The Pack (1978)

R | 99 mins | Horror | 26 April 1978

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HISTORY

The film’s end credits state: “Animal action monitored and approved by American Humane Association.”
       The Pack was based on a 1976 novel by David Fisher which sold to Putnam Publishing and Warner Bros., Inc., "on the strength of an outline," according to Publishers Weekly news items on 3 Mar 1975 and 7 Jul 1975.
       A 24 Mar 1978 HR news item announced that The Pack was retitled A Long Dark Night and the opening date was scheduled for the next month, on 26 Apr 1978; however, the film was not released with that title.
       A full-page advertisement in DV on 22 Dec 1976 stated that principal photography was scheduled to begin 14 Feb 1977 and a 20 Dec 1976 DV news item noted that filming locations were planned in Bodega Bay, CA.
       According to a 10 Jun 1977 LAT article, thirty-five dogs were trained to play the roles of fifteen abandoned dogs in the movie. Trainer Karl L. Miller gave the dogs a special diet of dry food and vitamin supplements for several months in order to make the animals appear thin and ravenous. Each dog character had a double. The lead dog, "Josh," was rescued from an animal shelter years before being trained for film. The budget was reportedly $2 million.
       The Pack marked the feature film debut of Hope Alexander-Willis, who was previously acting in the San Francisco American Conservatory Theater, as stated in a 28 Feb 1977 DV news item.
       According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the film was ... More Less

The film’s end credits state: “Animal action monitored and approved by American Humane Association.”
       The Pack was based on a 1976 novel by David Fisher which sold to Putnam Publishing and Warner Bros., Inc., "on the strength of an outline," according to Publishers Weekly news items on 3 Mar 1975 and 7 Jul 1975.
       A 24 Mar 1978 HR news item announced that The Pack was retitled A Long Dark Night and the opening date was scheduled for the next month, on 26 Apr 1978; however, the film was not released with that title.
       A full-page advertisement in DV on 22 Dec 1976 stated that principal photography was scheduled to begin 14 Feb 1977 and a 20 Dec 1976 DV news item noted that filming locations were planned in Bodega Bay, CA.
       According to a 10 Jun 1977 LAT article, thirty-five dogs were trained to play the roles of fifteen abandoned dogs in the movie. Trainer Karl L. Miller gave the dogs a special diet of dry food and vitamin supplements for several months in order to make the animals appear thin and ravenous. Each dog character had a double. The lead dog, "Josh," was rescued from an animal shelter years before being trained for film. The budget was reportedly $2 million.
       The Pack marked the feature film debut of Hope Alexander-Willis, who was previously acting in the San Francisco American Conservatory Theater, as stated in a 28 Feb 1977 DV news item.
       According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the film was rated PG in 1977, but the rating changed to R upon its release in 1978. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Apr 1978.
---
Daily Variety
20 Dec 1976.
---
Daily Variety
22 Dec 1976.
---
Daily Variety
28 Feb 1977.
---
Daily Variety
24 Aug 1977.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Aug 1977
p. 3, 14.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 1978.
---
Los Angeles Times
10 Jun 1977
Section IV, p. 24.
Los Angeles Times
3 May 1978
p. 16.
Publishers Weekly
3 Mar 1975.
---
Publishers Weekly
7 Jul 1975.
---
Variety
5 May 1976.
---
Variety
24 Aug 1977
p. 20.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Fred Weintraub-Paul Heller Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr/1st asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam asst
Cam asst
Cam asst
Still photog
Gaffer
Key grip
Best boy
Best boy
FILM EDITORS
Asst film ed
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Const coord
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus scoring mixer
SOUND
Sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd ed
Loop ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Titles
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec admin
Post prod supv
Loc mgr
Prod accountant
Prod secy
Asst
Los Angeles liaison
Scr supv
Dogs furnished by
Trained by
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Trainer
Horse wrangler
Transportation capt
Transportation capt
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Pack by David Fisher (New York, 1976).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Dark Night
The Long Dark Night
Release Date:
26 April 1978
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 26 April 1978 at the Picwood, Lido and Fox theaters
Production Date:
began February 1977 in Bodega Bay, CA
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Brothers Entertainment
Copyright Date:
24 August 1977
Copyright Number:
PA6142
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor®
Duration(in mins):
99
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

In New England, a pack of feral dogs chase a horse into the woods and attacks. At the docks of an isolated island, a group arrives for a fishing trip. The party includes Dodge, a banker, his son, Tommy, the bank’s vice president, Harry Walker, his secretary, Marge, and his cook, Lois. Locals Jerry, Clive Hardiman and Cobb greet them. Meanwhile, a family of tourists prepares to leave the island. As the son, Bobby, bids a tearful goodbye to his dog, his father ties the pet to a tree and abandons it. Jerry, a marine biologist, meets with his wife, Millie, and their two sons, Paul and Guy. The boys run to play in the woods where they find the partially eaten carcass of a horse. They call Jerry over and he identifies it as Clive Hardiman’s horse, Hammer. Meanwhile, Jerry’s dog, Rye, chases a rabbit into the woods, and Jerry goes after the dog when he hears it yelp in pain. He finds Rye injured by an animal bite and investigates. He runs into a feral dog, but scares the dog away. Back at his workstation, Jerry tells Hardiman about the dog and Hammer. That evening, the pack of dogs seeks shelter in an abandoned barn as a storm approaches. Bobby’s recently abandoned dog follows the pack and they accept him into the group. Meanwhile, Hardiman, Dodge’s group, and McMinnimee, a blind man, are at the town tavern. Jerry warns the nervous locals about the wild dog. Later, McMinnimee returns home with his beloved dog, Shazah. As the storm rages, ... +


