DIGBY, THE BIGGEST DOG IN THE WORLD (1973)
Article 3479 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-17-2011
Posting Date: 2-22-2011
Directed by Joseph McGrath
Featuring Jim Dale, Spike Milligan, Angela Douglas
What it is: Giant dog comedy
A sheepdog accidentally ingests a substance that turns it into a giant. Complications ensue.
Had this movie been truly wretched, the title might have been its own self-review, but it’s nowhere near that bad. It’s a British cross between boy-and-his-dog movies, giant monster on the loose movies, and Disney shopping cart films. The emphasis is on the latter, probably, with most of the movie engaged in the comic complications, which include a German scientist mistakenly concluding that an animal psychologist thinks he’s a dog, a pair of acrobat crooks kidnapping the dog to sell him to a circus, and an over-eager Colonel who wishes to destroy the dog. It plays up a bit of the tear-jerkiness of boy-and-his-dog movies, especially in the opening sequence and near the end, when we’re afraid the dog may die. It does appear that the movie is at least a little familiar with the giant monster movies it’s parodying, and even has a sequence that emulates a mummy attack. Some of the gags are bizarre head-scratchers, but it occasionally works; my favorite bit features a dotty aunt who gets a call from her nephew while the television is on. Oddly, some of the humor is a little risque for what is in essence a children’s movie. It’s uneven, but not awful.