K-9 (film)

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This article is about the film K-9. For other uses of K-9, see K9.
K nine.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Rod Daniel
Produced by Lawrence Gordon
Charles Gordon
Written by Steven Siegel
Scott Myers
Lloyd Levin
Donna Smith
Starring James Belushi
Jerry Lee
Mel Harris
Music by Miles Goodman
Cinematography Dean Semler
Edited by Lois Freeman-Fox
Gordon Company
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s)
  • April 28, 1989 (1989-04-28)
Running time 102 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $17 million
Box office $78,247,647

K-9 is a 1989 American action/thriller-comedy film starring James Belushi and Mel Harris. It was directed by Rod Daniel, written by Steven Siegel and Scott Myers, produced by Lawrence Gordon and Charles Gordon, and released by Universal City Studios. It has two sequels, K-911 (1999) and K-9: P.I. (2002), both being direct-to-video.


Belushi plays bad-tempered San Diego police detective Michael Dooley, who has been tagged for execution by a major international drug dealer named Lyman (played by Kevin Tighe). To help, a so-called "friend" named Brannigan (played by Ed O'Neill) gives Dooley an unorthodox drug-sniffing police dog called "Jerry Lee" (named after rock-and-roll's legendary "Killer").[1] The two attempt to put Lyman in prison, but Dooley soon learns that Jerry Lee is a mischievous smart aleck who works only when and how he wants to. Many of the movie's gags revolve around Jerry Lee's playfully destructive episodes.


The role of "Jerry Lee" was played by more than one dog, including backups/stand-ins.[2][3]


The film received mixed reviews from the Los Angeles Times, praising the actors but not the routine plot. "It's enjoyable, thanks not only to its charismatic duo, but also to the skilled comedy direction of Rod Daniel."[4] Additionally, The New York Times gave the film mixed reviews, stating it had "no shred of credibility", yet contains "cutesy, surefire dog tricks" and a "breezy pacing".[5] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film "2 stars".[6] The Washington Post complimented Jerry Lee's performance.[7]

K-9 currently holds a 22% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (with a 46% audience approval).[8]


Music composed by John Williams / Courtesy of MCA Records

Written by Barbara Ann Hawkins (as Hawkins), Joe Jones (as Jones), Rosa Lee Hawkins (as Hawkins), Marilyn Jones (as Johnson), Sharon Jones (as Jones) and Jessie Thomas (as Thomas) of The Dixie Cups / Performed by Amy Holland

Written by James Brown / Performed by James Brown / Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc.

Written by Boris Blank and Dieter Meier / Performed by Yello / Courtesy of PolyGram Special Products, a division of PolyGram Records, Inc.

Written by Norman Whitfield Performed by Rose Royce Courtesy of MCA Records


  1. ^ Thomas, Kevin (April 28, 1989). "Movie Reviews : 'K-9' a Serviceable Outing for Belushi". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved Aug 21, 2012. 
  2. ^ Neill, Michael;Marie Moneysmith (1989-05-22). "Get Used to It, Cybill—there's a New Shepherd in Hollywood". People. Retrieved 2011-12-21. 
  3. ^ Hearne, Vicki (1988-12-11). "The Cruelty Question : How Do They Get a Horse to Flip Flapjacks, an Elephant to Ring for Champagne, a Chimpanzee to Sit Still? Hollywood Animal Trainers Explain Their Side of the Controversy.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-12-24. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Kevin (1989-04-28). "Movie Reviews : 'K-9' a Serviceable Outing for Belushi". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  5. ^ Holden, Stephen (April 28, 1989). "K 9 (1989) Review/Film; A Canine Constable and Partner, in 'K-9'". New York Times. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 28, 1989). "K-9". rogerebert.com. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ Kempley, Rita (April 28, 1989). "K-9 (PG-13)". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/k9/

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