Higgins the Dog, whose career began at a Burbank animal shelter before rising to international stardom in the title role of BENJI (1974), proves yet again why he is widely considered the Daniel Day-Lewis of canines in the classic MOOCH GOES TO HOLLYWOOD (1971).
This time, the mature Higgins (91 in dog-years) plays against age, type, and gender as the titular character MOOCH, a young ingénue hoping to seek her fame and fortune in sleazy counter-culture, early 1970’s Hollywood. Richard Erdman’s TV movie masterpiece was inexplicably released as a family movie-of-the-week, ensuring that children across America could enjoy seeing a dog try and erotically seduce a lecherous producer, Vincent Price, Mr. Magoo, and Darren McGavin.
Part MIDNIGHT COWBOY, part VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, this childhood classic follows Mooch through her discovery of strip clubs and Cesar Romero, the Playboy Mansion and psychedelic drug parties, haircuts from Felipe from “Three’s Company,” and motorcycle rides with Vincent Price. Narrated by Richard Burton and then…suddenly not, with fabulous voice-over work by the one and only Zsa Zsa Gabor and appearances by Mickey Rooney, Edward G. Robinson, Jill St. John, Rose Marie, Phyllis Diller and more!
Co-written and produced by Jerry Devine and Jim Backus (Who also plays a live-action Mr. Magoo) and photographed by Oscar-nominated Allen Daviau (THE COLOR PURPLE, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, EMPIRE OF THE SUN, CONGO, BUGSY, HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS).
All of the animals that appear in the film (and there’s a lot) were trained by the legendary Frank Inn, including a rare appearance from Lancelot Link. Various Mooch costumes supplied by Frederick’s of Hollywood.
You may want to leave the children at home and see MOOCH GOES TO HOLLYWOOD the way it was meant to be seen, with a beautiful 16mm I.B. Tech print courtesy of the UCLA Film and Television Archive.
Director: Richard Erdman
Huluween Theatre @The Egyptian