To Dance with the White Dog

Director:   Glenn Jordan
Year:   1993
Language:   English
Time:   100 minutes

This is the touching story of Sam Peek, an elderly man who is working through his grief and pain after having lost his wife Cora of 50 years. After Cora dies, a white dog that, at first, only Sam can see suddenly materializes as his new companion and confidant. His new friend gives him happiness and strength as he takes the dog on a nostalgic journey which dramatizes the fulfillment he shared with his departed wife. The dog looks after Sam when his health begins to diminish and continues to be a guardian and companion -- much like Cora.

Susan Cooper wrote the screenplay based on the 1990 novel by Terry Kay.

Nominated for 9 awards,7 of which were Emmys, the cast includes Hume Cronyn (Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor), Jessica Tandy, Esther Rolle, Frank Whaley, Harley Cross, Amy Wright, and Christine Baranski.

Rated PG.


In 1993, To Dance with the White Dog was presented as a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS television. The production earned the highest television rating of the 1993 season, with more than 33 million viewers. The character of Sam Peek was based on Kay's father. For more information about this work and other Terry Kay work, visit the author's webpage.

Susan Cooper is a prolific author and screenwriter and has produced many great works. A detailed view of her work with "To Dance with the White Dog" as well as her other work can be found on her website.

To fully understand the success of this novel and film, review this page about the Japanese version of the film.

This film is being shown in conjunction with Shepherd University's Appalachian Heritage Writer in Residence program. For more information please visit their website.