The Most Important Movie Question: Does the Dog Die?

What is the most important aspect of a Hollywood film?  Is it the inspirational drama?  Is it the trials and tribulations of the protagonist?  Is it Leonardo Dicaprio? (Deserves an Oscar) For me, it's none of the above.  What matters most to me is DOES THE DOG DIE. Now, thanks to a wonderful website called, we no longer need wonder. Does the dog die So, I thought it would be fun and educational for us to take a look at some of the biggest movies where the dog survives...and some where the dog dies.   SURVIVES Let's start with Independence Day.  In a dramatic scene, a fire ball rushes through a tunnel.  The golden lab jumps and makes it just in time.  This scene makes up for much of the rest of the movie.   DIES A terribly sad dog death occurs in I Am Legend.  Will Smith's dog saves him from the zombie hounds, but is bitten, and Smith has to kill his best and only friend.  I'm not afraid to admit that I teared up in the theater during that scene.   SURVIVES In Man of Steel, Jonathan Kent essentially sacrifices himself to save the dog and protect Clark's secret.  A noble act Mr. Kent, as always.   DIES Many people die in Jaws, but it's the presumable death of a dog named Pippin that gets to me.  Darn you Jaws.  I guess we need to get Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider to blow you up. jaws1   SURVIVES An All-American favorite, The Sandlot is centered around baseball and one very misunderstood dog.  When the fence falls on the Beast, the boys rally around Smalls and save the pup.   DIES A true tearjerker, Marley and Me will make anyone who owns a dog cry.  Marley lives a great life, but must be put to sleep at the end of the film.  "I swear I just have something in my eye."   SURVIVES In the Mel Gibson thriller Payback, a pooch named Porter takes a bullet protecting Gibson's character.  In a movie fraught with killing, the dog does not die.  This movie knew the golden rule: Never kill the dog. Payback pic 2   DIES A comedy classic, National Lampoon's Vacation goes a step over the line with one joke.  The dog, which constantly bites at Clark Griswald's leg, is tied to the back of the car and then forgotten when he drives away.  Two paws down for this joke.   SURVIVES In another comedy classic, There's Something About Mary, the dog survives, albeit in a full body cast.  But hey, at least he survives the fall!   DIES In what is probably one of the worst titled movies in Hollywood, Snakes on a Plane also commits a silver screen no-no by having a dog eaten by a snake. soap3   SURVIVES I'm a native of Oklahoma, so the next film hits close to home.  Twister shows the destructive force behind tornadoes, but it also does the right thing and saves the dogs.  One pup is pulled in a shelter at the last moment, and another goes through the twister but comes out unharmed.   DIES As only the eloquent Jim Breuer can tell, the death of Killer the dog in Half Baked is equal parts sad, confusing and amazing.  In this drug-filled film, only a crazy dog death fits the bill.   SURVIVES Our final entry is a hilarious/sad scene in Kick-Ass 2.  Just prior to Chris D'Amico and his goon squad killing Colonel Stars and Stripes, D'Amico's henchmen ask if they should kill the dog.  He responds, "The dog? Jesus Christ! I'm not that evil."

Griffin Shaffer

8 years ago

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