HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
   
 
Newest Articles
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood It's A Dog All Right
Year: 1976
Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Madeline Kahn, Bruce Dern, Art Carney, Phil Silvers, Teri Garr, Ron Liebman, Sterling Holloway, William Demarest, Rory Calhoun, Billy Barty, Ricardo Montalban, Aldo Ray, Yvonne De Carlo, Andy Devine, Broderick Crawford, Dean Stockwell, Victor Mature
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: A group of tourists are being shown around the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but when they reach a couple of pawprints in cement with the name Won Ton Ton next to them, they are baffled as to who that could possibly be. The tour guide sets them straight after telling them to shut up, and so we travel back to the mid-twenties where a large, stray dog was about to be put to death at the pound because nobody had claimed him. However, this was one wily pooch, and he escaped, played dead in one of the cages, then attacked the dog catchers and locked them in. Freedom and stardom beckoned!

Michael Winner proved with Won Ton Ton that he was not the best choice for directing a comedy after the sixties had finished, as his tendency towards the crasser end of the entertainment spectrum was in full flow by the time this happened along. It was one of those flop movies that hoped to cash in on the seventies nostalgia, which centred in Hollywood terms at least around the classic movies that were being repeated all over the world on television, and if you were lucky, at revivals in independent cinemas. Among these were Nickelodeon, W.C. Fields and Me, Gable and Lombard, with Under the Rainbow probably representing the last of the cycle.

Nevertheless, the idea that packing your movie with famous faces was one which stretched back to Around the World in Eighty Days and beyond to the flagwavers of the forties, Hollywood Canteen and the like, and one which is still revived albeit not in so committed a form to the would-be family hits of today. Robert Altman probably showed the most creative side of this method in The Player, but rest assured Michael Winner in 1976 was no Robert Altman, and Won Ton Ton became a briefly notorious failure before sinking into obscurity. The main problem with all those famous celebs was that most were hasbeens, and besides, they were so old it would be surprising if you recognised even half of them.

Not least because the majority appeared on the screen for a matter of seconds, not even enough time to pause and say, isn't that Johnny Weissmuller? or whatever. This might not have been such a complaint if there was any wit in the script, but here was a film that paid tribute to the Golden Age with no understanding where the charm of that era's entertainment resided, so for supposed fun for all the family there was far too many gags that would not pass muster for many kids' movies even now. Indeed, there's a pall of bad taste hanging over this that sours even the nostalgic aspects, with two jokey setpieces involving attempted rape, a naked Marilyn Monroe (when she was a toddler, which somehow makes it worse) and the lead dog being repeatedly thrown against a wall.

It is supposed to be bashing against that because it has been trained to jump through walls on film sets, which not even its inspiration Rin Tin Tin would have put up with. Won becomes a movie star after latching onto struggling actress Estie (Madeline Kahn) and aspiring screenwriter Grayson (Bruce Dern, one of the most 1970s of faces here cast in a period piece), who pre-empts Jaws and The Exorcist with his ideas, but studio boss Art Carney turns him down until he sees the mutt. What nobody except the couple know is that Won only does what Estie tells him, so she has to be smuggled onto the set to encourage him to perform, although you'll be surprised there's any studio left after the orgy of destruction that passes for slapstick there. Later, Estie becomes a star alongside cross-dressing Rudolph Valentino clone Ron Leibman, fails and turns to prostitution, as meanwhile the dog attempts suicide and attacks yet more people, even drawing blood. One of the least appropriate kids movies of all time, it's almost worth catching for its sheer grotesquerie. Music by Neal Hefti.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2935 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Michael Winner  (1935 - 2013)

Opinionated British producer-director whose early comedies - You Must Be Joking, The Jokers, I'll Never Forget Whatsisname - were promising enough, but come the seventies he had settled into a pattern of overblown thrillers.

Of these, Death Wish was a huge hit, and Winner directed two similar sequels. Other films included horrors (The Nightcomers, The Sentinel), Westerns (Lawman, Chato's Land), thrillers (Scorpio, Dirty Weekend) and disastrous comedies (Bullseye!). Also a restaurant critic.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: