film stars

Movies/videos starring Poodles!*

April in Paris (1952). Warner Bros. Directed by David Butler, starring Doris Day and Ray Bolger. Ethel "Dynamite" Jackson is a chorus girl who mistakenly receives an invitation from the State Department to represent American theatre at an arts exposition in Paris, France. S. Winthrop Putnam, the bureaucrat who made the error, fails to correct his mistake. Off to Paris--where they meet and marry (they think). This movie contains seven Poodles, including "Ch Palmares Couronne D'or (Shamie) who was dyed teal blue, and Ch Palmares Blonde Au Frais (Candi), who was dyed yellow. Candi came in heat and missed most of the movie. The other five Poodles were champions belonging to Marian Spires." EU, 5/7/98, after conversation with Janet Blannin (Palmares).

Best in Show (2000). Castle Rock Entertainment (a Time Warner company) production released by Warner Bros. Directed by Christopher Guest. Big conformation dog show features white Standard Poodle, Rhapsody in White, handled by top-notch professional Christy Cummings (Jane Lynch), and a Toy Poodle (also a mysterious as-yet-unidentified Mini in a Group scene). For a review of this movie by CKC all-breed conformation judge Mike Macbeth (he loved it!), see "Best in Show -- the movie", Dogs in Canada, November, 2000, pp. 24-8; a sidebar, "Behind the Scenes" by dog-show expert Carol Garvin (she acted as consultant) gives an inside story. As for the Poodles we see on the silver screen, the Standard is represented by three stars:

  • CKC Ch Exxel Dezi Duz It With Pizzaz, sired by AKC Ch Blueskies Full of Mischief out of AKC Ch Fantasia Black Magic, and owned and bred by Suzanne Warrington of Bellingham, Washington; we see "Desi" in the early scenes.
  • Tarquin La Vita E Bella, sired by AKC Ch Revendune Bon Jovi out of AKC Ch Halcyon Hallellujah, owned by Christian Manelopoulos who lived in Washington State at the time of the filming; "Gina" was used in still photography -- the promo shots, and so on.
  • Brocade Exclamation, out of AKC Ch Bouquet Vavoom by AKC Ch Pinafore Proud Boy, bred by Gloria and Steve Walkley and Jeff Burmeister, of Olympia, Washington, and owned by Kevin Patton, Jeff Burmeister, and Gloria Walkley; "Porsche" is the dog primarily used in the Group and BIS scenes.
    Standard Poodle "staffing" was supported by breeder Suzanne Loblaw of Vancouver.
  • The Toy Poodle who wins 2nd in Group is CKC Ch Valcopy Sheer Glamour, by Am./Jap. Ch Valcopy Marky Mark out of Valcopy Sheer Misery, bred by Dana Plonkey and owned by Dana Plonkey and Beth Hilborn of Vancouver, BC.

    Bingo! (1991). TriStar Pictures. Produced by Thomas Baer, starring Cindy Williams and David Rasche, Bingo! is about a mixed breed's adventures trying to reunite with his boy. The producer wanted to make a movie that depicted the esteem in which he had, as a boy, held his own dogs. In the beginning of the movie, Bingo is living with a circus family which has a trained act consisting of three Miniature Poodles. The Poodles are white, immaculately groomed, and obviously well-bred. There are several scenes involving the Minis. Anyone interested in seeing an extraordinarly well-trained movie dog will love this movie. (Note from Heidi Bellamy, 10 January 1998: "In the movie Bingo! I believe the dogs' names are Ch Braylane Blitz and Ch Braylane Sheer Bliss--mother of Ch Braylane Bugsby who won top awards at PCA national a while ago and was a top Mini in the States. The third Poodle was their son. They were owned by Judy Bray...") Video available.

    Dog Park (1998). Written/directed by Bruce McCulloch, who appears in this film along with his Standard Poodle, Kelsey. This romantic comedy (pokes fun at post break-up behaviours) stars Luke Wilson (Bottle Rocket); Janeane Garofalo (The Matchmaker; The Larry Sanders Show); Natasha Henstridge (Species); Mark McKinney (Kids in the Hall) in the role of a dead-pan dog-therapist uncomfortable with people; McCulloch (Kids in the Hall) as half of a well-matched couple (other half = Garofalo); five other (human) actors; and 27 dogs auditioned at BRB Canine Services in Mississauga, Ontario (dog hero is a Border Collie). Filmed (during November 1997) in Trinity Bellwoods park in Toronto. See "Bruce McCulloch goes to the dogs," The Globe and Mail, Saturday, 8 November 1997, p. C4. NOW, 10-16 September 1998, review by Ingrid Randoja.

