson about the nature of beauty. In the fall of 1963, Eddie Birdlace (River Phoenix) is an 18-year-old Marine Corps volunteer who is about to ship out with three of his buddies for a tour of duty in Viet Nam. Planning a massive blowout for their last night in San Francisco, Eddie, his buddies, and a number of other Marines set up a contest they call a "dog fight." Each man contributes $50 to the pot, and whoever can bring the ugliest date for their meeting that night at the bar wins the prize. Not having much luck finding a suitable contestant, Eddie finds a plain and slightly zaftig woman named Rose Feeney (Lili Taylor), who works in a coffeeshop and dreams of a career as a folk singer. Rose agrees to go out with Eddie, partly because she feels sorry for him, but as the evening wears on, Eddie finds himself growing fond of Rose and tries to worm his way out of taking her to the "party" he's told her so much about. When Rose learns the true nature of the contest, she is furious, not just for herself but for the other women who were cruelly and pointlessly humiliated; Eddie, severely chagrined, asks her out to dinner, hoping to somehow earn her forgiveness. Noted folk singer Holly Near appears as Rose's mother.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
One of the best films of River Phoenix's all-too-brief career, Dogfight was widely overlooked in its 1991 release. Like the relationship between its two protagonists, the film is an understated, nuanced affair, built on character development and interaction rather than showy romantic spectacle. Phoenix and Lili Taylor are terrifically subtle, rejecting the opportunity to stereotype their characters, a macho Marine and a plain poet. Thanks to their portrayals and Nancy Savoca's patient direction, Dogfight emerges as more a satisfying character study than a "lesson" film. From the outset, we know that Phoenix's Eddie isn't all bad, Taylor's Rose isn't at all ugly, and the two will end up teaching each other about life; but the joy of watching the film is witnessing the characters discover things about themselves, each other, and the world in general. Set against the early years of the Vietnam War, Dogfight echoes with tender, well-placed poignancy. In watching Rose and Eddie spend the night together, the audience seems to be witnessing the world's last oasis of sanity and understanding.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/22/2013
UPC:
0883316690956
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Archives
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Full Frame]
Time:
1:34:00
Sales rank:
11,868

Special Features

Closed-Caption Feature-length audio commentary by director Nancy Savoca and producer Richard Guay

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
River Phoenix Eddie Birdlace
Lili Taylor Rose Fenney
Richard Panebianco Berzin
Anthony Clark Okie Buele
Mitchell Whitfield Benjamin
Holly Near Rose Sr.
Dale Carman Restaurant Maitre d'
George Evans Bus Driver
Burke Pearson Waiter
Chris San Nicholas Dogfight Buddy
Charles F. Vetter Truckstop Waitress
Sue Morales Ruth Two Bears
Christina Mastin Linda
Christopher Shaw Donavin
John Lacy Fector
Brian Gotta Dogfight Marine
Peg Phillips Older Cafe Customer
Neal Allen Sergeant Judge
Ron Lynch Lance Corporal Judge
Angie Utt Thrift Shop Woman
Julian Schembri Navy Bill
Barb Benedetti Alice
Ivars Mikelson Bob
Brendan Fraser 1st Sailor
Matt Skerritt 2nd Sailor
Dion Williams Older Brother on Bus
Jason Moore Younger Brother on Bus
Denise Williams Mother on Bus
Kristie Gamer Pretty Girl
Dave MacIntyre Bartender
Art Cahn Bar Owner
Bob Munns 50's Drinker
Jessica Wallenfells Arcade Girl
Bonnie Fox Arcade Hooker
Sandra Ellis Lafferty Crying Woman
Joseph Franklin Crying Customer
Frank Walters Newscaster
Jacob Luft Neighborhood Boy
Constance McCord Dogfight Waitress
Krisha Fairchild Truckstop Cook
Jillian Armenante Girl on Street
Anne Elizabeth Washburn Friend of Girl on Street
John Fry Marine on Bus
Albert Farrar Corpsman
Raf Orozco Hippie
Kenneth Utt Thrift Shop Man
Elizabeth Daily Marcy

Technical Credits
Nancy Savoca Director
Eugenie Bafaloukos Costumes/Costume Designer
Bobby Bukowski Cinematographer
Lester Cohen Production Designer
Bob Comfort Screenwriter
Mason K. Daring Score Composer
Marion Dougherty Casting
Richard Guay Producer
Jessica Lanier Set Decoration/Design
Peter Newman Producer
Cathleen Summers Executive Producer
Daniel Talpers Art Director
John Tintori Editor
Llewellyn Wells Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Dogfight
1. Elite Group. [4:34]
2. Four Bs Go Hunting. [4:15]
3. Music Notes With Rose. [3:51]
4. Making A Date. [3:50]
5. Preparations. [2:19]
6. Art Of Lipstick. [2:20]
7. The Nitelite. [4:39]
8. Judges' Decision. [2:49]
9. The Truth. [4:37]
10. Fun Land. [1:28]
11. Backyard Assault. [3:28]
12. A Regular Date. [3:08]
13. Man With A Mission. [2:53]
14. Accursed Dinner. [4:27]
15. On The Town. [2:24]
16. Buzzing Bs. [3:54]
17. Changing The World. [2:35]
18. Still Life Café. [3:41]
19. Slow Dancing. [3:37]
20. Skin Flick Squad. [:48]
21. Rose's House. [5:53]
22. Lovers. [4:27]
23. Buddies And Americans. [4:50]
24. November 22, 1963. [1:37]
25. Vietnam 1966. [1:13]
26. Things Have Changed. [4:08]
27. Held Tight. [2:37]
28. End Credits. [2:46]

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