White Dog

Institute History

  • 1988 Sundance Film Festival


From “The White Dog Talks” by Samuel Fuller, Fuller “interviewed” the title actor of the movie in VARIETY, 1981
DOG: Sure it’s a delicate subject, one never make before. Sure it’s about a dog sane one minute, insane the next. But to tell it with action, suspense, romance, humor, heart and hate and love, hell, that’s emotional . . . an emotional thriller . . . And it has something to say, to think about, to rage. Above all, to feel.
SF: Will blacks like the movie?
DOG: Yes.
SF: And bigots?
DOG: They’ll denounce it.
SF: Why?
DOG: Because you show them naked for what they are. They’ll call it unAmerican, socialistic, communistic, liberal crap—anything to muzzle an outcry on film against a disease created by man. I’ve never met an animal bigot. Never. Can you imagine horses lynching a zebra because of its stripes? Man is capable of hatred. Animals are not . . .
SF: Romain Gary’s story was about a dog that one day appeared at Gary’s door. Gary took him in, grew fond of him, discovered to his horror that it was a racist dog, took him to a white man to be reconditioned, but a black worker got hold of the animal and retrained him to attack whites—making it a black dog. It’s horrible enough that a white racist make a dog into a bigot, but having a black retrain it to attack whites compounds that horror. To me, such a story is a racist story against blacks and I’d never make that kind of film. (In the film, the Black scientist played by Paul Winfield tries to cure the dog.)
DOG: I see . . .now I understand you more than before. You saw a chance to rip off the KKK skin and expose to what inhuman depths a racist sinks when he creates a white dog.
SF: Right. In Frankenstein, the monster’s crimes were great, but the greater crime was Dr. Frankenstein for having created the monster.

— From “The White Dog Talks” by Samuel Fuller.

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]