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Lawn Dogs [DVD] [1997]

4.1 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

Price: £6.22 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Sam Rockwell, Mischa Barton, Kathleen Quinan
  • Directors: John Duigan
  • Format: Dolby, PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Strawberry Media
  • DVD Release Date: 14 Feb. 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004FN7JAM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,915 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description


No review of Lawn Dogs can adequately describe this extraordinary movie, nor can the title or any simple synopsis. In fact, there's no way of knowing what Lawn Dogs is really about until the very end when the last 90-minutes takes on a whole new significance.

The basic story follows the formation and fruition of a simple friendship. Devon (astounding newcomer Mischa Barton) is a 10-year-old girl born to glamour magazine identikit parents who live in the plush US suburban Camelot Gardens Estate. Trent (Sam Rockwell) is a 20-something lawnmower man whom everyone considers trash and who lives in a forest trailer. As secret friends they fill the holes in one another's lives. She has no other friends because she thinks "other kids smell like TV". It's all perfectly sweet and innocent. But naturally there's no way the uptight neighbourhood would perceive it that way. A creeping sense of doom begins to overtake events; but it is where this seemingly obvious tale twists at the end that makes the community's darker quirks a revelation.

On the DVD: Lawn Dogs on disc comes in a 16:9 transfer that retains the superb cinematography of endlessly stretching flat horizons. The three-channel sound is equally of benefit to a subtle bluesy score. Regrettably the only extra is a trailer. As a winner at numerous International Film Festivals, this picture really deserved something more. --Paul Tonks --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Description

