Cujo


1h 31m 1983

Brief Synopsis

A rabid Saint Bernard traps a mother and her young son in their stalled car at a rural, isolated homestead.

Film Details

Also Known As
Cujo: El perro maldito
MPAA Rating
Genre
Adaptation
Horror
Thriller
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Synopsis

A rabid Saint Bernard traps a mother and her young son in their stalled car at a rural, isolated homestead.

Crew

Gale Adler

Photography

Bob Andrews

On-Set Dresser

Michael Berdick

Other

John Bergman

Set Decorator

Charles Bernstein

Music

Blackie Bissonnetti

Driver

Daniel H. Blatt

Producer

Pat Borri

Accounting Assistant

Dean Brown

Construction Coordinator

Jack Buehler

Costume Designer

John C Bush

Photography

Celia Cadena

Accounting Assistant

Jim Campbell

Driver

Kathy Clark

Effects Assistant

Robert Clark

Effects Assistant

Guy Comtois

Production Designer

Jeannie Coulter

Stunt Man

Brian Courcier

Sound Editor

Roget Crandall

Property Master

Lauren Currier

Screenplay

Pam Daniels

Driver

Jan De Bont

Director Of Photography

Peter Donen

Other

Don Carlos Dunaway

Screenplay

David Elliott

Sound Editor

Nancy G Fox

Costumes

Elliot Friedgen

Production Supervisor

Glen D Garner

Animal Trainer

Joseph T. Garrity

Set Designer

Desmond Giffen

Caterer

Robert W Glass

Sound

Mamie Goldstein

Consultant

George Goodman

Production Manager

Roger Graham

Other

Jerry Grandey

Assistant Director

Michael G Green

Assistant Director

Bruce Hamme

Key Grip

Robert Herron

Stunt Man

Michael Hilkene

Sound Editor

Richard Hochschild

Carpenter

Judith Holstra

Casting

Chris Howell

Stunt Man

David J Hudson

Sound

Jim Huffey

Driver

Marten Huffey

Driver

Perry Husman

Craft Service

Mario Iscovich

Production Associate

Wayne Iversen

Props Assistant

Rick H Josephsen

Special Effects

Fred Judkins

Sound Editor

Ian Kincaid

Other

Stephen King

Source Material (From Novel)

Paul Kiovalchuk

Auditor

John Kline

Sound Editor

Peter Knowlton

Makeup

Pixie Lamppu

Production Assistant

Michael Lavalley

Makeup Assistant

Deborah Lawson

Location Manager

Neil A Machlis

Associate Producer

Neil A Machlis

Unit Production Manager

Jackie Martin

Stunt Man

Jackie Martin

Animal Trainer

Jim Mason

Driver

Lynn Maughn

Special Effects Assistant

James Mcelroy

Other

Chris Medak

Production Assistant

Patrushkha Mierzwa

Boom Operator

Karl Miller

Animal Supplier

Richard A Mitchell

Grip

Mark Moelter

Caterer

Leslie Morales

Wardrobe Assistant

Gary Morgan

Stunt Man

Robin Neal

Makeup

David Arthur Nelson

Effects Assistant

Vern Nobles

Assistant Camera Operator

Jim O'keefe

Driver

Richard G Osborn

Assistant Camera Operator

Conrad Palmisano

Stunt Coordinator

Don Perry

Music Supervisor

Dennis L Peterson

Gaffer

Dan Phillips

Assistant Production Coordinator

Steve Potter

Assistant Editor

David Pringle

Steadicam Operator

Julie Purcell

Hair

Patrick Reddish

Best Boy

Aileen Rohloff

Other

Marcia Ross

Casting

Elise Rowland

On-Set Dresser

Jacqueline Saunders

Script Supervisor

Jay Schumann

Other

Popcorn Simmons

Grip

Robert Singer

Producer

Todd R Smith

Best Boy

Chester Sohn

Generator Operator

Richard Stone

Music Editor

Chriss Strauss

Production Coordinator

Phil Strauss

Other

Arly Thomsen

Dolly Grip

Jon Tilton

Other

Russ Tinsley

Sound Editor

Neil Travis

Editor

Mark F. Ulano

Sound

Eddie Lee Voelker

Transportation Coordinator

Ray West

Sound

Roxana Whitfield

Stunt Man

Alexander Witt

Assistant Camera Operator

Walter Wyatt

Stunt Man

Garland Wylde

Other

Tom Zapata

Production Assistant

Bob Ziembicki

On-Set Dresser

Film Details

Also Known As
Cujo: El perro maldito
MPAA Rating
Genre
Adaptation
Horror
Thriller
Release Date
1983

