Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood is a 1976 American comedy film directed by Michael Winner and starring Bruce Dern, Madeline Kahn, Teri Garr and Art Carney. Spoofing the craze surrounding Rin Tin Tin, the film is notable for the large number of cameo appearances by actors and actresses from Hollywood's golden age many of whom had been employees of Paramount Pictures, the film's distributor.
|Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Winner|
|Written by||Arnold Schulman|
|Music by||Neal Hefti|
|Cinematography||Richard H. Kline|
|Edited by||Bernard Gribble|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$1.2 million|
- Dorothy Lamour as Visiting Film Star
- Joan Blondell as Landlady
- Virginia Mayo as Miss Battley
- Henny Youngman as Manny Farber
- Rory Calhoun as Phillip Hart
- Aldo Ray as Stubby Stebbins
- Ethel Merman as Hedda Parsons
- Nancy Walker as Mrs. Fromberg
- Rhonda Fleming as Rhoda Flaming
- Dean Stockwell as Paul Lavell
- Dick Haymes as James Crawford
- Tab Hunter as David Hamilton
- Robert Alda as Richard Entwhistle
- Victor Mature as Nick
- Edgar Bergen as Professor Quicksand
- Henry Wilcoxon as Silent Film Director
- Alice Faye as Secretary at Gate
- Yvonne De Carlo as Cleaning Woman
Brief Cameo appearances
- Dennis Morgan as Tour Guide
- Shecky Greene as Tourist
- William Demarest as Studio Gatekeeper
- Billy Barty as Assistant Director
- Ricardo Montalban as Silent Film Star
- Jackie Coogan as Stagehand #1
- Andy Devine as Priest in Dog Pound
- Broderick Crawford as Special Effects Man
- Richard Arlen as Silent Film Star #2
- Jack La Rue as Silent Film Villain
- Gloria DeHaven as President's Girl #1
- Louis Nye as Radio Interviewer
- Johnny Weissmuller as Stagehand #2. This film was Johnny Weissmuller's final film role before he retired from acting in 1976, and died on January 20, 1984.
- Stepin Fetchit as Dancing Butler
- Ken Murray as Souvenir Salesman
- Rudy Vallee as Autograph Hound
- George Jessel as Awards Announcer
- Ann Miller as President's Girl #2
- Eli Mintz as Tailor
- Fritz Feld as Rudy's Butler
- Edward Ashley as Second Butler
- Jane Connell as Waitress
- Janet Blair as President's Girl #3
- Dennis Day as Singing Telegraph Man
- Mike Mazurki as Studio Guard
- Harry Ritz and Jimmy Ritz as Cleaning Women
- Jesse White as Rudy's Agent
- Carmel Myers as Woman Journalist
- Jack Carter as Male Journalist
- Barbara Nichols as Nick's Girl
- Army Archerd as Premiere MC
- Fernando Lamas as Premiere Male Star
- Zsa Zsa Gabor as Premiere Female Star
- Cyd Charisse as President's Girl #4
- Huntz Hall as Moving Man
- Doodles Weaver as Man in Mexican Film
- Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez as Mexican Projectionist
- Morey Amsterdam as Custard Pie Star #1
- Eddie Foy Jr. as Custard Pie Star #2
- Peter Lawford as Custard Pie Star #3
- Patricia Morison as Star at Screening
- Guy Madison as Star at Screening
- Regis Toomey as Burlesque Stagehand
- Ann Rutherford as Grayson's Studio Secretary
- Milton Berle as Blind Man
- John Carradine as Drunk
- Keye Luke as Cook in Kitchen
- Walter Pidgeon as Grayson's Butler
- Phil Leeds as Dog Catcher #1
- Cliff Norton as Dog Catcher #2
- Sterling Holloway as Old Man on Bus
- William Benedict as Man on Bus
- Dorothy Gulliver as Old Woman on Bus
The film was originally called Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Warner Bros. It was based on the career of Rin Tin Tin. The story was written by Cy Howard in 1971. He hired Arnold Schulmann to write the script. It was developed by David Picker at Warner Bros. He took the script with him when he moved to Paramount, causing the title to be changed. Filming started in August 1975.
Richard Eder of The New York Times declared, "What saves the movie, a jumble of good jokes and bad, sloppiness, chaos and apparently any old thing that came to hand, is Madeline Kahn ... What she has — as W. C. Fields and Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin had — is a kind of unwavering purpose at right angles to reality, a concentration that she bears, Magoolike, through all kinds of unreasonable events." Arthur D. Murphy of Variety reported that "this project might have worked to a degree of whimsy. But the alchemy in the direction has turned potential cotton candy into reinforced concrete; Winner's 'Death Wish' is funnier in comparison." Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Sixty guest stars can't save 'Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood' ... from its unrelentingly crass tone and steady stream of unfunny jokes. Unquestionably, the best performance is given by an appealing German shepherd named Augustus Von Schumacher, who plays Won Ton Ton." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two stars out of four and called it "a scattershot comedy that can't make up its mind whether to be 'wholesome family entertainment' or a smutty film industry in-joke. It goes both ways."
John Pym of The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "Michael Winner does not have Mel Brooks' frenzied gift for marshaling this sort of material; and, to make matters worse, the script attains a level of parody no higher than Ron Leibman's mincing caricature of Valentino, embellished with little more than the standard mannerisms of the familiar theatrical queen." Gary Arnold of The Washington Post stated, "This tacky exercise in mock nostalgia may be added to that recent, weirdly miscalculated genre that includes 'W. C. Fields and Me,' 'Gable and Lombard' and 'The Day of the Locust' ... They may be presented as uninhibited, madcap spoofs of Old Hollywood, but they tend to end up illustrating the New Hollywood at its most crass, insecure and condescending."
- SECOND ANNUAL GROSSES GLOSS Byron, Stuart. Film Comment; New York Vol. 13, Iss. 2, (Mar/Apr 1977): 35-37,64.
- The New York Times
- The New York Times
- To Rinny With Love and G Rating Haber, Joyce. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 27 Aug 1975: e10.
- Eder, Richard (May 27, 1976). "Miss Kahn Lifts 'Won Ton Ton'". The New York Times. 30.
- Murphy, Arthur D. (May 5, 1976). "Film Reviews: Won Ton Ton, The Dog Who Saved Hollywood". Variety. 18.
- Thomas, Kevin (May 26, 1976). "Hollywood in 'Won' Dimension". Los Angeles Times. Part IV, p. 1.
- Siskel, Gene (May 31, 1976). " Won Ton Ton can't save bad script". Chicago Tribune. Section 2, p. 9.
- Pym, John (August 1976). "Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 43 (511): 177.
- Arnold, Gary (May 28, 1976). "'Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood'". The Washington Post. B9.