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Dogtown is a 1997 American drama film by George Hickenlooper about life in the small town of Cuba, Missouri starring Mary Stuart Masterson, Jon Favreau, Rory Cochrane, Harold Russell, and Natasha Gregson Wagner.

DVD cover
Directed byGeorge Hickenlooper
Produced byDonald Zuckerman
Michael Beugg
Bradford L. Schlei
Written byGeorge Hickenlooper
StarringMary Stuart Masterson
Jon Favreau
Rory Cochrane
Harold Russell
Natasha Gregson Wagner
Music bySteve Stevens
CinematographyKramer Morgenthau
Edited byValerie Remy-Milora
Distributed byVanguard Films
Release date
  • April 3, 1997 (1997-04-03) (LAIFF)[1]
Running time
99 minutes
CountryUnited States



A failed actor returns to his small hometown, unaware that he has become a local celebrity. Taking advantage of his newfound fame, he attempts to impress an old unrequited crush who has fallen on hard times.


  • Trevor St. John as Phillip Van Horn, failed actor who returns to his hometown, had crush on Dorothy in high school
  • Mary Stuart Masterson - Dorothy Sternen, former beauty queen, now an alcoholic and depressed hairdresser in off/on relationship with Ezra
  • Jon Favreau as Ezra Good, racist bully from Phillip's past; off/on relationship with Dorothy
  • Karen Black as Rose Van Horn, Phillip's mother who sings in a local band
  • Harold Russell as Blessed William, a war veteran who runs the cigar store; Russell's final role before his death
  • Natasha Gregson Wagner as Sara Ruth Van Horn, Phillip's sister and Rose's daughter who is mentally handicapped
  • Rory Cochrane as Curtis Lasky, bully from Phillip's past; close friends with Ezra


The film was shot entirely in Torrance, California.[2] Hickenlooper intentionally tried to make Ezra Good, Jon Favreau's character, compelling and worthy of the audience's interest despite his repellent racism. Shooting took 24 days.[3] Russell's part was written for him, though he had to be persuaded to take the role.[4]


Dogtown premiered at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival in April 1997.[1]


Todd McCarthy of Variety called it an "occasionally amusing" melodrama that pales in comparison to Last Picture Show.[2]


  • 1998 Hermosa Beach Film Festival: Best Director (George Hickenlooper); Best Screenplay (George Hickenlooper); Best Actress (Karen Black)[5]
  • 1998 Newport Beach Film Festival: Best Director (George Hickenlooper)[6]


  1. ^ a b Weiner, Rex (2 March 1997). "L.A. indie fest sked set". Variety. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  2. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (20 April 1997). "Review: 'Dogtown'". Variety. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  3. ^ Hoskins, Kevin S. (4 November 1997). "A Conversation with George Hickenlooper, Director of "Dogtown"". Indiewire. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  4. ^ Bergman, Anne (8 September 1996). "Sure, It's Typecasting --but He's Used to It". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Dogtown (1997) Alternate title: Howling at the Moon". The New York Times. Retrieved 23 September 2015. Karen Black and writer/director George Hickenlooper both won awards for their work on this film at the 1998 Hermosa Beach Film Festival.
  6. ^ Herman, Jan (3 April 1998). "'Love' Conquers All at Newport Film Fest". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 January 2014.

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