To Dance with the White Dog

Jordan, GlennCronyn, HumeTandy, Jessica

Primary Category: Performing Arts / Film, TV, Video

Genre: Film

Annotated by:
Donley, Carol
  • Date of entry: Sep-15-2000


Sam (Hume Cronyn) and Cora Peek (Jessica Tandy) dance to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, surrounded by friends and children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Not long after this party, Cora dies suddenly, and Sam is left alone and depressed. His anxious, protective children try to manage his life, down to what he eats, but Sam wants to be left alone. There is a classic, often comic conflict between the stubborn, independent old father and his worried, controlling children.

To help Sam, his wife returns from the dead as a white dog which he feeds and cares for, but she keeps hiding when the other family members appear, so they think Sam is hallucinating and demented. When Sam has a stroke, however, the white dog runs to a family member's house and barks for help, saving Sam's life. Later, as Sam recovers and walks using a walker, the white dog "dances" with him by putting her front paws on top of the walker. She also saves his life another time when she leads family members to a stream where Sam has fallen. Mostly she is there as his loving companion, leaving only when Sam dies.


Based on the book by Terry Kay, "To Dance with the White Dog" is the last film that Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy made together before Tandy died. A touching love story, it continues even after Cora dies and returns as a white dog to be with her husband. It may be somewhat sentimental, but that's O.K. It's a fitting closure for these two great actors and their own wonderful marriage.


The film was made for television (Hallmark Hall of Fame). It is based on the book of the same name by Terry Kay.




Republic Pictures

Running Time (in minutes)