Pub. Date:

Paperback(New Edition)

View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Wednesday, October 27


Dogs have been part of motion pictures since the movies began. They have been featured onscreen in various capacities, from any number of “man’s best friends” (Rin Tin Tin, Asta, Toto, Lassie, Benji, Uggie, and many, many more) to the psychotic Cujo. The contributors to Cinematic Canines take a close look at Hollywood films and beyond in order to show that the popularity of dogs on the screen cannot be separated from their increasing presence in our lives over the past century.

The representation and visualization of dogs in cinema, as of other animals, has influenced our understanding of what dogs “should” do and be, for us and with us. Adrienne L. McLean expertly shepherds these original essays into a coherent look at “real” dogs in live-action narrative films, from the stars and featured players to the character and supporting actors to those pooches that assumed bit parts or performed as extras. Who were those dogs, how were they trained, what were they made to do, how did they participate as characters in a fictional universe? These are a just a few of the many questions that she and the outstanding group of scholars in this book have addressed.

Often dogs are anthropomorphized in movies in ways that enable them to reason, sympathize, understand and even talk; and our shaping of dogs into furry humans has had profound effects on the lives of dogs off the screen. Certain breeds of dog have risen in popularity following their appearance in commercial film, often to the detriment of the dogs themselves, who rarely correspond to their idealized screen versions. In essence, the contributors in Cinematic Canines help us think about and understand the meanings of the many canines that appear in the movies and, in turn, we want to know more about those dogs due in no small part to the power of the movies themselves.

Related collections and offers

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813563558
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 03/27/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 264
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

 ADRIENNE L. McLEAN is a professor of film studies at the University of Texas at Dallas. She is the author or editor of many books, including Glamour in a Golden Age: Movie Stars of the 1930s (Rutgers University Press 2010), Dying Swans and Madmen: Ballet, the Body and Narrative Cinema (Rutgers University Press, 2008), and Being Rita Hayworth: Labor, Identity, and Hollywood Stardom (Rutgers University Press, 2004).  

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Wonder Dogs Adrienne L. McLean 1

Part 1 Stars and Featured Players

1 Answering a Growl: Roscoe Arbuckle's Talented Canine Co-star, Luke Joanna E. Rapf 33

2 The Dogs Who Saved Hollywood: Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin Kathryn Fuller-Seeley Jeremy Groskopf 54

3 Asta the Screwball Dog: Hollywood's Canine Sidekick Sara Ross James Castonguay 78

4 Promoting Lassie: The Animal Star and Constructions of "Ideal" American Heroism Kelly Wolf 104

Part 2 Character and Supporting Actors

5 Dogs at War: Military Dogs in Film Aaron Skabelund 123

6 Loaded Dogs: Dogs, Domesticity, and "the Wild" in Australian Cinema Jane O'Sullivan 143

7 Bullies and Curs: Overlords and Underdogs in South African Cinema Giuliana Lund 158

8 Things from Another World: Dogs, Aliens, and Antarctic Cinema Elizabeth Leane Guinevere Narraway 181

Part 3 Stock, Bits, and Extras

9 Hitchcock's Canine Uncanny Murray Pomerance 199

10 The Dog at the Side of the Shot: Incongruous Dog (Canis familiaris) Behavior in Film Alexandra Horowitz 219

Afterword: Dogs at the Digital Divide Adrienne L. McLean 235

Works Cited 251

Notes on Contributors 261

Index 265

Customer Reviews