The Amazing Dobermans (1976)

G | 96 mins | Drama | 1976

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HISTORY

End credits include the following statement: "With appreciation for their assistance: Nissan Motors-Datsun Automobiles; Vogue Coach Company; Chinook International; Ford Motor Company; the people of Simi Valley, California and the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce."
       Although the film was released in 1976 as The Amazing Dobermans, a 11 Apr 1978 DV news bulletin stated that the film title would be changed to Lucky. A 3 Apr 1978 Box notice of the film’s changing from a PG from G under the title Lucky.
       According to a 7 Jul 1976 HR article, the film was scheduled to begin principal photography in the Los Angeles, CA, area on 12 Jul 1976 with a budget of $1.2 million. At the time domestic distribution had been acquired by Golden Films and Arista was releasing the film in foreign markets.
       The film was only a moderate success. In a 7 Feb 1982 LAT letter to the editor, executive producer Donald L. Reynolds blamed the meager return on “the cost of opening the film nationally in 250 theaters, network television advertising, etc., and the small return at the box office…”
       The Amazing Dobermans was the third release in the series produced by David Chudnow and his son, director Byron Chudnow, preceded by The Doberman Gang (1972, see entry), and The Daring Dobermans (1973, see entry). A television movie, titled Alex and the Doberman Gang (1979), was broadcast in Dec 1979 as a pilot for a television series.
       A piece in the 5 Dec 2003 DV ... More Less

End credits include the following statement: "With appreciation for their assistance: Nissan Motors-Datsun Automobiles; Vogue Coach Company; Chinook International; Ford Motor Company; the people of Simi Valley, California and the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce."
       Although the film was released in 1976 as The Amazing Dobermans, a 11 Apr 1978 DV news bulletin stated that the film title would be changed to Lucky. A 3 Apr 1978 Box notice of the film’s changing from a PG from G under the title Lucky.
       According to a 7 Jul 1976 HR article, the film was scheduled to begin principal photography in the Los Angeles, CA, area on 12 Jul 1976 with a budget of $1.2 million. At the time domestic distribution had been acquired by Golden Films and Arista was releasing the film in foreign markets.
       The film was only a moderate success. In a 7 Feb 1982 LAT letter to the editor, executive producer Donald L. Reynolds blamed the meager return on “the cost of opening the film nationally in 250 theaters, network television advertising, etc., and the small return at the box office…”
       The Amazing Dobermans was the third release in the series produced by David Chudnow and his son, director Byron Chudnow, preceded by The Doberman Gang (1972, see entry), and The Daring Dobermans (1973, see entry). A television movie, titled Alex and the Doberman Gang (1979), was broadcast in Dec 1979 as a pilot for a television series.
       A piece in the 5 Dec 2003 DV reported that Dean Devlin and Charles Segars had acquired the remake rights to the Doberman Gang franchise, but as of Oct 2013, no remake has been released.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
3 Apr 1978.
---
Daily Variety
11 Apr 1978.
---
Daily Variety
5 Dec 2003.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Jul 1976.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Nov 1976
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
25 Nov 1976
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
7 Feb 1982.
---
Variety
1 Dec 1976
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Photog
Asst cam
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Asst ed
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Mr. Franciscus' ward supplied by
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Titles & opticals
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod services
Dogs by
Head trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Casting
Asst to the prod
Scr supv
Circus tech adv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Lucky
Release Date:
1976
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 19 November 1976
Production Date:
began 12 July 1976 in Los Angeles
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
G
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

James L. “Lucky” Vincent, a federal agent who owes criminal Solly Kramer $10,000, phones his boss to explain that everything is going according to plan. As Lucky hangs up, two of Kramer’s thugs, Professor and Slager, grab him and demand payment. When Lucky claims he is penniless, the two men drive him into the hills and beat him, but Daniel Hughes, an elderly ex-confidence man, uses a remote control device to unleash his five Doberman Pinchers on the attackers. The men flee, leaving Hughes with an unconscious Lucky. Lucky comes to and learns that Hughes served prison time with Solly Kramer. Hughes explains that he controls the dogs with a remote control that produces high-pitch frequencies that only dogs can hear; he rents out the Dobermans to guard payrolls for fairs and festivals. Hughes gives Lucky his phone number in case he ever needs employment. Later, Lucky reports to his boss that Kramer had him beat up, completing phase two of their plan. While hitchhiking back to town, Lucky is picked up by Samson, a little person who is employed as a clown. Samson drives Lucky to the circus and introduces him to Justine Pirot, a bareback rider. Lucky makes a date with her for after her show. Later, Lucky sees circus performers playing poker and phones his boss to say he has found the bait to catch Kramer. Lucky joins the game and is offered a job cleaning up after the animals. The next day, Lucky calls Kramer to report that he has a plan to pay him back, but Kramer demands his money ... +