    Doughgirls, The (1944). USA. Directed by James V. Kern. Arthur Halstead (Jack Carson I) and Vivian Marsden (Jane Wyman) are just married but when they get to their honeymoon suite in Washington, DC, it's occupied. Arthur goes to meet his new boss, and when he returns he finds three girls in the suite; he orders Vivian to kick them out, but they're friends of Vivian's... And, "the main character, Jane Wyman, has a black Standard Poodle whom she calls 'Dukie.' The movie is about the housing/hotel room shortage in Washington, DC during WWII." LH, May 2000.

    Duke, The (1999). Great Britain. Directed by Philip Spink. "About a Coonhound who inherits his owner's dukedom. The Coonhound, Hubert, loves a Basset Hound named Daisy. A Standard Poodle plays the vamp who tries to steal Hubert's affections. CD, June 2000.

    Edward Scissorhands (1990). 20th Century Fox. Directed by Tim Burton. Mordant fairy tale about Edward who has scissors instead of hands, shows talent cutting (Poodle) hair; wins hearts. Video available. Here's a review by VH (Oct. '98): "This is a wonderful fairy tale with a sad ending. The stars: Johnny Depp (Edward); Vincent Price (in his last film, as the toy inventor), and Wynona Rider as the object of Edward's love. Edward is discovered by the Avon Lady who takes him home to suburbia to live a normal life. Edward is handicapped by the use of multiple pairs of scissors in place of hands. But he finds his niche with the neighbor ladies and is active cutting and styling hair, shrubs, and, yes! You guessed it! Dogs-- particularly a white Standard Poodle named Alexis. After visiting Edward she sports a clip of perfect circles all over her body. Edward gets into some trouble, and a little brush with police turns into a man-hunt and murder. But into every life a little rain must fall, in this case it is snow in Florida, and the fairy tale lives on for the family, retold over and over. The end will get to you: a box of Kleenex is mandatory. Dogs were provided for this movie by Gina Rubinich (her mother, F. Rubinich breeds Toys under the Hellsablazen prefix) Wieser in Florida....This is a wonderful movie that can be watched over and over."

    GW wrote (10/98) that she "worked on the set for about four months; it truly was a fun experience for everyone involved. I was the groomer and found most of the dogs that appeared. The Hollywood Animal trainers were in Florida to track down a place to board the three dogs coming from Calif. to appear in the movie. They came to the board & groom establishment that I managed for a local vet. Some of my show pictures were hanging on the wall, & they asked if I groomed my showdogs. Well, of course the answer was yes. I was hired on the spot to groom, create the clips, & help find additional local dogs for the movie. What a hoot! The dog in the scene where Edward is being interviewed on the T.V. show is a BayBreeze Ch. bitch (call name "Breezey"?), owned by Sandy & Simon Dingfelder of Dade City, FL. The dog called Alexis (also her real-life call name) in the same haircut (polkadots), is a white bitch owned by Joe T. Kenel and bred by Betsey Hicka (Jonbets) of Brandon FL. A third white Standard bred by Betsey was on standby as an understudy for the first two; he's the dog whom some remember exhibiting in Open obedience at PCA National in the early '90's in his polkadots. I remember there being a little tadoo about whether or not the trim was 'legal' for obedience; I want to think he was a veteran. Neither bitch was obedience trained, so it was smart to have a dog that was, in case either of the girls became distracted during their debuts. The girls were able to pull it off, though. There was a fourth white Standard (the before-trimmed dog in the Alexis scene, lying next to the topiary) . He was a pound rescue, 11 years old, named Caspar. He'd been rescued by the Hollywood Animal guys & had been a movie dog for years. I chalked & trimmed him into an Airedale in one of the final scenes, when people are going to the castle to find Edward. They were reluctant to let me polkadot him because they were sure that he might need to play the fuzzy dog parts. Caspar retired after the movie; became a member of my family for his remaining years. He was so smart. On hand command only he would crawl, walk my kids by the hand, speak, he was a great guy. We loved him."

    Elvira Mistress of the Dark (1988). USA. Directed by Phil Rubenstein. Comedy starring TV horror hostess (Cassandra Peterson), who inherits a delapidated house and a white Miniature Poodle named Algonquin (whom she nicknames Gonk). "Gonk turns out to be a witch's familiar with the ability to morph into a Rottweiler." JS, June 2000.