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 31m

Articles

Cujo - Dee Wallace in Stephen King's CUJO on DVD


On the strength of his effective handling of the low budget but highly entertaining Alligator (1980), novelist Stephen King picked Lewis Teague to direct Cujo (1983). Unfortunately for King and for Teague, Peter Medak (relatively fresh from his work on the jarring ghost story The Changeling) was given the job first but shortly after the start of principal photography in Northern California (subbing for Maine), a sudden gear change took the British director out of the picture and Teague was back at the helm. Working with Medak's cast and crew (apart from cinematographer Jan de Bont, whom he brought on board), Teague nonetheless enjoyed a mostly trouble-free shoot on this adaptation of King's dark and downbeat novel. Published by the Viking Press in 1981, Cujo is one of the bestselling author's oddest works, combining a backstory of marital infidelity with an A-plot about a mother and child terrorized for three days in their stalled car by a rapid St. Bernard who may or may not be the reincarnation of a dead serial killer whose crimes were recounted in King's earlier novel, The Dead Zone. It's a messy, awkward book (which King has admitted he wrote during a black out period of drugging and drinking) and the film version carries those incongruities forward.

Stephen King turned in an early shooting script for Cujo that producer Daniel Blatt felt strayed too far from the source novel. A screenwriter named Lauren Currier was then hired to rewrite and, while her pass hewed with greater fidelity to the book, the draft was overlong and too complicated for the purposes of a 90 minute movie. A third draft by Don Carlos Dunaway trimmed a good deal of the book's first half (which details the twinned troubles of the upper middle class Trenton family and the blue collar Camber clan while charting a disturbing wrinkle in ad man Vic Trenton's sterling career) and eliminated the reincarnation angle entirely to jump to Cujo's raison d'etre: the grueling siege of Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her 4-year-old Tad (Danny Pintauro) in their stalled Ford Pinto by the eponymous foaming farm dog. While the worst Stephen King books remain enjoyable in part because of the author's folksy, insightful prose, Cujo suffers from the lack of that authorial voice. A generic, backlot quality creeps into the proceedings early on, making Donna's afternoon trysts with hunky handyman Steve Kemp (Christopher Stone) some of the dullest canoodling ever exposed on celluloid. Even details of young Tad's age-appropriate fear of monsters (familiar hunting grounds for King) feel routine and inurgent.

When Cujo finally gets going, around the 50-minute mark, the film's energy picks up demonstrably and maintains a breathless pace through to the final fade out despite wearing cutaways to other business no one cares about. All credit for Cujo's success go to the acting team of Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro. An appealing, child-like but never precious actress, Wallace had been subspecializing in courage-under-fire performances as far back as Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes (1977). While she will no doubt remain more popular with cult film fans for roles in Joe Dante's The Howling (1982) and Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982), Cujo may very well be, if not her finest hour, then her finest 45 minutes. Six-year-old Danny Pintauro is equally remarkable as the imperiled "Tadpole," cowering pitiably in the hatchback of the family car while a monster-dog tries with varying degrees of success to eat his mother. Pintauro's performance (which according to all involved was extraordinarily controlled and professional despite the fact that he was not yet old enough to read) is discomfiting in the extreme and his abject terror difficult to watch. Which is good. If only the filmmakers had crafted a film of substance to complement and support these two above-the-call-of-duty performances.

Cujo was released previously on DVD in 2001 by Artisan in a bare bones package with a pan-and-scanned transfer making the mediocre film even less effective. To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Lionsgate offers Cujo in a handsome 25th Anniversary Edition that preserves the film's enhanced widescreen framing (1.85:1, anamorphically enhanced). There is some grain to the image and a general softness typical of Cujo's vintage but colors and flesh tones are lifelike and the widescreen framing returns some of the modest magic of Jan de Bont's camerawork. The film's original monaural soundtrack is offered alongside a Dolby 2.0 mono upgrade and English and Spanish subtitles ("┬┐Cujo, que te pasa?") are optional. Lewis Teague is on hand for an amiable and occasionally informative (Teague and de Bont slid the camera on a hubcap to achieve Cujo's lowriding POV) but dull audio commentary. Teague, de Bont, Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, producer Daniel Blatt and Stephen King biographer Douglas E. Winter (aka Video Watchdog's Audio Watchdog) are among the talking heads in a well-produced three-part documentary Dog Days: The Making of Cujo that repeats (and corrects) some of the information (and misinformation) provided by Teague in his solo talk. Lionsgate's menu screens are very nice but make Cujo seem like a grotty descent into the maelstrom on par with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which it clearly isn't. The disc also offers previews of other Lionsgate product, including William Friedkin's return to horror with Bug (2006), the tiresome-looking Most Dangerous game ripoff The Condemned (2007), the ABC miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's Desperation (2006), the Season 5 box set for the USA Network's The Dead Zone spinoff series and Brian Yuzna's Rottweiler which to our way of thinking should be called Roboweiler (2004), not that anyone asked us.

