Bingo (1991)

PG | 87 mins | Adventure, Comedy, Children's works | 9 August 1991

Director:

Matthew Robbins

Writer:

Jim Strain

Producer:

Thomas Baer

Cinematographer:

John McPherson

Editor:

Maryann Brandon

Production Designer:

Mark Freeborn

Production Company:

TriStar Pictures
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HISTORY

Various contemporary sources, including an 18 Sep 1990 HR production chart, reported that principal photography commenced 12 Sep 1990 in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, production designer Mark Freeborn transformed two Vancouver residences into homes in which a National Football League (NFL) player might live. Authentic NFL merchandise was used in the film, including helmet telephones, fabrics, and kitchen appliances.
       As stated by the “American Humane Movie Review,” a female border collie named Lace performed the role of Bingo. Studio production notes confirmed that the dog, which was adopted from a shelter, had a stand-in, two-year-old Maui, and a stunt double, six-year-old Max. In consideration for the dog’s safety, filmmakers used strategic camera angles to augment the perception of height and distance. Several action sequences were filmed “in cuts,” with traffic moving at a slow pace. Later, the film editors altered the speed of the footage to achieve a more dramatic look. In addition to numerous physical tricks, Bingo reportedly demonstrated 130 different onscreen “behaviors.”
       According to an 8 Aug 1991 LAT news item, Bingo previewed “across the country” prior to its theatrical release on 9 Aug 1991. Although 12 Aug 1991 DV and HR reviews singled out a “black comedy” aspect to writer Jim Strain’s screenplay, the film was generally panned by critics.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Sincere appreciation to the Motion Picture Studio Production Technicians I.A.T.S.E. Local 891, Vancouver, Canada; British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; NFL Films, Inc.; NFL Properties, Inc.; Green Bay Packers; Denver Broncos; British Columbia Lions; Simon Fraser University ... More Less

Various contemporary sources, including an 18 Sep 1990 HR production chart, reported that principal photography commenced 12 Sep 1990 in and around Vancouver, British Columbia. According to production notes in AMPAS library files, production designer Mark Freeborn transformed two Vancouver residences into homes in which a National Football League (NFL) player might live. Authentic NFL merchandise was used in the film, including helmet telephones, fabrics, and kitchen appliances.
       As stated by the “American Humane Movie Review,” a female border collie named Lace performed the role of Bingo. Studio production notes confirmed that the dog, which was adopted from a shelter, had a stand-in, two-year-old Maui, and a stunt double, six-year-old Max. In consideration for the dog’s safety, filmmakers used strategic camera angles to augment the perception of height and distance. Several action sequences were filmed “in cuts,” with traffic moving at a slow pace. Later, the film editors altered the speed of the footage to achieve a more dramatic look. In addition to numerous physical tricks, Bingo reportedly demonstrated 130 different onscreen “behaviors.”
       According to an 8 Aug 1991 LAT news item, Bingo previewed “across the country” prior to its theatrical release on 9 Aug 1991. Although 12 Aug 1991 DV and HR reviews singled out a “black comedy” aspect to writer Jim Strain’s screenplay, the film was generally panned by critics.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Sincere appreciation to the Motion Picture Studio Production Technicians I.A.T.S.E. Local 891, Vancouver, Canada; British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; NFL Films, Inc.; NFL Properties, Inc.; Green Bay Packers; Denver Broncos; British Columbia Lions; Simon Fraser University football team; British Columbia Place Stadium; Vancouver General Hospital; Filmed on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Punisher: TM & © 1990 Marvel Entertainment Group, Inc. all rights reserved.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
12 Aug 1991
p. 3, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
12 Aug 1991
p. 9, 16.
Los Angeles Times
8 Aug 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Aug 1991
p. 8.
New York Times
10 Aug 1991
p. 1, 9.
Variety
19 Aug 1991
p. 43.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Tri-Star Pictures presents
a Thomas Baer production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
DGC trainee
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
"B" cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
"B" 1st asst cam
"B" 1st asst cam
Cam trainee
Cam trainee
Video playback
Chief lighting tech
Asst chief lighting tech
Generator op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Lamp op
Key grip
Best boy grip
Dolly grip
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
1st asst ed (Vancouver)
1st asst ed (San Francisco)
2d asst ed (Vancouver)
2d asst ed (San Francisco)
2d asst ed (San Francisco)
SET DECORATORS
Draftsman
Asst set dec
Set buyer
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Asst set dresser
Leadman
Prop master
Asst prop master
Prop buyer
Const coord
Const buyer
Lead hand
Stand-by carpenter
Head painter
Lead painter
Stand-by painter
Greensman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Cost supv
Costumer
Costumer
Seamstress
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus ed
SOUND
Supv sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
Sd ed
ADR ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Foley rec
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Spec vocal eff
Sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Asst spec eff
Spec eff asst
Main title des and anim
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Hairstylist
Asst hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Casting
Bingo trained by
of Hollywood Animals
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
SPCA observer
SPCA observer
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Asst accountant
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Scr supv
Unit pub
Extras casting
Casting asst
Casting asst
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Transportation co-capt
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst to Warren Carr
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Asst chef
First aid/Craft service
Security coord
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunt coord
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Bingo," performed by Joey Scarbari
"On Wisconsin," written by Carl Beck & W. T. Purdy.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
9 August 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 9 August 1991
Production Date:
began 12 September 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Tri-Star Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
5 September 1991
Copyright Number:
PA536954
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Duration(in mins):
87
Length(in reels):
5
MPAA Rating:
PG
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31010
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