    Emperor Waltz, The (1948). Paramount Pictures. Setting: Austria. American photograph salesman romances an emperor's niece. American JRT-mix romances emperor's niece's top-pedigree black SP. The JRT-mix gets the Poodle with three puppies, and the American salesman gets the emperor's niece. Starring Bing Crosby, but "the black Standard Poodle...did a great job and in my opinion took the continental. Pretty cool.... A great delight to watch." (RC, 23/6/'98.)

    Evita (1996). Cinergi Pictures ("most anticipated motion picture event of the year"). Black and white TPs (Minis?). Video available.

    Frankenweenie (1984). Walt Disney Productions. Directed by Tim Burton, released on video by Disney Studios (copyright 1984); this short film (30 minutes) is a spoof on the movie Frankenstein. A boy brings his Bull Terrier, Sparky, back to life after he is hit by a car. A black Mini Poodle co-stars as Frankenweenie's love interest (the Bride of Frankenstein) complete with the white streaks up through her topknot. Video available.

    Gambler III: The Legend Continues, aka Kenny Rogers as The Gambler, Part III -- The Legend Continues (1987) (TV) (available in video). Directed by Dick Lowry, starring Kenny Rogers and Linda Gray, and Katherine Bryce's white Standard Poodle, "Barbary Lady, who looked so pitiful at the end of a leash held by the bad guy's secretary. In the film, the dog is eaten by Chinese railway workers or Indians, I forget which, but in the real world she earned dog food for her entire life that summer--and this obedience, Drill Team, Therapy Dog, and erstwhile show dog lived to be nearly 13 years old." Video available.

    Guys and Dolls (1955). MGM. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, and Frank Sinatra. "Great" black Poodle walks through two scenes.

    K-9 (1989). Universal Pictures. Lead role played by a German Shepherd Dog whose side-kick in the police department is a cop played by James Bulushi and whose (very briefly encountered, alas) lady-friend is a white Standard Poodle. Video available.

    K911 (1999). USA. Directed by Charles T. Kanganis. Lead role is again played by a German Shepherd Dog, whose side-kick in the police department continues to be a cop played by James Bulushi, with a colleague, Mac (Jerry Lee). This time around, there's also a Dobe handled by a female police officer, and "the Poodle comes in the form of a love interest for Jerry Lee; it seems Jerry Lee is a Standard Poodle only kind of guy." JS, June 2000.

    Little Women There are six movie versions of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women (see Poodle Lit. 101). Since Aunt March owned an (odious) Poodle, each version should contain a Poodle.

  • (1918) Silent movie.
  • (1933) RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. Katharine Hepburn plays Jo. Available for purchase.
  • (1949) MGM. Elizabeth Taylor plays Amy March, and Peter Lawford is Laurie. Available for purchase.
  • (1978) Universal/Groverton Productions. Made for TV. Available for purchase.
  • (1979) TV series.
  • (1994) Columbia Pictures. Directed by Gillian Armstrong; Aunt March played by Mary Wickes; the Poodle may be played by a Bichon. (What do you think?) Here's one opinion: "Looks like a Poodle to me.... He is well-mannered, and sits on Aunt March's lap in every scene except two. He looks like a puppy who never had his hair cut." FC 14/07/98. Available for purchase.

    Look Who's Talking Now (1993). TriStar Pictures. Features white SP named Daphne (voice provided by Diane Keaton) who stars opposite a mutt named Rocks (voice by Danny DeVito). Daphne appears in continental clip, grown out to about 1/4" in all shaved areas. Video available.

    Murder, She Wrote (US TV series, 1984-96). Universal Pictures. In this series, mystery writer Jessica B. Fletcher finds herself right in the middle of one murder investigation after another! 5th episode in the 6th season, "Jack and Bill" (29/10/89), is narrated (but not starred in) by Jessica, and contains a male SP named Jack. "Ken Howard plays Bill Boyle, a retired football linebacker, who had gone into the PI business. A friend of Bill's, who worked for the CIA, stopped by Bill's office one day. The friend asked Bill to take care of Jack (a cream colored Standard Poodle) for a few hours. When his friend turns up dead later that day, Bill is stuck with this 'dainty fru fru' Poodle -- not his idea of a DOG. Bill is forced to take Jack along on a case. Later he learns that Jack is a 'highly trained CIA operative.' Jack earns Bill's respect and the two become partners." CD, 14/6/98.

