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|Directed by||George Hickenlooper|
|Produced by||Michael Beugg|
|Written by||George Hickenlooper|
|Starring||Mary Stuart Masterson
Natasha Gregson Wagner
|Music by||Steve Stevens|
|Editing by||Valerie Remy-Milora|
|Distributed by||Vanguard Films|
|Running time||99 minutes|
Dogtown is a 1997 drama film by George Hickenlooper about life in the small Missouri town of Cuba, Missouri starring Mary Stuart Masterson, Jon Favreau, Rory Cochrane, Harold Russell, and Natasha Gregson Wagner. The film is 93-minute long and was shot entirely in Torrance, California. None of the southern California mountains are visible in the film, making the fictional Cuba visually like flat, Midwest terrain.
Phillip (Trevor St. John), left after high school to make his fortune. He returns to his Midwest hometown of Cuba. He has a reputation of having "made it" in the southern California movie industry. Karen Black plays Phillip's mom. Natasha Gregson Wagner plays Phillip's special needs sister, Sarah Ruth. The film opens as two locals with highway vests marked "Animal Control" pick up a dog carcass on the main road. Phillip arrives in the back of a taxi. The town's theater has been boarded up for ten years. The Foster's Freeze is still open for business. Everyone including a local police officer seems to remember Phillip.
Dorothy (Mary Stuart Masterson) was a high school cheerleader and the object of Phillip's romantic desire. She engaged in a suicide gesture at one point before the film's script begins. As the film starts, Dorothy is in an on-and-off romance with Curtis Lasky, (Rory Cochrane). Lasky, and another former high school bully, run a tow car service and fantasize about opening an appliance dealership. Dorothy and two other high school friends operate a hair salon. Blessed William (Harold Russell) runs a cigar store in the town of Cuba.
Everybody in this small town knows about everyone else's personal life. Small town stereotypes are propagated: there is incest, people recite scripture from memory, have drawls, chew tobacco, brawl often, and are alcoholic.
The film's main character, Phillip, may have been inspired partly on George Hickenlooper himself. Both are from Missouri, left for Hollywood, established themselves in the film industry and have worked with Jeff Bridges and Molly Ringwald (Hickenlooper worked with Bridges on the 1992 documentary Picture This! and with Ringwald in the 1993 short Some Folks Call it a Sling Blade).
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