For more information about Cujo, visit Lionsgate. To order Cujo, go to TCM Shopping.

by Richard Harland Smith
Cujo - Dee Wallace In Stephen King's Cujo On Dvd

Cujo - Dee Wallace in Stephen King's CUJO on DVD

On the strength of his effective handling of the low budget but highly entertaining Alligator (1980), novelist Stephen King picked Lewis Teague to direct Cujo (1983). Unfortunately for King and for Teague, Peter Medak (relatively fresh from his work on the jarring ghost story The Changeling) was given the job first but shortly after the start of principal photography in Northern California (subbing for Maine), a sudden gear change took the British director out of the picture and Teague was back at the helm. Working with Medak's cast and crew (apart from cinematographer Jan de Bont, whom he brought on board), Teague nonetheless enjoyed a mostly trouble-free shoot on this adaptation of King's dark and downbeat novel. Published by the Viking Press in 1981, Cujo is one of the bestselling author's oddest works, combining a backstory of marital infidelity with an A-plot about a mother and child terrorized for three days in their stalled car by a rapid St. Bernard who may or may not be the reincarnation of a dead serial killer whose crimes were recounted in King's earlier novel, The Dead Zone. It's a messy, awkward book (which King has admitted he wrote during a black out period of drugging and drinking) and the film version carries those incongruities forward. Stephen King turned in an early shooting script for Cujo that producer Daniel Blatt felt strayed too far from the source novel. A screenwriter named Lauren Currier was then hired to rewrite and, while her pass hewed with greater fidelity to the book, the draft was overlong and too complicated for the purposes of a 90 minute movie. A third draft by Don Carlos Dunaway trimmed a good deal of the book's first half (which details the twinned troubles of the upper middle class Trenton family and the blue collar Camber clan while charting a disturbing wrinkle in ad man Vic Trenton's sterling career) and eliminated the reincarnation angle entirely to jump to Cujo's raison d'etre: the grueling siege of Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) and her 4-year-old Tad (Danny Pintauro) in their stalled Ford Pinto by the eponymous foaming farm dog. While the worst Stephen King books remain enjoyable in part because of the author's folksy, insightful prose, Cujo suffers from the lack of that authorial voice. A generic, backlot quality creeps into the proceedings early on, making Donna's afternoon trysts with hunky handyman Steve Kemp (Christopher Stone) some of the dullest canoodling ever exposed on celluloid. Even details of young Tad's age-appropriate fear of monsters (familiar hunting grounds for King) feel routine and inurgent. When Cujo finally gets going, around the 50-minute mark, the film's energy picks up demonstrably and maintains a breathless pace through to the final fade out despite wearing cutaways to other business no one cares about. All credit for Cujo's success go to the acting team of Dee Wallace and Danny Pintauro. An appealing, child-like but never precious actress, Wallace had been subspecializing in courage-under-fire performances as far back as Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes (1977). While she will no doubt remain more popular with cult film fans for roles in Joe Dante's The Howling (1982) and Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982), Cujo may very well be, if not her finest hour, then her finest 45 minutes. Six-year-old Danny Pintauro is equally remarkable as the imperiled "Tadpole," cowering pitiably in the hatchback of the family car while a monster-dog tries with varying degrees of success to eat his mother. Pintauro's performance (which according to all involved was extraordinarily controlled and professional despite the fact that he was not yet old enough to read) is discomfiting in the extreme and his abject terror difficult to watch. Which is good. If only the filmmakers had crafted a film of substance to complement and support these two above-the-call-of-duty performances. Cujo was released previously on DVD in 2001 by Artisan in a bare bones package with a pan-and-scanned transfer making the mediocre film even less effective. To commemorate its 25th anniversary, Lionsgate offers Cujo in a handsome 25th Anniversary Edition that preserves the film's enhanced widescreen framing (1.85:1, anamorphically enhanced). There is some grain to the image and a general softness typical of Cujo's vintage but colors and flesh tones are lifelike and the widescreen framing returns some of the modest magic of Jan de Bont's camerawork. The film's original monaural soundtrack is offered alongside a Dolby 2.0 mono upgrade and English and Spanish subtitles ("┬┐Cujo, que te pasa?") are optional. Lewis Teague is on hand for an amiable and occasionally informative (Teague and de Bont slid the camera on a hubcap to achieve Cujo's lowriding POV) but dull audio commentary. Teague, de Bont, Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, producer Daniel Blatt and Stephen King biographer Douglas E. Winter (aka Video Watchdog's Audio Watchdog) are among the talking heads in a well-produced three-part documentary Dog Days: The Making of Cujo that repeats (and corrects) some of the information (and misinformation) provided by Teague in his solo talk. Lionsgate's menu screens are very nice but make Cujo seem like a grotty descent into the maelstrom on par with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which it clearly isn't. The disc also offers previews of other Lionsgate product, including William Friedkin's return to horror with Bug (2006), the tiresome-looking Most Dangerous game ripoff The Condemned (2007), the ABC miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's Desperation (2006), the Season 5 box set for the USA Network's The Dead Zone spinoff series and Brian Yuzna's Rottweiler which to our way of thinking should be called Roboweiler (2004), not that anyone asked us. For more information about Cujo, visit Lionsgate. To order Cujo, go to TCM Shopping. by Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States August 1983

Released in United States Summer August 12, 1983

Released in United States August 1983

Released in United States Summer August 12, 1983