In New England, a pack of feral dogs chase a horse into the woods and attacks. At the docks of an isolated island, a group arrives for a fishing trip. The party includes Dodge, a banker, his son, Tommy, the bank’s vice president, Harry Walker, his secretary, Marge, and his cook, Lois. Locals Jerry, Clive Hardiman and Cobb greet them. Meanwhile, a family of tourists prepares to leave the island. As the son, Bobby, bids a tearful goodbye to his dog, his father ties the pet to a tree and abandons it. Jerry, a marine biologist, meets with his wife, Millie, and their two sons, Paul and Guy. The boys run to play in the woods where they find the partially eaten carcass of a horse. They call Jerry over and he identifies it as Clive Hardiman’s horse, Hammer. Meanwhile, Jerry’s dog, Rye, chases a rabbit into the woods, and Jerry goes after the dog when he hears it yelp in pain. He finds Rye injured by an animal bite and investigates. He runs into a feral dog, but scares the dog away. Back at his workstation, Jerry tells Hardiman about the dog and Hammer. That evening, the pack of dogs seeks shelter in an abandoned barn as a storm approaches. Bobby’s recently abandoned dog follows the pack and they accept him into the group. Meanwhile, Hardiman, Dodge’s group, and McMinnimee, a blind man, are at the town tavern. Jerry warns the nervous locals about the wild dog. Later, McMinnimee returns home with his beloved dog, Shazah. As the storm rages, Shazah runs outside to confront the pack, but they kill the dog. Frightened, McMinnimee fires his shotgun, killing one of the dogs and the pack breaks into the cabin to kill him. The next morning, Hardiman brings Dodge by Jerry’s workstation to use his radio. Unfortunately, the storm disconnected all communication. Jerry grabs his shotgun and goes out looking to kill the wild dog. Meanwhile, Millie returns home and spots the leader of the pack and it chases her into her car. The entire pack swarms the vehicle but Jerry scares them off with his shotgun. Jerry and Millie return to town and inform Hardiman there is a pack of about fifteen wild dogs roaming the island. Meanwhile, Tommy and Lois go for a walk in the woods. When Tommy hears the pack howling, he runs off, leaving Lois alone. Lois tries to follow but accidentally falls into a ravine and becomes lost. The pack chases Tommy to the cliffs. Realizing that he is cornered, Tommy jumps off of the cliff and dies. Meanwhile, Lois takes refuge in an abandoned barn as another storm approaches. Jerry checks on the locals as the pack quietly stalks him. He finds the bodies of McMinnimee and his dog. As Dodge, Marge and Walker look for Tommy and Lois, Hardiman warns them about the pack and takes them to the station. Meanwhile, the pack finds Lois in the barn and kills her. Back at the station, Jerry explains to the angry locals that the dogs are abandoned pets and that some of them have gone rabid. Jerry, Dodge and Cobb resume their search for Tommy and Lois. Jerry thinks that, due to the storm, the dogs might be taking cover in the abandoned barn. They find Lois’ partially eaten body but still cannot find Tommy. Believing his son is dead, Dodge steals Jerry’s truck, but the pack finds him. When he gets out to shoot, they overpower him. The next morning at the station, Jerry tries to contact the Coast Guard but cannot get a response. As the group gathers whatever weapons they can find and barricade themselves in the station, the pack surrounds the building. Jerry kills one of the dogs and the group drives the rest away. The locals board up the windows, get rid of Dodge’s body, and hunker down for the night. The next morning, Walker hears the sound of a motorboat. He grabs a shotgun and runs to the docks to flag the boat down, but the passengers see the gun and refuse to stop. Walker is cornered by the pack at the end of the pier and shoots at them before falling into the water. Jerry hears the commotion and drives his Jeep down the pier. He runs over some dogs while the rest retreat. Jerry pulls Walker out of the water and instructs him to take the women and children to the other side of the island. Jerry and Hardiman stay behind and concoct a plan to kill off the rest of the pack. Jerry lures the dogs inside the station and climbs with a ladder into the attic. Hardiman locks the dogs inside and douses the cabin with gasoline before setting it on fire. As Jerry pulls up the attic ladder, the pack leader makes it up the stairs. Just as the dog corners Jerry, he escapes out the window and slides down the roof to safety. The dog jumps out the window but is impaled on a broken pipe. The fire consumes the station and kills the rest of the dogs. Outside, Jerry and his son find Bobby’s dog, whose rope got stuck on a tree. Jerry feeds the dog until it calms down and licks Jerry’s hand. +

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

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