06 February 2008

A Man and His Film

There's a great, ranging interview with character actor/writer/director LQ Jones over at Rotten Tomatoes tonight. The crux of the interview is about his classic SF film, A Boy and His Dog. Now, I'm a huge fan of the trials and tribulations of Vic and Blood in all media - obviously I've read Harlan Ellison's original novella and seen Jones's film, and should even have a copy of the Richard Corben illustrated version somewhere - but I honestly never thought much of the movie. Now I know why.

I've only seen a 2:3 version, on VHS. Jones shot the film in 'scope, so I've missed more than I've seen. Fortunately, that is about to be amended, as there's a brand new print being released. If I were in LA (godDAMN I need to move) I'd be at the Nuart this Friday, but I'm hopeful it makes it to one of the art theaters here in the valley sometime this year.

Amongst the many great anecdotes and revelations in the interview, we find out that Jones *loved* working with Tiger, the dog who played Blood. Here's just a sample of what he had to say:

LQ: Jason Robards, at the time probably the best actor in our business, Jason's in the picture. So he asked about something and I said listen, "If you pay attention to Blood, and you hit your marks, and you say your lines like Blood, I'll make a star out of you." And he knew exactly what I was talking about.

I'll take you one step further, to the scene [where Vic] says we may never see each other again, they are truly parting. And if you see it on the big screen, the goddamn dog cries. Tears ran down his fur! I've been acting for fifty some-odd years, and I have a tough time crying on cue. When I cut the shot, I looked around and half the crew was in tears.

What happened to Tiger, the dog?

LQ: I tried to buy him, and they said we're making too much money with him. I said I'll give you enough, to where it's worth your while. I just wanted to retire him. I said I'll make you a guarantee, I will not be your competition, I will not let him work in anything unless I do another Boy and His Dog. But nope, they didn't want to do it. At that point in time he was maybe seven. He was dead by the time he was nine. But I would have loved to have had him for just those two years.
You've all seen Tiger before; he used to be the Brady's dog.


2old4this said...

I never thought of it before, but yeah, that dog was great.

But man that movie creeped me out, I'll not be watching it ever again.