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Film / Bingo

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Was his name-o!

A 1991 family comedy film directed by Matthew Robbins, Bingo is the story of a boy and a dog separated after the boy's football-player father changes teams and results in the whole family moving out of state.

The dog, Bingo, a former circus dog who fears fire, goes on a cross-country hunt to be reunited with his best friend. The movie can easily be summed up as a "talking dog" story where the dog doesn't actually talk; Bingo is highly intelligent and practically sentient, but nearly every other character instantly recognizes this and treats him as though he were human, lending the movie an odd and slightly surreal nature compared to most films of its type.

Not a film of the actual Tabletop Game.

This movie has examples of:

  • Amoral Attorney: Lenny and Eli presumably hired one.
  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Bingo can use a public phone and while he can't speak he knows Morse code, he can also conduct a car (not drive, since he can't reach the pedals and has to rely on his dog friends to push the car from behind).
  • Bound and Gagged: Several times in the film. First, a family taken hostage by two thugs, then later on, Chuckie himself.
  • Comically Missing the Point/Dogs Are Dumb: When Bingo's master was about to kill him for failing the Ring of Fire, his wife tries to stop him and told Bingo to run away. But he keeps misunderstanding her orders, so she agrees to kill him. Only then did Bingo ran away.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Bingo's knowledge of Morse (see Amplified Animal Aptitude) allows him to inform several police officers of a kidnapping by two thugs.
  • From Stray to Pet: Chuckie takes in Bingo off the street, although Bingo wasn't feral. He just was escaping worse owners.
  • Greasy Spoon: Chuckie's family stop at one, and discovers their meat are made from dogs they keep in changes. His dad is neither disgusted or weirded out.
  • Heroic Dog: Bingo
  • Heroic Pet Story: Bingo is the central protagonist, and even at his worst is just mischievous or just not knowing any better.
  • Hostage Situation: Lenny and Eli's plan once they kidnap Chuckie - they place a big bet against the Green Bay Packers, who employ Chuckie's dad. They then inform him that he, a placekicker, has to shank all of his field goal attempts or else.
  • Iris Out: The movie ends this way as it focus on Bingo, when Chuckie's dad suggest getting him fixed.
  • Loony Fan: Hal Devlin comes off like this, with his home completely festooned in the team colors for the Denver Broncos. Played with in that he's not just a fan - he's their placekicker. And when he gets traded to the Green Bay Packers, his new home is as decked with green and yellow as much as his old home was in orange and blue.
  • Make the Dog Testify: Bingo is forced to testify against two thugs after saving a family from them. Despite not being on trial, Bingo is placed in a human!prison.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Bingo bites Eli's hand while holding a cigarette, making him drop it and causing a fire.
  • Revenge: The two thugs escaped prison to go after Bingo.
  • Serious Business: Football to Green Bay's sheriff. He calls Hal in to tell him that Chuckie's secure and that he can kick without worry before the hostage situation is resolved.
  • Sequel Snark: The end of the film advertises the never-made sequel Bingo's Big Fix.
  • Throwing the Fight: What Lenny and Eli are forcing Hal to do in the climax by holding Hal's son Chuckie hostage.
  • Urine Trouble: Averted. Chuckie drinks so much during the long drive, so he can leave a trail for Bingo to follow.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Bingo is afraid of fire, ever since he was a puppy when the pet shop caught fire and his mother died in the blaze.