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Film / Turner & Hooch


A 1989 comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode, starring Tom Hanks (and a dog).

Scott Turner (Hanks), an obsessively neat police detective, acquires Hooch, a large and slobbery Dogue de Bordeaux, after the murder of the dog's master Amos Reed (John McIntire), a local junk-yard owner who was a friend of Turner's. Turner is bored with little police work in the fictional town of Cypress Beach, California and is set to transfer to a better job in Sacramento, while fellow detective David Sutton (Reginald VelJohnson) is slated to be his replacement.

Turner pleads with police chief Howard Hyde (Craig T Nelson) to let him take on Amos' murder case. Believing that Hooch is the only "witness" he has, Turner brings him home. The energetic dog promptly destroys Turner's house and car and turns his life upside-down. On a positive note, however, Hooch also instigates a romance between Turner and the new town veterinarian Emily Carson (Mare Winningham).

Tropes seen in this film:

  • Big Friendly Dog: Averted at first, but played straight towards the end.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Hooch has a patented trick, in which he can hold a grown human in a chokehold with his mouth without biting unless commanded. Turner uses that trick to intimidate a thug connected to Hooch's Master's murder.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Turner solves the murder and brings down the criminal behind the drug operation and Hyde, but Hooch is shot and killed in the process. However, he did father a litter of puppies before his death... including a son who behaves almost exactly like him.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Even after being shot, Hooch forces himself to crawl toward Howard Hyde and bite him in the leg when he threatens Turner, allowing him to take Hyde's shotgun and shoot him.
  • Make the Dog Testify: The driving force behind the plot; Hooch has the murderer's scent and witnessed it happen so he's the only lead the cops currently have.
  • Trash of the Titans: Even for a dog, Hooch makes a bigger mess of Turner's house than anyone would have thought possible. This may have something to do with the fact that his previous owner also owned a junkyard.