7.5/10
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Dogfight (1991)

Trailer
2:00 | Trailer
Before leaving to fight in Vietnam, a group of teenagers play a game where they try to seduce the ugliest girl they can find.

Director:

Nancy Savoca

Writer:

Bob Comfort
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
River Phoenix ... Eddie Birdlace
Lili Taylor ... Rose
Richard Panebianco Richard Panebianco ... Berzin
Anthony Clark ... Oakie
Mitchell Whitfield ... Benjamin
Holly Near ... Rose Sr.
Elizabeth Daily ... Marcie (as E.G. Daily)
Sue Morales Sue Morales ... Ruth Two Bears
Christina Mastin ... Linda
Christopher Shaw ... Donavin
John Lacy ... Fector
Chris San Nicholas Chris San Nicholas ... Dogfight Buddy
Brian Gotta Brian Gotta ... Dogfight Marine
Peg Phillips Peg Phillips ... Older Cafe Customer
Neal Allen Neal Allen ... Sgt. Judge
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Storyline

In 1963, the night before the 18 years old "Birdlace" Eddie and his friends are shipped to Vietnam. They play a dirty game called 'Dogfight': all of them seek a woman for a party, and who finds the most ugly one, wins a prize. Eddie finds the lonesome pacifist Rose working in a coffee shop. She's happy to accompany him - but then she sees through the game. However by this time he already learned to like her, so he follows her home. Will he manage to win her heart despite their differences? Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The rules of the dogfight were simple: Everyone puts in fifty bucks. And the guy with the ugliest "date" wins. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language and a sexual scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El amor es un juego cruel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,736, 15 September 1991

Gross USA:

$394,631

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$394,631
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

River Phoenix's marine haircut (called a "high-and-tight") was deemed so unflattering that Warner Bros. requested highlights be added to Phoenix's hair to soften the young actor's appearance. See more »

Goofs

The picture of American musician Bob Dylan that Rose points out to on her wall was taken in 1964, while the scene takes place in 1963. See more »

Quotes

Rose: Eddie, what's the problem?
Eddie Birdlace: Oh, no problem. Just a man with a mission.
Rose: What mission?
Eddie Birdlace: You and me, against the pricks. Are you with me?
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Breakthrough Stars of 1992 (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

SMOKY PLACES
Written by Abner Spector
Published by Bonnyview Music Corp.
Performed by The Corsairs
Courtesy of Original Sound Records Co., Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Heart-rending
10 August 1999 | by CrizSee all my reviews

With the exception of that home video my ex made with her new boyfriend, "Dogfight" is the most upsetting film I've ever watched. The plot involves US Marines bound for duty (and possibly death) in Vietnam, having one last night on the town in San Francisco. As a challenge to each other, the lads partcipate in a game called dogfight, where the guy who brings the ugliest date (the "biggest dog") wins.

Even more disgusting than the game itself is the way Lili Taylor's character, the gentle Rose, gets roped in--eagerly getting dressed up and even touching up her makeup before the contest. It breaks the viewer's heart to see a young woman so trusting walk into something so degrading.

Without spoiling the plot for those who haven't seen the film (you owe it to yourself to do so) it's assumed there is always chance for redemption. River Phoenix, who died tragically just two years after the film's release, is memorable as a soldier who struggles with human contact. And Lili Taylor absolutely shines as the victimized but amazingly forgiving Rose, though it's hard to accept her as "ugly"--I think Lili Taylor is really cute and I'd give anything to go on a date with her.


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