Best in Show

March 1st, 2001


Best in Show

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Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins star as Stefan and ScottCristy & SheriBest in ShowChristopher Guest stars as Harlan PepperEugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara star as Gerry and Cookie FleckParker Posey and Michael Hitchcock star as Meg & Hamilton Swan

A colorful array of characters competes at a national dog show.

Release Year: 2000

Rating: 7.4/10 (28,710 voted)

Critic's Score: 78/100

Director: Christopher Guest

Stars: Fred Willard, Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara

The owners (and handlers) of five show dogs head for the Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. A film crew interviews them as they prepare for the trip, arrive at Philly's Taft Hotel, and compete. From Florida come the Flecks: she keeps running into old lovers. A wordless ancient in a wheelchair and his buxom trophy wife who may have a thing for the dog's handler own the two-time defending best in show, a poodle. From the piney woods of N.C. comes a fella who wants to be a ventriloquist. High-strung DINKs feud loudly in front of their Weimaraner. Two outré gay men from Tribeca round out the profiled owners. The dog show brings out the essence of the humans. Who will be best in show?

Writers: Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy

Jay Brazeau - Dr. Chuck Nelken
Parker Posey - Meg Swan
Michael Hitchcock - Hamilton Swan
Catherine O'Hara - Cookie Fleck
Eugene Levy - Gerry Fleck
Carrie Aizley - Fern City Show Spectator
Lewis Arquette - Fern City Show Spectator
Dany Canino - Fern City Show Judge
Bob Balaban - Dr. Theodore W. Millbank, III
Will Sasso - Fishin' Hole Guy
Stephen E. Miller - Fishin' Hole Guy
Christopher Guest - Harlan Pepper
Michael McKean - Stefan Vanderhoof
John Michael Higgins - Scott Donlan
Colin Cunningham - New York Butcher

Taglines: Some pets deserve a little more respect than others.


Official Website: Castle Rock |

Release Date: 1 March 2001

Filming Locations: Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada

Box Office Details

Budget: $6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $413,436 (USA) (1 October 2000) (13 Screens)

Gross: $18,621,249 (USA) (29 April 2001)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

All the scenes featuring numerous dogs went remarkably smoothly. There is only one unscripted bark in the film, heard in the background as Christy and Sherri Ann argue over Christy's makeup backstage.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): At the end of the movie there is a title that reads, "Six Months Later." However when the movie shows what happened to the Rhapsody in White characters one of them says "It's been a year."

Meg Swan: I didn't ask for your opinion. I asked for a toy that you don't have!

User Review

Sit, Stay, and Enjoy!


You would almost have to have seen the dog show world first hand to understand all the delicious inside jokes, but even if the extent of your dog show experience is an occasional glimpse of the Westminster Dog Show telecast, you'll howl with laughter.

Conformation dog showing is a world of illusion in which everyone tries to make perfect dogs out of something less. Best in Show strips the illusion away in a brutal satire that undoubtedly had every dog person on the planet cringing in horror and delight. "Isn't that just like so-and-so?" and "I'm nothing like that!"

Christopher Guest may have topped his supreme masterpiece "Spinal Tap" with this signature mockumentary in which he skewers all of dogdom. You will recognize Fred Willard's vapid and obnoxious television host as none other than Joe what's his name from Westminster, and the tension between him and Trevor Beckwith (Jim Piddock) is a thinly veiled roman a clef of David and Joe at the Big Show.

There are a few gaffs, like the fact at all the dogs at the Show are supposed to be champions before entry, but that doesn't detract from the fun. John Michael Higgins, who steals the show as the uninhibited handler, and Michael McKean are hilarious as the gay couple going out of their way to be outre. Co-writer Eugene Levy (American Pie) is perfect as the husband finding out that his wife Catherine O'Hara might be Miss Congeniality of all time. I also loved Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock as the overwrought yuppie couple who project all their angst on their poor dog. Larry Miller turns in a great cameo as one of the countless men in O'Hara's past.

A lot of people didn't get this gem. To them I can only say Bad Dog, Bad Dog! For the rest of us, it's Sit, Stay, and Enjoy!


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