An elementary school girl, KEIKO, found a pup while she and her family were hiking. He was named,
DON MATSUGORO, and grew up as a member of the family.
Three years later, KEIKO enters secondary school. Her father, KIYOSHI, is an unpopular novelist and
also a planner of a TV gossip program for housewives. The producer of the program, NOYAMA, often
visits him to press him for new plans. Watching this scene, DON MATSUGORO gets very irritated and
starts speaking using a word processor. It was a violation to the dogs’ principles. NOYAMA discovers
the fact and makes KEIKO and DON MATSUGORO take part in the TV program. DON MATSUGORO
suddenly rises to stardom. KEIKO’s mother, HISAKO, volunteers to be his manager, and makes a
contract with TV stations, organizes “autograph day,” and makes DON MATSUGORO appear in CM
films. His life as a celebrity becomes very busy.
The head of the Filing Department of the Cabinet, TSUCHIYA, while watching DON MATSUGORO’s
activities, decided he would use dogs for political purpose. He had found research done by Dr.
FUKUYAMA, that dogs understand human languages.
One day, DON HATSUGORO and KEIKO were called a fake from a critic, WADA, while they were
appearing on TV. Angry, DON MATSUGORO discloses the fact that all dogs understand human
languages. Horrified by this comment, people begin to desert their dogs. DON MATSUGORO’s
girlfriend, OGIN, was also thrown away because she was there when her owner, OKAZAKI, a
politician, was receiving a bribe.
DON MATSUGORO is brought to dog trial for the violation of rules. With her ability to understand
the dogs’ languages, KEIKO speaks for MATSUGORO. OKAZAKI finds out KEIKO’s special
talent and kidnaps her. DON MATSUGORO chases OKAZAKI. KEIKO’s younger brother, KOICHI,
and OGIN follow him in a balloon. KEIKO is confined in a house, and DON MATSUGORO is also
captured. Then many of DON MATSUGORO’s dog friends jump into the house, breaking the window.
Surrounded by so many dogs, OKAZAKI surrenders and the police take him away. Peace is returned,
and KEIKO and KOICHI take DON HATSUGORO for a walk. However, the tranquility is short, lived for
TSUCHIYA’s men come to shoot DON MATSUGORO. DON MATSUGORO, thinking KEIKO and KOICHI
are in danger, runs toward him. DON MATSUGORO disappears with the sound of gun shot.
This film depicts the comedy of human beings, as seen through the eyes of a very intelligent
canine. From the day they learn dogs understand their languages, humans are placed in fear, that
their secrets will be exposed to the outside world.
This fanciful story is based on a novel written by INOUE HISASHI. Beginning his career as a
playwright, INOUE succeeded as a novelist and awarded a prestigious literature prize, NAOKI-SHO,
in 1972. He is very popular now as a writer of incisively satirical comedies. INOUE also leads
his own dramatic company.
This is the second work of the director, NAKATA SHIN’ICHI who made his debut in 1984. He
worked as an assistant director for many masters of cinema, including ICHIKAWA KON in “I Am A Cat”
(WAGAHAI WA NEKO DE ARU) 1975. In “Don, the Incredible Dog”, more than 1000 dogs appear on the
screen. The film has successfully created a smile-provoking atmosphere by depicting very natural
actions of the four-legged actors and actresses, without any strain.
SETTING : Present day Tokyo
Color / Vista / 1986 / 105 min. / Project A = Towa Productions
Directed by : Nakata Shin’ichi
Screenplay by : Nakata Shin’ichi
Photography by : Kawakami Koichi
Art Direction by : Matsui Toshiyuki
Music by : Kawasaki Sanehiro
Based on a novel by : Inoue Hisashi
Executive Producer : Ishikawa Hiroshi
Producer : Yagi Kin’ya
Matsuzawa Kiyoshi : Maeda Gin
Hisako, his wife : Natori Yuko
Keiko, their daughter : Nishimura Tomorai
Koichi, her brother : Nakajima Yoshimi
Koyama, a TV program host : Maeda Takehiko
Noyama, a producer : Fujioka Takuya
Wada, a critic : Mickey Yasukawa
Tsuchiya : Ishibashi Renji
Okazaki, a politician : Hana Hajime
Fukuyama, a professor: Ozawa Eitaro
Kakuta Fusa : Okada Yoshiko