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December 31, 2008

Among movies about dogs, 'Lassie' owns a special place

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Over the years, Hollywood has gotten good mileage from stories about dogs, which generally fall into two categories: tear-jerkers and comedies. The newest release, "Marley & Me," has its funny moments, but at the end, the story of a rambunctious yellow Labrador leaves theatergoers reaching for their hankies. The movie, which also stars Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, set a box-office record for Christmas Day receipts by pulling in $14.75 million. Early success, however, doesn't guarantee "classic" status. That rarefied position, in the view of Time magazine's editors, is reserved for the likes of "Lassie Come Home" and "Old Yeller." Time's Top 10 dog movies of all time, and the year each was released:

  • 1. "Lassie Come Home" (1943)
  • 2. "Lady and the Tramp" (1955)
  • 3. "Old Yeller" (1957)
  • 4. "101 Dalmations" (1961)
  • 5. "Cujo" (1983)
  • 6. "The Adventures of Milo & Otis" (1986)
  • 7. "Turner & Hooch" (1989)
  • 8. "Beethoven" (1992)
  • 9. "Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey" (1993)
  • 10. "Best in Show" (2000)