    Oliver & Company(1988). Walt Disney Productions. "A full-length Disney animated movie, it's Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist--with a twist. The characters are all dogs, except Oliver, who’s an orphaned kitten. The last half of the movie features a Standard Poodle named Georgette. She’s glamorous, narcissistic, and conniving. A line in one of her songs (Georgette’s voice is done by Bette Midler): '...perfect isn’t easy, but it’s me.' Excellent animation, storyline, characters, and music." CD, 12/99. Video available.

    Paradise Road (1997). "Fox Searchlight Pictures. Starring Glenn Close, Julianna Margulies, Cate Blancette, Jennifer Ehle, Frances McDormand, Pauline Collins.... Intense drama about women prisoners of war interred on Sumatra during WW2, stars a brown miniature poodle. The poodle is seen in the very first scene of the movie, sitting at the table with her mistress, Mrs. Roberts (portrayed by Elizabeth Spriggs), at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and is one of the main characters throughout. Appearing quite coiffed during the early scenes, she, like her human co-stars, begins to look more and more like a poodle prisoner of war as the story progresses. Predictably, she is referred to as a potential food source by the starving, mistreated women prisoners. She stars in her own solo/cameo scene which is extrememly disturbing and if one didn't know that animal cruelty was not allowed on movie sets, would swear that the poor dog was hurt. It would spoil the movie for someone who hasn't seen it to say what eventually happened to the poodle. The movie is very powerful and disturbing in many ways and probably not a good movie for those easily bothered by violence. In the end though, it is an uplifting story and difficult not to watch to the very end. I believe it is based on a true story." MB, 10/2000.

    Razor's Edge, The (1946). Based on W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge, first published in the United States by Doubleday & Co. Inc., in 1943, 1944; in Great Britain by William Heinemann Limited in 1944. (There isn't a Poodle in the book: we read every word make certain of that!) Tyrone Power's first film after he returned from WWII. A black Standard Poodle is seen (very briefly!) twice, apparently belongs to Uncle Elliott (Elliott Templeton/Clifton Webb) because first seen in Chicago where he's visiting his sister (Louisa Bradley/Lucile Watson), and then again at his house in Paris; however it could be that both brother and sister own black Standard Poodles with tails cropped a bit short and somewhat reluctant to obey the manservant.

    Rear Window (1954). USA. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring James Stewart (wheel-chair-bound hero who spies on neighbors from his apartment window and concludes one--Raymond Burr lookalike--has committed murder) and Grace Kelly (hero's glamourous girlfriend). "A white SP makes a very brief cameo appearance, walking from right to left on the sidewalk in front of the murderer's (i.e. Raymond Burr's) apartment building (as viewed from Jimmy Stewart's rear window, of course)." KF, 3 August 2000. Must be strong (or in possession of a one-track Poodle-mind), to watch Rear Window for a cameo appearance by a white SP!

    Richard A. Wolters FAMILY DOG (1998). Based on Wolters' book, Family Dog. Produced by Joseph Middleton. Scriptwriter: Billy Fields (wrote for the--old--sitcom, Taxi). About how a family trains their own Lab. SP has the "catalyst" role of Pierre, who is professionally trained and belongs to the next door neighbor. In Pierre's first scene he goes to the refrigerator and gets out three cokes. In his second scene, owner hands him a letter to mail. Pierre carries it out of the room, across the front lawn, and up to the mailbox. He paws the lid of the mailbox open, puts the letter inside, noses the lid shut, and goes around to nose up the flag. Third scene...well, we don't want to spoil it for you. In real life, Pierre (whose real name is Stoney), is loved and owned (and trained) by Charlene Dunlap. This video can be ordered from:
    Mid-Carolina Media, Inc.
    10713 Cheshire Court
    Raleigh, NC 27615
    FAX (919) 847-6265
    Cost is $29.95 plus shipping.

    Ruthless People (1986), Disney. Starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater. "The poodle actor, named 'Muffie,' a white miniature poodle, and DeVito's character share an apparent mutual dislike for one another. During the early parts of the movie, DeVito even goes so far as to try to shoot the little dog but misses. He later 'hires' an attack dog, a rather handsome black and rust Doberman Pinscher named 'Adolf,' to do away with Muffie. Muffie and Adolf become great pals and appear in a later scene in the movie each carrying a shredded remnant of DeVito's character's silk tuxedo. I checked a couple of places but couldn't find the actual names of the dog actors." MB, 5/9/2000.

