MovieChat Forums > Benji (1974) Discussion > One thing I never got...

One thing I never got...


I never understood, the father didn't want a dog because one of them bit their uncle, okay, but he tells the kids it's because Benji's a stray and strays can carry diseases they wouldn't know about. But a vet would know about them even in the 70s, wouldn't they? So why didn't any of them think of that?

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Well, this movie falls short on many levels. It had a really small budget, the actors are terrible with their lines and their actions (bizarre pauses), and the script has all sorts of impossible or improbable scenarios.

Now with that said, this is a great movie! They weren't trying to make another Spartacus here. If that is kept in mind, it is easy to overlook some of the less-than-stellar aspects. Even the guy who played Eb on Greed Acres had to dumb down his performance to fit in.

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Who knows, the uncle could have gotten rabies...

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Yeah but if a vet had looked at the dog before it bit their uncle, they would've known that.

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Very late replying, but that was the prevailing wisdom back then. My parents said the same thing, and when we got a dog, we went to the pet store because it was considered safer. These days, people will take in a stray to give it a better life, but that was not common in the 60s or 70s.

Also, you couldn't check for rabies without killing the dog, so it was not easy for a vet to just say everything was okay. The rabies treatment back then was expensive and included very, very painful shots, and the shots went on every day for a month. That's if you managed to catch it in time. If you were not educated for what to look for in rabies (and many people were not), you didn't know that someone's symptoms were due to rabies. Once the symptoms set in, no one survived. If a child was bitten and the stray ran away, the children were given the shots just in case, and it was agonizing for them. So rabies was a fear, and since strays could carry rabies, most parents kept their children away from them.

Things are different now, though. And in general, dogs live better lives now then they did back then. :)

I was charmed by the movie, but when I rewatched it as an adult I thought the part about the bitten uncle was the only realistic thing in the entire movie.

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Maybe the dad had issues about getting close to someone again after his wife had died and was passing that on to the kids- don't get close to someone because it hurts even more when you lose them. Maybe with some more powerful acting, like mine (NOT!) or a smoother script that might have come across. Maybe?

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