On the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Bingo, a clever dog, takes care of routine chores at the circus. When one of the performing poodles injures its foot, the circus showgirl suggests that Bingo stand in for the trained pooch in that evening’s performance. However, Bingo refuses to jump through a hoop of fire, spoiling the show. The circus master berates Bingo, unaware that the dog watched its mother perish in a fire years earlier. Bingo leaves the circus in search of a better life. A few days later, a group of boys ride their bicycles through the woods. Chuckie Devlin, the youngest and smallest of the bunch, has trouble keeping up with the daring maneuvers, and wrecks his bike when he tries to jump it across a river. Bingo rescues the unconscious boy, resuscitating him. Chuckie quickly bonds with the dog, and the two agree to be friends forever. Meanwhile, Chuckie’s family gathers for dinner. Although his mother, Natalie, is worried by the boy’s absence, Hal Devlin, a professional football player, thinks his son is playing a trick. The next morning, Natalie and Hal are on the verge of calling police when Chuckie arrives home. He hides Bingo in a cabinet before sitting down for breakfast. When the boy goes to school, Bingo is left home alone, and later that day, each member of the Devlin family discovers evidence of the dog’s mischief. An irate family greets Chuckie when he returns home from after-school adventures with Bingo, but Hal is too distracted at having been traded to the Green Bay Packers to administer punishment. The next morning, the family departs for Wisconsin, leaving Bingo behind. However, Chuckie comes up ... +


