Pharaoh Haqq Presents: White Dog
Samuel Fuller’s throat-grabbing exposé on American racism was misunderstood and withheld from release when it was made in the early eighties; today, the notorious film is lauded for its daring metaphor and gripping pulp filmmaking. Kristy McNichol stars as a young actress who adopts a lost German shepherd, only to discover through a series of horrifying incidents that the dog has been trained to attack black people, and Paul Winfield plays the animal trainer who tries to cure him. A snarling, uncompromising vision, White Dog is a tragic portrait of the evil done by that most corruptible of animals: the human being.
The film’s theatrical release was suppressed for a week in the United States by Paramount Pictures out of concern over negative press after rumors began circulating that the film was racist. Prior to the date, it was released internationally in France in July 1982. Its first official American home video release came in December 2008 when The Criterion Collection released the original uncut film to DVD.
Critics praised the film’s hard-line look at racism and Fuller’s use of melodrama and metaphors to present his argument, and its somewhat disheartening ending that leaves the impression that while racism is learned, it cannot be cured. Reviewers consistently questioned the film’s lack of wide release in the United States when it was completed and applauded its belated release by Criterion.
“A powerful saga about racism.” Rovi
“Hate is a dog from hell in White Dog, Samuel Fuller’s abused and abandoned late-career masterpiece about homegrown racism.” Slant Magazine
“A misunderstood masterpiece – not just a poignant movie about racism, but also a stellar example of how genre film can be effectively used to address a society’s ills.” Camp Blood
- 6/22 | 8:30PM