Red Dog is a 2011 Australian family film directed by Kriv Stenders and produced by Nelson Woss and Julie Ryan. The film is based on a true story from the novel Red Dog by Louis de Bernieres about Red Dog. At the 2011 Inside Film Awards, Red Dog was nominated in nine categories and won seven, including best feature film. The film was also nominated for seven AACTA Awards and won for Best Film.
In 1979, a truck driver Thomas (Luke Ford) arrives in Dampier, Western Australia, late one night. Upon entering the town pub he sees the silhouettes of a group of men, one of whom is holding a gun. Believing it is a murder, he rushes into the next room, where he sees that the men are trying to put down an apparently sick dog (Koko). Unable to bring themselves to carry out the euthanasia, the men, with Thomas, retreat to the bar.
Publican Jack Collins (Noah Taylor) tells him the dog’s name is Red Dog and narrates his story. Upon arriving in Dampier, the dog befriends many of the employees of Hamersley Iron, who have a major iron ore excavation in progress. Various miners relate their stories of Red Dog to Thomas, but state that, while Red Dog was a dog for everyone, he had no real master.
The men then tell of an American named John Grant (Josh Lucas), who became Red’s true master. John, a bus driver for Hamersley Iron, starts dating a woman named Nancy (Rachael Taylor), who is a secretary at Hamersley Iron. After living in Dampier for two years, John proposes to Nancy. On the night of the engagement, John tells Red Dog to stay until he returns from Nancy’s caravan. Early the next morning, John rides his motorcycle from Nancy’s caravan, but is killed in an accident on the way
In the shock of John’s accident, Nancy and the Hamersley men forget about Red Dog. Three days after the funeral, they find him still waiting where John told him to stay. After three weeks Red dog decides to look for John, first at Hamersley Iron, then the bar and other places where John was known to go, until all of Dampier is explored. He then continues across much of the Australian North West Pilbara region from Perth to Darwin. He is even rumoured to have caught a ship to Japan in search of John. Finally, the grief catches up to him, and he decides to return to Dampier.
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