We had a big introduction today at Let the Dog in! I introduced the Kid to Benji, the original movie (1974).
Naturally, she didn’t love it as much as her mom. Next time I want her to love a movie I love, I’m gonna have to forbid her from watching it at all.
And her dad, well, geez, all I can say is, he grew up in Alaska. He’d never even seen Benji that’s how deprived he was. Although he was happy to see Uncle Joe from Petticoat Junction in this. (Did you know Benji was the dog in Petticoat Junction?)
But, you, dear
reader s reader mother, you loved Benji. And not just because we’re from Texas, lived near where they shot the film and might have even remotely known the producer or his offspring.
Remember the opening song where Benji’s head appears at the old broken window and then he trots off on his route? What a face.
Remember singer Charlie Rich? Yes, he sang Behind Closed Doors (how was racy that?!), but he also sang the Benji song, an Oscar nominee and a Golden Globe winner. This movie has a great, leisurely (by today’s standards) pace set off by that song.
And best of all: BENJI DOES NOT TALK.
Get this, he barks. He does the head tilt. He does the beggy face. He is dog extraordinaire.
You can go here to see the opening sequence of the film with the song, I Feel Love. If you’re a Netflix subscriber, you can instant stream the entire movie.
Did you know writer/producer/director Joe Camp was rejected by all the majors and had to distribute Benji through his company? Did you know it went on to gross revenues in the top 10% of all movies in 1974 and to be loved worldwide? Let that be a lesson to us all.