Archive for The Gaucho

The Truth About Dogs

Posted in FILM with tags , , , , on August 2, 2010 by dcairns

Not Cats and Dogs. Just Dogs.

You may have to cock your head sideways — like a movie dog — to make out this image.


1) The silent dog whistle was invented for use in silent dog movies.

2) Despite attaining movie stardom at a young age (4), Rinty longed for the recognition that would come with a successful stage career, but his performance as Torvald in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was not appreciated by audiences, who could not accept their hero is such a different role, and critics inevitably dubbed the production, “A Doghouse.”

3) The canine star took frequent career advice from William Wyler, a fellow Alsatian. In return, Rinty taught Wyler how to roll in feces to confuse pursuers, a trick to which the filmmaker credited much of his Hollywood success.

4) At the height of his success, Rinty received 20,000 fan letters a week, including many proposals of marriage. Demands for locks of his hair were so numerous, he spent 1929 bald, and had to perform in a dog costume, the only actor to do so prior to Maximilian Schell’s Oscar-winning turn in JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG.

5) Despite his great success, Rinty never won the Academy Award himself. It was rumoured that he had objected to the statuette’s design as “species-ist”, saying that he wouldn’t accept a humanoid prize, and that the Academy had refused to cast a gilt dog to honour Rin Tin Tin.

6) Despite working for rival studios, Rin Tin Tin and Universal’s Silver Streak (King of the Dog Stars) were good friends in private, and often sniffed each others’ anuses.

7) Rinty’s ability to perform breathtaking stunts was envied by other stars such as Douglas Fairbanks, who often tried to emulate the athletic pooch. But when Fairbanks included a scene in THE GAUCHO where he opens a door with his teeth, fans were unimpressed. The star remembered their response in a 1934 radio interview: “They couldn’t see why I didn’t just use my hands.”

8) When Rinty left his pawprints in cement outside Grauman’s Theater, he was unable to sign his name like other stars, not because he lacked opposable thumbs as Warners publicists claimed at the time, but because he secretly suffered from the canine learning disability, dogslexia.

9) When sound came in, Rinty’s career faltered, as his bark was considered too high-pitched, and he had a slight French accent.

10) Rin Tin Tin had a son, Ron Tin Tin, who became a dogsploitation star in the 70s, denouncing the patronizing “Owd Bob” characterisations that made his father’s name.