Starring Sam Rockwell and Mischa Barton this is in fact the last film that Rank actually made. A perfect, magical movie about a friendship between an emotionally isolated young girl in a ritzy, phoney neighbourhood, and a shunned, blue collar worker. In this touching tale of friendship against adversity the 10 year old Devon Stockard (Mischa Barton) and her parents (Kathleen Quinlan and Christopher McDonald) have just arrived in the exclusive gated community Camelot Gardens. Unlike her practical and ambitious parents Devon likes to be alone in her own imaginary worlds and whilst exploring outside the fence she stumbles upon the trailer of Trent (Sam Rockwell) a 22 year old lawn dog who mows the lawns for a living. Even though he is taunted by the rich college kids of the insular community an unlikely yet fulfilling friendship blossoms between the two outsiders. When the townsfolk misunderstand this innocent relationship and Trent is wrongly suspected of being a child molester, it is down to Devon to fight the suspicion and paranoia and find the strength to try to save him. 10-year old Devon Stockard (played by Barton) is new to Camelot Gardens, an up-market housing development. Unlike her socially ambitious parents, she likes to be alone in her imaginative world. She stumbles upon the trailer of Trent, a 22-year old lawn dog who mows lawns for a living, even though he is taunted by the rich college kids. Slowly, an unlikely and fulfilling friendship is born between the two outsiders, that is actually completely innocent, but given the child-adult nature of the friendship it is obvious that it would be unacceptable to the residents if they were found out. ...A pointedly whimsical film.... It shows off a poised young actress and a leading man with charisma to burn... -- Janet Maslin, New York Times "...Duigan reveals the truth and humour of growing up in a sheltered, unforgiving suburbia... -- Christine Spines, Premiere "...Beguilingly offbeat....Rockwell emerges as a compelling actor..." -- Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was watching TV late one night and happened upon this little gem.
I have been a fan of Sam Rockwell for a few years now and so was really happy to find him on Channel 4 in the wee hours, and I liked it so much I bought it from Amazon.
Lawn Dogs is, as with most of Rockwell's films, an overlooked and underrated piece of art. The story is unusual (a little holey at times but on the main it was quirky enough to pull it off) and a little unsettling, but all in all I highly recommend it to adults who miss magic in cinema and to those who really enjoy great good acting with bite and verve.
Micha Barton (now all growed up and in the OC on E4) is such a brilliant actress, holding her own against some seriously heavyweight performers. Charming and delicate, dangerous and eccentric, her charactor's reaching out to Sam's 'lawn dog' is both understandable and heavily burdened with the responsibility that this has to be done right or it'll be horrible. Well it isn't horrible, it's charming and a love story in the truest sense of the word.
See this movie. See All of Sam Rockwell's movies - he's a small man with a GIANT talent.
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Format: VHS Tape
The popular (and rather dull) argument following the success of American Beauty (Sam Mendes) was that it had usurped the superior Happiness (Todd Solondz). The implication being that Solondz's tedious slab of misanthropy, that failed to match his previous work Welcome to the Dollhouse, had been robbed of both audience and acclaim by American Beauty. This was emphasised by Solondz's childish references to American Beauty in the messy Storytelling. The film that both American Beauty and Happiness cheated out of audience & acclaim is this film- Lawn Dogs (1997).
Written by Naomi Wallace, it tells the story of a friendship between a 10-year old outsider girl and a young lawn dog- who is also an outsider (though from a lower class). The film looks at the notions of class in American society by focusing on the gated community of Camelot Gardens, where Devon (the girl) lives and where Trent (the lawn dog) comes to work.
The film perhaps tackles too many issues, an agent orange/gulf syndrome disease is tacked on to themes of paranoia, paedophilia,access to firearms ,adultery,repressed homosexuality, crime ,market place viability, mob rule etc. This film may have suffered from a lack of promotion as it touches on too many wounds prevalent to Western society. Love the scene where the suburban families have a barbie to images of the Gulf War or the notion that the worst glasses in Devon's house are the best glasses in Trent's mobile home. Other wonderful scenes occur- from the nude dive to Dwight Yoakam (not unlike The Swimmer)to the Badlands-style panaroma of fields to the "I'll show you my scar" scene. Not forgetting the dreamlike shot of Devon's nightdress floating into the night- there are some very David Lynch moments here amid a political and mythological discourse.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
LD is an enchanting story of isolation & friendship, brought to us from Austalian John Duigan, director of 1991's masterpiece The Year My voice Broke, & 1989's Dead Calm. The story centers around 10 year old 'new to the neighbourhood' Devon, & 20 something 'trailer trash' lawn mower boy Trent, set against a magical & quite surreal backdrop of American middle class suburbia. The weighty & wide ranginig themes touched on, (class/ social politics, sexual repression & hypocrisy, paedophillia, violence & media induced paranoia / sensationalism, & lastly bigotry), are interwoven not only cohesively, but with great insight style & beauty. Capitalist values within a sort of 'redneck mentality', sums up the residents of the ironically named Camelot Gardens, an exclusive 'well to do' housing complex, where Devon has just moved to with her somewhat apathetic mother, & status obsessed father, who states, "the way I see it is- you got people that mow lawns & you got people that own em- & they aint never the same sorta people.." Stifled & lonely in the sterile environment, Devon lives in her own fairy tale world, filled with the obligatory fantasy elements of magic & witches. Her surpressed lust for life is let loose one afternoon as she ventures outside the high walls of the tightly secured & patrolled 'kingdom', with its uniformed houses, lawns, flower beds, sprinklers etc, all magnificently displayed in wide angle vistas through hazy sunlight, very Lynch-esque, with its juxtaposting of the seemingly orderly 'safe' suburban setting, against an underlying sinister tension.Read more ›
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By A Customer on 21 April 2004
Format: VHS Tape
really good film.....looks quite uninteresting but is actually amazing andvery thought was on tv a few months back n i watched it andhave been looking for the video ever since, but nowhere seems to have itfor some reason...EVERYONE should have it...immense
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 April 2016
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
John Duigan’s 1997 coming-of-age (of sorts) film provides an intriguing (if not, for me, entirely successful) mix of genres, taking in elements of fairy-tale, melodrama, parable, black comedy, social issue films, etc, as well as showcasing some endearing acting performances. At the core of Lawn Dogs is the socially alienated, unlikely pairing of Mischa Barton’s precocious young fantasist, Devon Stockard, and Sam Rockwell’s working class gardener and lawn-mower, Trent, and it is on the basis of the touching poignancy of this central relationship where Duigan’s film probably scores most highly. That said, Duigan and screenwriter Naomi Wallace certainly can’t be faulted for lack of ambition, even if some of the narrative themes, for example around (homo)sexuality and (post-war) social issues are not fully explored.

The look and feel of Duigan’s film, as it opens with Devon’s engaging voice-over narration, is evocatively Southern Gothic, calling to my mind the likes of Donna Tartt, Harper Lee and Malick’s Badlands, whilst the gated community (Camelot Gardens) into which Devon and her (apparently and exaggeratedly) 'perfect parents’ have recently moved is reminiscent of The Truman Show, the whole being overlain with a Lynchian sense of dark quirkiness (the camera’s focus on the water sprinkler appears to be a direct reference to Blue Velvet). Of course, any illusions of ‘living the American Dream’ are soon shattered by Duigan and Wallace as dark undercurrents of infidelity, promiscuity and latent paedophilia are revealed and Trent is baited by the local middle-class 'yobs’. Whilst some of the characterisations here are (parodically?
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