10 Aug: Hollywood’s Favourite Dog

Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd who starred in more than 27 Hollywood films, died on 10th August, 1932 at the age of 13. Radio stations around the country interrupted programming to announce his death and then broadcast an hour long tribute to him. 

Discovered in war-torn France by American corporal Lee Duncan, he was taken back to the USA and trained to be a stunt dog, but it was his emotional close-up work which wowed the critics. “Perhaps Rin Tin Tin belongs to that modern school of acting, which expresses everything in the face”, raved the LA Times.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal why Rin Tin Tin was named in Duncan’s wife’s divorce filing; explain how he followed in the footsteps of previous canine movie star, Strongheart; and consider the logistics of exactly how he performed in the Rin Tin Tin radio show… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Excerpt: Rin Tin Tin by Susan Orlean’ (The New York Times, 2011): https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/books/review/rin-tin-tin.html

• ‘The Dogs Who Saved Hollywood: Strongheart and Rin Tin Tin’ (Rutgers University Press, 2014): https://arcade.stanford.edu/content/dogs-who-saved-hollywood-strongheart-and-rin-tin-tin-0

• ‘Susan Orlean on the original Rin Tin Tin’ (The New Yorker, 2011):

But… what’s that, boy? Five minutes more of Rin Tin Tin chat, just for supporters of the show? WOOF! To unlock it, and a bonus bit like it every single week, visit patreon.com/Retrospectors or click Subscribe on Apple Podcasts. WOOF!