I don’t think I’ve laughed and cried so much in my life as I did watching this 2011 family movie. Based on a true story and Australian legend, it’ll soften the hardest of hearts. I just loved it.
For anyone who hasn’t yet seen it or for readers from o/s who might not know much about it ….
Red Dog was a lovable kelpie/cattle dog owned by a mining community in Western Australia in the 1970s who was made an honorary member of the workers union. After living in the community for a few years, he roamed hundreds of kilometers around Australia searching for his master, a bus driver he befriended, then returned to the area he had lived in some years later. The movie is a wonderful mixture of the actor dog’s naturally cheerful personality (this doggy’s acting is better than most human actors – true story!), factual information, legend, and embellished comedy with a bit of cleverly manipulated computer graphics thrown in.
The movie portrays the community and time well – no holds barred Australian mining workers, a timely pop culture reference (a trip to the drive-in to see the movie Jaws has a very funny result) stubbies and singlets, irreverent and cheeky dialogue, the dusty town pub, living and working in an isolated place, all brought together by a nostalgic 1970s soundtrack. I also appreciated the achingly beautiful cinematography; some scenes showing lonely and dusty dessert roads, yet others showing the beauty of the harbour and the pure colours of outback sunsets.
This cute little rascal got up to all sorts of shenanigans such as hitching a ride by standing in the middle of the road until drivers were forced to stop and pick him up. He insisted on getting on the bus, always sitting in the seat behind the driver and had a long standing conflict with his nemesis, a cat who lived in the local caravan park (the fight between Red Dog and Red Cat is hysterical).
Legend has it a lady picked up the real Red Dog one day, took him to where she thought he wanted to go but he wouldn’t get out of the car. She then drove to another town, then another until she found the right one and Red Dog got out of the car and trotted away.
There’s absolutely nowhere like my country and this movie reminded me of that and how much I love it.
Image from movie: Red Dog, Australia, 2011, director – Kriv Stenders via Albert Music
Image of Harbour bridge belongs to me