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My Life as a Dog

My Life as a Dog

4.8 8
Director: Lasse Hallström,

Cast: Anton Glanzelius, Anki Liden, Manfred Serner


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In 1959 Sweden, young Ingemar (Anton Glanzelius) lives with his dying mother and his nasty older brother. He survives all of life's knocks by comparing himself to those who are worse off--such as Laika, the little Russian space dog who was rocketed to his death and had nothing to say in the matter. Ingemar begins to identify with Laika more and more as his mother's


In 1959 Sweden, young Ingemar (Anton Glanzelius) lives with his dying mother and his nasty older brother. He survives all of life's knocks by comparing himself to those who are worse off--such as Laika, the little Russian space dog who was rocketed to his death and had nothing to say in the matter. Ingemar begins to identify with Laika more and more as his mother's health deteriorates, at times dropping to all fours and baying at the moon. When his mother is advised to get some peace and quiet away from her children, Ingemar is sent to live with his loveable uncle and aunt. For the first time, the boy is surrounded by relatives and classmates who pose no threat and who genuinely like him. He even has a sexual awakening. When his mother dies, he no longer rationalizes his misfortunes by comparing himself to those less fortunate; from now on, he can conjure up pleasant memories of his summer away from home to sustain him through the hard times. My Life as a Dog (Mitt Liv Som Hund) is based on the autobiographical novel by Reidar Jonsson.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
It's no mistake that the main character in Mitt Liv Som Hund (1985) is named Ingemar Johansson: the film is set in the same year, 1959, that a Swedish boxer of the same name won the world heavyweight champion title from Floyd Patterson. Like his namesake, the film's fictional boy named Ingemar Johansson (Anton Glanzelius) is also a scrappy fighter, both literally and metaphorically. Ingemar climbs into the ring to learn boxing (only to be resoundingly beaten by a girl and thus experience his first sexual impulses) but his primary struggles are with poverty, neglect and abuse, challenges he faces by using his vivid imagination. Rather than being off-putting, the humorous, almost nostalgic tone of Mitt Luv Som Hund blends surprisingly well with the film's frank, dark story and situations, leaving a disquieting but simultaneously funny impression, a tribute to the skill with which the film is rendered by director Lasse Hallstrom. One of the most acclaimed films of 1985 and a success with underdog-loving American audiences at urban art house venues, Mitt Liv Som Hund won Best Foreign Language Film awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the Golden Globes, as well as earning Oscar nominations for the script and Hallstrom. Its success propelled the largely unknown Swedish director to international prominence, after over a decade as a filmmaker of romantic comedies and one concert film, ABBA: The Movie (1977). The comedy-drama fit snugly into Hallstrom's preferred type of material, which typically dealt with social iconoclasts struggling to achieve happiness in spite of their eccentricities which, as fondly depicted by the director, are almost always much less bizarre than those of their "normal" peers. Hallstrom's deft and unsentimental touch continued to serve him well as he capitalized on the success of Mitt Luv Som Hund by directing several similarly-themed Hollywood pictures such as Once Around (1991), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), and The Cider House Rules (1999). (The latter featured a main character and several cute young orphan boys who could've been Ingemar's American cousins.) The English language translation of Mitt Luv Som Hund, My Life as a Dog, was also the title of a short-lived American television series spin-off of the film in the 1990s.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
Director Halstrom has a deft touch. His scenes are adventures -- there is almost always a surprise in the offing....

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Region Code:
[Full Frame]
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Special Features

Shall We Go to My or Your Place or Each Go Home Alone? (1973), a fifty-two-minute film by Hallström, with a video introduction by the director; Video interviews with Hallström; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Anton Glanzelius Ingemar Johansson
Anki Liden Ingemar's Mother
Manfred Serner Erik
Melinda Kinnaman Saga
Tomas von Bromssen Gunnar
Ing-Marie Carlsson Berit the Artist's Model
Kicki Rundgren Aunt Ulla
Lennart Hjulström Konstnaren, The Sculptor
Christina Carlwind Mrs. Sandberg
Ralph Carlsson Harry
Didrik Gustavsson Mr. Arcidsson
Vivi Johansson Mrs. Arvidsson
Jan-Philip Hollstrom Manne
Arnold Alfredsson Manne's Grandfather
Fritz Elofsson Glassworks Master
Per Ottosson Tommy
Johanna Udehn Lilla Grodan
Susanna Wetterholm Karin
Viveca Dahlen Woman in Laundry
Klimpen Sickan
Magnus Rask Fransson
Tony Rix Actor
Leif Erickson Farbor Sandberg

Technical Credits
Lasse Hallström Director,Screenwriter
Waldemar Bergendahl Producer
Per Berglund Screenwriter
Brasse Brannstrom Screenwriter
Ann Collenberg Producer
Susanne Falck Costumes/Costume Designer
Christer Furubrand Editor
Björn Isfält Score Composer
Agneta Jalemo Makeup
Reidar Jonsson Screenwriter
Rolf Lindström Cinematographer
Susanne Linnman Editor
Helena Olofsson-Carmback Makeup
Inger Pehrsson Costumes/Costume Designer
Jörgen Persson Cinematographer
Povel Ramel Songwriter
Erik Spangenberg Producer
Lasse Westfelt Production Designer


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My Life as a Dog 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Ring-fan More than 1 year ago
Mit Live Som Hund (My Life As a Dog) is perhaps one of the finest coming-of-age stories ever put on film. Anton Glanzelius our beautiful 12 yr old hero goes through growing pains when his mum becomes ill and he has to live with quirky relatives and an equally quirky neighbourhood the boy on the (football) soccer team with green hair is a standout. Along the way, he falls in love with a girl. Every cineaste must have this in their private collection. A beautiful film.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just finished seeing it. It was recommended by a friend. I enjoyed it. The main character, Ingemar, is a little boy, about 12 yrs.old. So there is the puberty issue. The scenes are crisp and sharp, the rural village is wonderful for a young boy. They make glass so there is the molten glass and the master glass blower. There is also a sculpter, and Ingemar is her chaperone as she poses naked and he falls through the skylight as he tries to steal a look. He tells the story to his sick mom, (single parent family).
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite movies. B&N is showing it as widescreen, and I hope they correct that, since the product is actually fullscreen. If you get the wrong format, watch the movie to make yourself feel better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is so poignant, you can't help but be glued to your screen. Strong points: direction, screenplay, acting from all members of the cast, especially from Anton Glanzelius. Too bad he only made one movie. Worth seeing again and again and again...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie has haunted me since I first saw it and knew one day I would have to own it. It is sweet and tender as well as rip-your-heart-out honest. I laughed and cried. Beautifully filmed. I am placing my order today and can't wait to savor this gem again and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this for everyone in the family. Even my 8-year old son enjoyed it - he was firmly entranced, reading the subtitles. He laughed, he cried. Wow! This is a classic in my book. I rank it right up there with Old Yeller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I didn't think much of it at first, but loved the cinematography. so beautiful.. There are some scenes that just popped right out and surprised me, and I don't think I am allowed to give it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago