The Ugly Dachshund
|The Ugly Dachshund|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Norman Tokar|
Gladys Bronwyn Stern (Novel)
The Ugly Dachshund|
by Gladys Bronwyn Stern
|Music by||George Bruns|
|Edited by||Robert Stafford|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Distribution|
February 4, 1966 (premiere)|
February 16, 1966
|Box office||$6.2 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)|
The Ugly Dachshund is a 1966 Walt Disney Productions feature film starring Dean Jones and Suzanne Pleshette in a story about a Great Dane who believes he's a dachshund. Based on a 1938 novel by Gladys Bronwyn Stern, the film was written by Albert Aley and directed by Norman Tokar. The Ugly Dachshund was one of several light-hearted comedies produced by the Disney Studios during the 1960s.
Fran Garrison (Suzanne Pleshette) and her husband Mark (Dean Jones) are a young happy married couple and the proud owners of an award-winning Dachshund named Danke. The movie begins with them frantically getting into the car and heading to the hospital as "the pain has started and it's about time". In a hurry to the hospital, Officer Carmody tries to pull them over for going 50 mph in a 25 mph zone. After notifying that they are on the way to the hospital and indicating that Fran is the one in labor, Officer Carmody pulls in front of them and turns on the sirens to escort them to the county hospital.
After he arrives and turns to find that Mr. and Mrs. Garrison have gone past him, he gets back on his motorcycle and follows them to the vet. It is then revealed that Danke is the one in labor. While Mark is outside waiting on Fran, Officer Carmody catches up to him and after Mark thanks him for helping them get to the vet on time, Officer Carmody reveals that he was under the impression that Mrs. Garrison was the one in labor and proceeds to write multiple traffic violation tickets totaling to $110. On the day that Mr. Garrison arrives at the vet to pick up Danke and her three female puppies: Wilhelmina, Heidi, and Chloe, veterinarian Dr. Pruitt (Charlie Ruggles) mentions that his female Great Dane, Duchess, has also given birth, but pushed away one of her male puppies because she didn't have enough milk for him.
Doc Pruitt convinces Mark to bring the Great Dane puppy home, because Danke had too much milk, and she could save his life. When he arrives home and Fran notices that there is another puppy, she is surprised but does not suspect that the puppy is from another litter and reminds Mark that he should thank Danke for giving him a boy like he always wanted. He eventually tells Fran the truth about the male puppy and named him Brutus. As he grows up with Fran's Dachshund puppies, he believes he is one of them and picks up mannerisms like hunching close to the ground to walk. The Dachshunds are mischievous creatures and lead poor unsuspecting Brutus through a series of comic misadventures with Officer Carmody (now Sergeant Carmody) being chased up a tree, Mark's studio being splattered with paint, and a garden party being turned topsy-turvy.
Fran wants Mark to remove Brutus from the house once-and-for-all but when Brutus saves her favorite puppy, Chloe, from the garbage truck, she changes her mind. Mark and Fran enter their dogs in a dog show with Brutus meeting others of his breed. He notices a female Harlequin Great Dane and stands at attention. He goes on to win two blue ribbons. Brutus finally finds out what it's like to be a Great Dane.
- Dean Jones as Mark Garrison
- Suzanne Pleshette as Fran Garrison
- Charlie Ruggles as Doctor Pruitt
- Kelly Thordsen as Officer Carmody
- Parley Baer as Mel Chadwick
- Robert Kino as Mr. Toyama
- Mako as Kenji
- Charles Lane as the Judge
- Gil Lamb as the Milkman
- Dick Wessel as Eddie the Garbageman (voice dubbed by Paul Frees)
The film has received generally mixed reviews.
- "Big Rental Pictures of 1966", Variety, 4 January 1967 p 8