Who doesn’t like dogs? Sure, some of us may be more of a cat person than a dog person, but it’s hard to deny the charms of cute canines. The same applies to the movies. Even the biggest sourpuss has to enjoy it when movies use dogs well within their stories. Today I’m looking at five of my favorite movie pups. Obviously there have been many so to cut down the choices I’ve left out some obvious ones. Benji, Old Yeller, Toto – some names too obvious to mention. I also ruled out dogs that were the stars of their movies. Because of that I wouldn’t call this the definitive list, but there’s no denying that these five movie dogs are absolutely phenomenal.
#5 – Pard (“High Sierra”)
In Humphrey Bogart’s fantastic crime thriller “High Sierra” the cute little puppy Pard was more mischievous than helpful. Funny thing is Pard was played by Bogie’s own dog Zero. Pard brings such a fun injection of energy but also plenty of heart. That’s especially evident in the film’s inevitable but moving final scene. That alone seals Pard’s place on this list.
#4 – Fred (“Smokey and the Bandit”)
The road comedy “Smokey and the Bandit” is fun for several reasons. One is Jerry Reed’s character Snowman and his Basset Hound best friend Fred. It’s said Burt Reynolds personally chose the dog to play Fred because of its unruly attitude. It was a key personality trait because Fred’s unruliness is part of his hilarious charm. And also the great chemistry he has with Reed.
#3 – Milo (“The Mask”)
While you may be able to argue against “The Mask” as a movie (I still happen to enjoy it), you can’t argue against the film’s little Jack Russell terrier named Milo. He’s cute, adorable, and one heck of a four-legged comedian. Look no further than the scene where helps his owner Stanley (Jim Carrey) bust out of prison. It’s a hysterical moment that by itself makes Milo worthy of this list.
#2 – Flike (“Umberto D”)
Sure dogs can be cute and funny attention-getters. Many movies have used them that way. But in “Umberto D” by the great Vittorio De Sica, its dog is simply a companion – faithful, loving, and a true lifesaver. Flike certainly has his adorable moments, but what makes him so wonderful is his steady presence by his owner’s side even through difficult circumstances. Their relationship is sometimes heavy with sadness but it’s often tender and heartwarming which ultimately is what the owner desperately needs.
#1 – Jack (“The Artist”)
There is another Jack Russell terrier that absolutely had to make this list. Jack was not only adorable but was also a bona fide hero in the Best Picture winning “The Artist”. Jack was wonderfully played by Uggie and there was a campaign to get him recognized by the Academy. In the film Jack’s companionship proves to be vital and in the film’s big climactic scene Jack is a pivotal player. Sadly Uggie died in 2015, but I’ll always remember this energetic little scene-stealer.
There you have my picks for five of the best movie dogs. Obviously there are a number not included. What would have made your list? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.