Today: July 19, 2024


Bottom line: The original feel-good shaggy-dog story.
Rating: 4/5.

Cast: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Oliver Pratt, Stanley Tucci, Nicolle Tom, Christopher Castille, Sarah Rose Karr, David Duchovny, Patricia Heaton.
Run time: 87 mins.
Certificate: U.
Release date: 22nd May.

Grossing $147.2 million worldwide, and notching up seven sequels, as well as an animated TV series, Beethoven was the original feel-good shaggy-dog story.

Co-written by Edward Dantes (a pseudonym for John Hughes) Beethoven is another tale from the pen of one of the ‘80s most successful screenwriters.  Home Alone, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Ferris Buller’s Day Off…were all the product of the Hughes’ hit machine and Beethoven shares many of the same themes: Americana, family life, and plots that hinge on seemingly small, everyday events which very quickly escalate.

Barely escaping from nefarious dognappers, an adorable puppy named Beethoven adopts the unsuspecting Newton family—and promptly grows up into 185 pounds of romping, drooling, disaster prone dog. Unfortunately, even after proving his canine credential to mom and the kids, the heroic hound gets nowhere with the uptight dad, George (Charles Grodin). When a nasty veterinarian (Dean Jones) makes Beethoven the target of an unspeakable animal experiment, George becomes the only hope for saving the Newtons’ furriest family member. 

Beethoven won’t rock your world, but it might just entertain the little ones on a rainy Sunday.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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