White Dog - Distribution


Paramount felt the film was too controversial for release, giving it only a few limited preview runs before shelving it. The film's first theatrical release occurred in France on July 7, 1982. In the United Kingdom, it was part of the 37th Edinburgh International Film Festival and the 27th London Film Festival in 1983, and was released late that year by United International Pictures. It received positive reviews in both countries. Lisa Dombrowski of Film Comment notes, "In the end, Sam Fuller's White Dog was muzzled by a collision of historically specific economic and political interests, as support for freedom of expression took a backseat to Paramount's bottom line and the NAACP's ongoing battles with Hollywood over representation and employment. A Sam Fuller thriller was simply not the kind of antiracist picture that a major studio knew how to market in 1981 or that African-American organizations wanted Hollywood to make at the time".

In 1983, White Dog was edited for a direct-to-television broadcast and made available purchase by cable channels. The following year, NBC bought broadcast rights for $2.5 million and slated the film to air during the February sweeps, then canceled the broadcast two days later due to pressure from the continuing NAACP campaign and concerns of a negative reaction by both viewers and advertisers. The film was eventually aired on other cable channels sporadically and without fanfare. It was also infrequently screened at independent film houses and film festivals.

Its first official American release came on December 2, 2008, when The Criterion Collection released the film to DVD. The DVD has the uncut version of the film, video interviews from the original producer and writer, an interview with the trainer of the dog used in the film, and a booklet of critical essays. The National Society of Film Critics bestowed the distributor with a special film heritage award for releasing the film.

Read more about this topic:  White Dog

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