James L. “Lucky” Vincent, a federal agent who owes criminal Solly Kramer $10,000, phones his boss to explain that everything is going according to plan. As Lucky hangs up, two of Kramer’s thugs, Professor and Slager, grab him and demand payment. When Lucky claims he is penniless, the two men drive him into the hills and beat him, but Daniel Hughes, an elderly ex-confidence man, uses a remote control device to unleash his five Doberman Pinchers on the attackers. The men flee, leaving Hughes with an unconscious Lucky. Lucky comes to and learns that Hughes served prison time with Solly Kramer. Hughes explains that he controls the dogs with a remote control that produces high-pitch frequencies that only dogs can hear; he rents out the Dobermans to guard payrolls for fairs and festivals. Hughes gives Lucky his phone number in case he ever needs employment. Later, Lucky reports to his boss that Kramer had him beat up, completing phase two of their plan. While hitchhiking back to town, Lucky is picked up by Samson, a little person who is employed as a clown. Samson drives Lucky to the circus and introduces him to Justine Pirot, a bareback rider. Lucky makes a date with her for after her show. Later, Lucky sees circus performers playing poker and phones his boss to say he has found the bait to catch Kramer. Lucky joins the game and is offered a job cleaning up after the animals. The next day, Lucky calls Kramer to report that he has a plan to pay him back, but Kramer demands his money and immediately sends his men to hunt Lucky. Professor and Slager drive to Hughes’s camper and ask if he has seen Lucky, but Hughes implies that the dogs ate the man and the henchmen run off. Later, Slager and the Professor spot Lucky at the circus; when they try to grab him, a bear and its trainer scare them off. The next day, Lucky convinces the circus owner, Septimus, to audition a new dog act that he is creating. The owner agrees. Lucky then convinces a skeptical Hughes to train the Dobermans to fight a house fire with hoses, climb a ladder, and rescue a small dog by walking a tightrope. After weeks of training, the Dobermans get the circus job. To celebrate, Justine invites Lucky to her trailer for a home-cooked meal and they make love. A few days later, Lucky, Justine and Samson shop for dog food when Slager and the Professor arrive and chase Lucky into an alley. When they are about to shoot, Lucky convinces them to take him to Kramer, where he explains his plan to rob the armored car that collects the circus’s money. Kramer agrees to collude with the scheme under the condition that he is in charge. Back, at the circus, Lucky watches the new dog act, where the Dobermans rob Samson, dressed as a hotdog vender, by blowing up his cart with “dynamite.” When Hughes puts away the props, he finds two sticks of real dynamite and confronts Lucky. Lucky confesses that he is a federal agent and he needs the dogs to capture Kramer, but Hughes refuses to risk his Dobermans. Later, Kramer’s men take Justine hostage to ensure Lucky follows orders and force him to take Kramer’s place in the heist. The thieves drive up along side the armored car and spray paint the windshield, forcing the vehicle to stop. They overpower the guards, steal their uniforms and drive to the circus, where Slager and the Professor go into Septimus’s trailer to collect the money. While Septimus grows suspicious and the thugs beat him unconscious and escape, Hughes sees Lucky begging for help in the back of the armored vehicle, borrows Samson’s camper and drives to a curve in the road where he straps dynamite and smoke bombs to the dogs' harnesses. Using the remote control, Hughes orders one of the Dobermans to climb a ladder into a tree. Hughes then hides the camper behind a grove of oak trees and commands two other dogs to drag a large branch across the road. The henchmen stop the armored car under the tree to avoid the branch. A barking Doberman leaps onto the hood, while the dog in the tree jumps down onto the truck roof. Slager locks Lucky in back, but a dog opens an air hatch and drops a smoke bomb from its harness. As the two thieves get out of the car coughing, the dogs overpower them. Hughes signals two more Dobermans to place dynamite at the back doors of the armored car. Lucky hides behind a car seat as the doors explode and he comes out unharmed. Once Slager and the Professor are tied up, Hughes uses his Dobermans to learn Justine’s whereabouts. Leaving Hughes to guard the men, Lucky follows one of the dogs to an abandoned warehouse. The Doberman traces Justine’s scent and leads Lucky to where she is being guarded by Kramer and another henchman. With the dog’s help, Lucky captures them and frees Justine. Later, Lucky returns Justine to the circus and she kisses him goodbye. Hughes warns Lucky that he is making a mistake by leaving the circus, but Lucky explains he cannot give up the thrill of undercover work and walks away. +

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

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