    Sabrina, The Teenage Witch (1996) (TV). A girl, sent by her parents to live with her two eccentric aunts, finds out on her sixteenth birthday that she is a witch. Sabrina turns her rival into a barky little pesty Poodle (actually adorable, not annoying at all). Video available.

    Secret Life of Girls, The AKA Unglued (1999). USA. Directed by Holly Goldberg Sloan. Comedy about family breakup; sympathetic family dog is black Standard Poodle, Robair (what's written in block capitals above his dog house dog, perhaps by a child who hasn't yet taken French). Available on video from Blockbusters as of 22/05/00.

    She Devil (1989). Orion Pictures. Starring Rosanne Barr and Meryl Streep. Poodle, named Juliet, is treated rather badly and is killed off in the first hour or so: while chasing a stick she leaps over a cliff to her death. Video available.

    Sophia and Constance. British TV drama (shown in British Columbia on Classic Theatre on the Knowledge Network in January, 2000) from Arnold Bennett's The Old Wives' Tale (see Poodle Lit. 101; first published 1908). In Episode 5, Sophia's French Poodle, Fossette, is played by a silver SP in continental. (In the book, Fossette's colour is unmentioned, and her size appears to be approximately the same as that of her smooth FT companion, Spot, because they play--and fight--without exciting undue concern.)

    Surviving Picasso (1996). Warner Bros. "Only his passion for women could rival his passion for painting." Miniature Poodles appear for just a few seconds, doing a circus act. One walking upright with front paws on a large ball, four others following, "conga-line" style. Video available.

    Sweet Dreams of Bleu (1999). Charlene Dunlap: writer, director, editor, and she also provided most of the "talent"--this film stars Standard Poodles: Stoney, April, Bleu, Shay, and Ricky. This is a romantic comedy--"romantic, tenderhearted Stoney has invited the dazzling young Bleu to dinner and dancing, but mischievous April is going to do everything in her power to keep them apart." Approx. 30 minutes. To order, mail a cheque for $US15 + $US3.50 shipping (plus $US1. tax NC residents) to Canine Horizons, PO Box 1576, Pittsboro, NC 27312 USA.

    That Old Feeling (1997). Universal Pictures. Leslie Dixon (producer/screenwriter), and Bonnie Bruckheimer (producer), directed by Carl Reiner. Filmed in April 1996; stars three TPs which appear in various scenes throughout the movie. Ch. Navereau Party Man (Mickey), Navereau Melody CD ADC (Melody) and Navereau Rhythm all belong to Cathy Siverns. Available to rent (as of October 1997) at your local video rental...

    Theatre of Blood (1973), aka Much Ado about Murder. United Artists. Actor Edward Lionheart (Vincent Price) is into killing off critics, one by one, basing the murders on plots from Shakespeare plays. Meredith Merridew (Robert Morley) owns two Poodles, his "children", which get cooked à la Titus Andronicus. Video available.

    Travels With Charley, NBC production made (in the late sixties) from John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley: in Search of America (see Poodle Lit. 101). Steinbeck and his French-born "bleu" Standard Poodle, Charley go west in outfitted pickup truck, "Rocinante" (now at home in the Main Exhibit Gallery of the National Steinbeck Center at Salinas, CA). Charley was played by a blue male, AKC Ch. Palmares S'il Vous Plait, call name "Slats"--until he did the movie, and then he was Charley. Slats/Charley was bred by Joy Davidson, taken as a stud fee puppy by Janet Blannin (Palmares), who says (Mar. '99) that Charles Schultz of "Peanuts" was one of the producers of the film. Unfortunately not available in video.

    Wild and Wonderful (1964; USA), directed by Michael Anderson. Monsieur Cognac (aka The Poodle), a French TV star, creates a slapstick situation-comedy when he becomes jealous of the new husband (Terry Williams, played by Tony Curtis) of his mistress (Giselle Ponchon, played by Christine Kaufmann).

    Witches (1967; USA), starring Silvana Mangano and Clint Eastwood. Fantasy anthology film; in the Eastwood episode, Eastwood battles comic characters Flash Gordon, Batman and Mandrake the Magician. For this film, a series of lobby cards, #5 of the set, 11"x14" US, shows female star, Mangano, holding a small white Poodle in the air.

    *Sharp-eyed volunteers flagged these Poodle-films, and the source of many details was the Internet Movie Database.

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