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Episode #109: Dogfight

Listen to Episode 109 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.

SUMMARY - In Dogfight, a group of Marines organize a dance during their last night in San Francisco before leaving for Vietnam. They hold a contest to see which one can bring the ugliest date and the winning soldier gets a cash prize. Eddie Birdlace (played by River Phoenix) has trouble finding someone until he comes across Rose (played by Lili Taylor) working at a diner.

Screenplay by Bob Comfort; Directed by Nancy Savoca; and premiered at the Telluride Film Festival on August 30, 1991.


Considering the subject matter, we didn't have the highest hopes for the presentation.

Other movies from this year have not been so kind or tactful, but this had a surprising amount of charm.

It was also great to see some of these girls seeing straight through the bullshit

Of course there's a little bit of bullshit in the contest, too.

The main story of the movie is the one-night relationship between our leads.

There is a nice sense of mini-adventure and romance across multiple locations that gave us a "Before" series vibe.

We also get some scenes showing what the other 3 Bs are up to and showing what Birdsong is expected to doing and be like.

It's great seeing some of the locations around San Francisco (even though most of the interiors are filmed elsewhere).

There's a great supporting cast of characters throughout as well, no matter how small the part.

It was a surprisingly interesting and open-ended movie. Nikki thought that there was a better spot to end it, but neither of us were mad about how it did resolve.

Oh, and we had to mention the debut performance of Brendan Frasier.

Awards Talk: Somewhat surprisingly, none to really speak of but the acting is great, especially from Lili Taylor.


This week our true crime segment is focusing on the Tailhook scandal that was prominent in the news around this time.

We also briefly discuss the brief local musical stage play revival attempt:


Nikki 1-5 star scale - 4 out of 5

Jon 0-4 star scale - 3 out of 4

Would you watch it again? - Yes, we both would. It's a strange concept for a film, but presented with a lot of charm and humor with a bit of a "Before Sunrise" in the flirty, serious conversations during their adventure. On top of that, the great performances from the young cast would make us come back.

If you want to watch Dogfight, as of this recording in April 2023, it’s available on Kanopy, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.


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Join us next time for Backdraft available on Digital Rental, VHS, DVD


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