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Hounddog (2007)

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A drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley.


Deborah Kampmeier
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dakota Fanning ... Lewellen
Granoldo Frazier Granoldo Frazier ... Band Member D (as Grenaldo Frazier)
Isabelle Fuhrman ... Grasshopper
Cody Hanford ... Buddy
Piper Laurie ... Grammie
Charlie Lucas Charlie Lucas ... Band Member A
Herman McCloud Herman McCloud ... Band Member B
Chandler McIntyre Chandler McIntyre ... Buddy's Mother
David Morse ... Daddy
Robin Mullins Robin Mullins ... Marge
Afemo Omilami ... Charles
Tom Oppenheim Tom Oppenheim ... Mechanic
Tim Parati ... Bartender
Blake Rayne ... Elvis (as Ryan Pelton)
Robin Wright ... Stranger Lady (as Robin Wright Penn)


A drama set in the American South, where a precocious, troubled girl finds a safe haven in the music and movement of Elvis Presley.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Gotta always somehow make good outta what can poison you. See more »


Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a disturbing sexual assault of a young girl, and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

22 January 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hounddog See more »

Filming Locations:

North Carolina, USA See more »


Box Office


$3,750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,744, 21 September 2008

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR (Dolby 5.1)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Edward Lachman, the original cinematographer, had to leave after two weeks of shooting to work on another film. Jim Denault shot for the next month; gaffer Stephen Thompson took over near the end of shooting. See more »


The 45 rpm record that Lewellen's father gave her in the truck (supposedly by Elvis on RCA) is apparently a reissue of an original which did not exist at the time. See more »


Buddy: Guess what I heard?
Lewellen: What?
Buddy: Guess!
Lewellen: No, tell me.
Buddy: I heard Elvis is comin' to town.
Lewellen: Elvis is comin' to town?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film has a 2008 copyright date in the credits, despite first being shown in early 2007. See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of Amy Poehler (2009) See more »


Stealin' Sugar
Written by Jim Ray Bates
Performed by Ray Batts
Courtesy of Hip-O Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice film about Jenny, but where's Forrest?
29 November 2011 | by hi_im_manicSee all my reviews

Cliché after cliché is revisited, and yet this film still holds a respectable place of its own. Think of this film as a prequel to Forrest Gump, and it could be named "Jenny's Story".

Here are just a few of the clichés to be seen, they are typical of a film set in the mid-late 50's, in a rural southern town: aggressive alcoholic cad of father who's always angry. Parents unmindful of children's well-being. Ramshackle homes in disrepair. Dirty, barefoot children left unattended. Kids buying and/or drinking beer. Over-zealous religious nut-jobs. Abused women who accept mistreatment. Trampy chain-smokers. Perverted pedophiles. Playing in the crick'. Soulful black people in oppression. Granny with a shotgun. Horrible homemade fashions. Blues and soulful music. Family love triangles. Home grown foods. Kids getting "whoopin's". Dangerous critters running amok. Pitiful characters. Creepy characters. Old myths and legends. Mutt gets shot. White plantation home. Corn fields. Sage older black man. Broke down rusted vehicles. A fiery church service... trust Me, I COULD keep going. It is through these devices that we get a real feel of the crude existence of some within our "civilized society" at different places and times.

At least they spared us the usual overworked southern accents, and graphic displays of domestic violence!

Let's face it. Some of these stereotypical clichés are completely necessary for a story of this type. You can't make biscuits without flour (southern pun). Fact is, many of these things were true fixtures at that time. My grandmother and aunts can testify as much.

Fanning's performance is the feature presentation here. It's almost award worthy, almost. Perhaps it could have won, if in a different movie. She is convincing and displays just the right amount of intensity in this serious role. She is bearing the weight of a time-period drama of a sensitive nature, and does so remarkably well for someone of her age and career experience.

Even when Lewellens actions are not wise, we understand that she's still a naive child full of hope and wonder. Lewellen is indeed precocious and independent but she's an innocent and ill-equipped to perceive why others will hurt and disappoint her.

Family support is non-existent. What family she has is threatening and harsh. Family kills her dog, abandons her on a whim, can't provide, can't offer comfort or affection, makes her feel guilt and isolates her from her friends. Her friends and peers aren't very good either, when they can betray her maliciously.

What Lewellen does have is music, a love for Elvis and his songs. Although such things are demonized by her grandmother, Lewellen finds a safe place to express herself within them. Performing Elvis' songs brings joy, a sense of pride, and something for which to dream in an otherwise depressive place.

We want to see Lewellen succeed and have some happiness, the audience cares for this character and her plight. We wish her predicament weren't so bleak and the people in her life weren't so utterly worthless (save one exception).

There was an ominous cloud lingering around the father during the whole movie, it was as if he may lose control at any moment and abuse his daughter. Every scene with the two of them together was uneasy, even though the daughter didn't behave apprehensively.

I thought the sets on this film were pretty good, so sure, they need some cinematic showcasing. There's reportedly some goofs (dealing with cars) but since I'm not an antique car expert, I was never distracted. The editing could have been better tailored, I can't quite pinpoint the specifics that could have been improved to make this film a classic... several production values are just "off" a little bit.

I did not find the snake imagery obtrusive. It conveyed the message of being strangled by sin, depravity, and shame. It represents the differing types of venom that poisonously consume a person... this message was depicted in various other ways throughout the film.

One could easily sift through this film for life lessons and spiritual significance, and not be disappointed. The films ends leaving you unsatisfied, but at least it ends on the appropriate note.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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