Bingo

Bingo will steal your heart away. He's the world's wisest mutt in search of a loving home. This comedy-fantasy film begins in a circus setting where Bingo works as a gofer. He gets his big chance at stardom when a performing poodle is side-lined after stepping on a nail. Dressed in a poodle costume, Bingo does well until he has to jump through the "Ring of Fire". Memories of the pet shop fire where his mother died when he was just a puppy overcome him and he refuses to jump through the fiery hoop. Bingo runs off stage and angers the trainer so much that Bingo is banished from the circus and must go in search of a new home. While passing through the woods Bingo finds Chucky, a young boy who has fallen off his bike into a stream and is unconscious. Bingo rescues him and even performs CPR. Boy and dog form a close bond. Chucky wants to keep Bingo but his parents won't allow him to have a dog, so Chucky has to hide Bingo. When Chucky's father, a professional football player, is abruptly traded to another team the family moves, leaving Bingo behind. The heart-broken Chucky refuses to be parted from his beloved Bingo and deposits his scent at every stop the family makes. Bingo tracks the family from Colorado to Wisconsin having many an adventure along the way.

  • Starring: Cindy Williams, David Rasche and Robert J. Steinmiller Jr.
  • Director(s): Matthew Robbins
  • Producer(s): Tri-Star Pictures
  • Screenwriter(s): Jim Strain
  • Release Date: Monday, August 12, 1991
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

The dog portraying Bingo is actually a female named Lace, who was adopted from a shelter. The border-collie mix had a stand-in named Maui, and a stunt-double named Max to help share the workload, as Bingo is in practically every scene. In the opening sequence where Bingo works at the circus, a variety of animals are seen in the background as Bingo goes about his chores fetching water and running errands. The nail pulled from the poodle's paw was actually between her toes and she limped as a reaction to a small band tied around her foot. This did not cause her any pain or discomfort, just a sense that something was different which caused her to respond properly. In the flashback to the pet shop fire, smoke and flames are seen surrounding cages of animals. None of the animals were close to the flames which were very carefully controlled. The smoke was special effects. The small dog lying on its side that was supposed to be Bingo's mother, was actually a fake stuffed dog. When a woman shoots a gun at Bingo as he flees the circus, he was not really frightened, but merely ran from A to B with food as a reward. The sound of gunshots were added in post production. When Bingo rescues Chucky by pulling him out of the river, the actual pulling was done by a filament, which was unseen by the camera. Bingo performs his CPR by jumping off a small bridge onto Chucky's chest, thus forcing the water out of Chucky's lungs. The bridge was not high, but the camera angles made the bridge appear higher than it really was. The fish that Bingo carries in his mouth to Chucky was a purchased dead fish. The scene where a bear charges at the boy and dog, was shot in cuts. The bear was filmed separately and never came close to the boy or dog. At Duke's roadside stand, Duke sells hot dogs (literally) on a bun. In the back room many dead animals are hanging from a rafter. These were all fake animals. Bingo liberates all the caged dogs and together, they round up the villainous Duke and his wife, placing them in the rear of a truck. Bingo drives the truck straight into the hot dog stand, destroying it. He jumps out of the drivers' side window just before the crash. This scene was shot in cuts. The truck moved a little, but the film was speeded up to create the impression that it was moving faster. The part where Bingo jumps from the truck was shot in several takes. On one of the takes, the dog stumbled slightly, but was not harmed. There was no real danger to the dog in this scene. Where Bingo is following two crooks and rides on top of their car, precautions were taken to assure the dog had proper footing and was secure. The car was actually going quite slow, but the film was speeded up to give the impression that it was going faster than it really was. In a scene where Bingo jumps from a high platform to attack the two crooks, camera angles and film editing gave the impression that the dog was jumping from a greater height. The trainer doubled for the actor and actually caught the dog. The same technique of camera angles and film editing was used in other scenes in the film where Bingo jumps from various objects. In scenes where Bingo is in traffic, the traffic was carefully controlled and moved slowly. Tricks such as speeding up the camera and special angles create the illusion of traffic being faster and closer to the dog. Bingo confronts his greatest fear, fire, when he must jump through a door frame that's on fire in order to get to a fire alarm and save Chucky. The fire was carefully contained and controlled and the dog never came close to any flames and there was no danger to the dog. With the exception of one day of filming with the dog in the United States, when American Humane was on the set, the balance of filming was done in Vancouver, Canada. A representative from the British Columbia S.P.C.A. was on the set at all times when the dogs were working, and they state that the animals were given due regard for their safety and well-being. No animals were observed that were mistreated in any way.