On the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, Bingo, a clever dog, takes care of routine chores at the circus. When one of the performing poodles injures its foot, the circus showgirl suggests that Bingo stand in for the trained pooch in that evening’s performance. However, Bingo refuses to jump through a hoop of fire, spoiling the show. The circus master berates Bingo, unaware that the dog watched its mother perish in a fire years earlier. Bingo leaves the circus in search of a better life. A few days later, a group of boys ride their bicycles through the woods. Chuckie Devlin, the youngest and smallest of the bunch, has trouble keeping up with the daring maneuvers, and wrecks his bike when he tries to jump it across a river. Bingo rescues the unconscious boy, resuscitating him. Chuckie quickly bonds with the dog, and the two agree to be friends forever. Meanwhile, Chuckie’s family gathers for dinner. Although his mother, Natalie, is worried by the boy’s absence, Hal Devlin, a professional football player, thinks his son is playing a trick. The next morning, Natalie and Hal are on the verge of calling police when Chuckie arrives home. He hides Bingo in a cabinet before sitting down for breakfast. When the boy goes to school, Bingo is left home alone, and later that day, each member of the Devlin family discovers evidence of the dog’s mischief. An irate family greets Chuckie when he returns home from after-school adventures with Bingo, but Hal is too distracted at having been traded to the Green Bay Packers to administer punishment. The next morning, the family departs for Wisconsin, leaving Bingo behind. However, Chuckie comes up with a plan: he will urinate at every stop and leave a scent trail for Bingo to follow. When the family lunches at Duke’s, a roadside hot dog stand, Chuckie goes around back to leave his mark and discovers that the sausages are made from impounded dogs. He is shocked, but the family resumes their journey. Later, Bingo, exhausted from following Chuckie’s “trail,” collapses on the highway near Duke’s. Duke finds him and locks him in a cage. However, the clever dog escapes and frees the other impounded mutts, who work together to destroy the hot dog stand. After the dogs part ways, Bingo has difficulty locating Chuckie’s trail. One night, the dog wanders into a trailer park, where two felons, Lennie and Eli, bring him into their camper and offer him food. Bingo learns the criminals have hijacked the camper, locking the owners and their two young daughters in the bathroom. When Lennie and Eli fall asleep, Bingo runs across the street and dials 911. In the morning, the dog releases the family to safety as police arrive to arrest the goons. Bingo’s heroism is lauded on national television, and Chuckie watches as the Thompson family adopts the dog. He posts a letter to the Thompsons explaining his relationship to Bingo. In the days that follow, the Thompson girls make Bingo their plaything, until the dog receives a subpoena to appear in court. The dog takes the witness stand and identifies Lennie and Eli as the men who hijacked the Thompson camper. However, the defense attorney cross-examines Bingo and argues that the dog must have been an accomplice to the crime. Unable to provide an alibi, Bingo goes to jail. His cellmate, ”Four Eyes,” puts the clever dog to work on an escape. Lennie and Eli are incarcerated in the same prison, and one day, they confront Bingo. A fight ensues, sending all the prisoners back to their cells. That night, Bingo and Four Eyes escape through a tunnel. Once outside, Four Eyes encourages Bingo to find Chuckie. Bingo sets out across the country, eventually arriving in Green Bay, Wisconsin. When he locates the Devlin’s new home, he sees Chuckie walking another dog. Bingo does not understand that it is the neighbor’s dog, and he wanders away, dejected at having been replaced. After demonstrating expertise at licking plates clean, Bingo finds employment as assistant dishwasher at Vic’s Cafe, a nearby diner. Meanwhile, Lennie and Eli, who have also escaped from prison, track Bingo to Green Bay, seeking revenge. They post flyers offering a reward for Bingo, and one of the diner employees responds to the ad, alerting them to Bingo’s whereabouts. Chuckie sees the ad, too, and the boy, the dog, and the two criminals converge in the alley behind the diner. Bingo escapes, but when Lennie and Eli realize that Chuckie is the son of a professional football player, they hold the boy captive in a warehouse and concoct a new moneymaking scheme. Knowing they can successfully gamble on a rigged outcome, they call Chuckie’s mother and insist that Hal miss all his field goals during the day’s game. If he does, they will return Chuckie. Bingo reaches the Devlin home and alerts Natalie to Chuckie’s predicament, before returning to rescue Chuckie. However, Bingo is no match for Lennie and Eli, who capture him, tie him up next to Chuckie, and reveal a bomb with which they intend to destroy the warehouse. As they leave the premises, Eli throws his cigar among some old newspapers, and the warehouse catches fire. Bingo breaks free, but his fear of fire prevents him from leaping through the flames to the fire alarm. When Chuckie slumps in his chair from smoke inhalation, Bingo overcomes his fear and triggers the alarm. Firemen arrive and rescue Chuckie, who tells them about the bomb. Tipped off by Natalie, police surround Lennie and Eli’s car. Everyone listens to the football game, which is tied with less than a minute to play. The criminals threaten to trigger the bomb unless Hal misses the game-deciding field goal, but the police call the criminals’ bluff. Back at the warehouse, Bingo carries the bomb away from the site. Hal Devlin makes the field goal, and Chuckie watches, horrified, as the bomb explodes in the distance. Later, the boy awakens in the hospital, and his family takes him to a room down the hall where Bingo is recuperating. The boy and the dog celebrate their reunion, and Hal agrees to let Bingo join their family. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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