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·         Children Of Men -2006
     Michael Caine, Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, directed by Alfonso Cuaron.
     This picture is adapted from the P.D. James novel about a future when the human race mysteriously becomes sterile thus facing extinction. This is a very dark and violent movie. The book was dark but seeing the story played out on film, it seems darker, although there is a clear thread of hope in it.
     It does feature a Cairn terrier. The dog appears with a Russian character named Marichka who helps the young woman on her journey from the middle to the end of the movie. The dog stays with Marichka and the couple in the concentration camp throughout the last third of the picture.
 Among its many awards this film was nominated for three Academy Awards, it won the 2007 Saturn Award for best sci-fi, it won the Austin Film Critics Award, it won the BAFTA Award, it garnered a total of 24 nominations and 20 wins for various film and critics awards. This film has content with violence, adult themes, and disturbing imagery. DVD, available on Netflix.


·         National Treasure 2: Book Of Secrets- 2007, 

    Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris directed by Jon Turteltuab and Jerry Bruckheimer (uncredited).
     A film with lots of suspense and adventure as the Gates family has to clear their name in history. A famous Gates grandfather is accused of having been part of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy because of a diary purported to be that of John Wilkes-Booth.
     The Cairn has a walk on as a lively dog among a group of dogs on leash in the scene on a sidewalk in the park in front of Buckingham Palace. This is at the start of the car chase as Gates leaves the palace with an artifact. This film won two Razzie Awards. DVD, Blu-Ray DVD, available on Netflix.


·      Death at a Funeral-2007,

 Matthew McFadyen, Keely Hawes, Ewen Bremner, Director Frank Oz, Writer  Dean Craig. Ok I admit it, this one is a stretch for the list. The Cairns featured in this film are embroidered on pillows in the background of a scene. There isn't a Cairn actore here, but it's really a terrific film so watch and enjoy the brief image of Cairns in the background.DVD, Blu-Ray DVD, available on Netflix and Amazon   


·         Elizabeth: The Golden Age-2007,
     Cate Blanchett, Geoffrey Rush, Clive Owen, Samantha  Morton, directed by Shekhar Kapur, Dogs provided by Action Stunt Dogs, the Cairn in this film is uncredited.

This lush sequel to “Elizabethfocuses mainly on the relationships between Sir Walter Raleigh, Mary Queen of Scots, and the historical event of the attempted invasion of the Spanish Armada. This is one of only two pictures featuring Mary of Scots to attempt to portray the dog’s breed as history defines it. The sturdy little terrier which famously went with Mary to her execution was believed to most probably have been what today we would call a Cairn Terrier. It is portrayed by a Cairn Terrier in the film.

      The film did a good job attempting to get the color of the dog right. It is played by a wheaten Cairn. History tells us that throughout her imprisonment by Elizabeth, Mary kept a small reddish terrier of a type known at the time as an Earthe Doggie. Since Scotland’s terriers in the 1500’s did not have our  modern breed specific names, based on paintings of Mary’s dogs from her court, the pet she kept is widely believed to have been a Cairn Terrier.

      Although the dog’s role at the execution is not portrayed in the film, the Cairn’s presence in her scenes of imprisonment and in one of the deleted scenes is clear. While not shown in this film, Mary’s pet dog accompanied her to the execution, rushing out from under her red skirts at the time of her death. It then ran about barking near her severed head after the deed was done.

     The poor little animal, covered in Mary’s blood, defended his mistress by blocking the efforts of the executioner to pick up her head. The dog’s sad behavior delayed the final moments of the already gruesome event adding to the general shock of the attending audience. The devoted little dog was said to have pined to death, refusing to eat after the loss of his beloved owner.

     The historical competition for the throne between these two monarchs is so strongly impressed into the romance of British and Scottish history that it has led to many a fanciful drama, even in the UK, portraying secret meetings between the queens. Both Mary and Elizabeth put on quite a show of gracious words for the world in the midst of the competition for their titles. They made a grand appearance of repeated attempts at forgiveness and reconciliation. However, there is no historical evidence of any actual meeting between the rivals.

     This film does not portray any secret meetings. It does include scenes of Elizabeth’s famous protestations after she signed Mary’s death warrant. It also throws in a beautifully filmed but fictional visit by a barefoot Elizabeth, in her under garments, on a cliff lined coast, to witness the sinking of the Armada.

     This is one of only two films recreating the death of Mary of Scotland portraying her imprisonment by Elizabeth that not only has the right dog, but correctly includes Mary facing her death wearing the dramatic red gown of a Catholic martyr. Since Mary’s death secured the British throne for Elizabeth, and coincided with the attack by Spain from the Armada, the film is fittingly built on these two seminal events of the era.
     It is rumored that even to this day the monarchs of England keep a private portrait of the abdication of Mary in their quarters at one of their Scottish castles as a reminder of how this royal and religious threat was forced to a final resolution. This film earned a Golden Globe Award, one Academy Award nomination, and one BAFTA nomination.DVD, This film has content with violence and disturbing imagery. Blu ray DVD, available on Netflix.


·        Inkheart -2008,
     Brendan Fraser, Helen Mirren, Eliza Bennett, Nady Serkis, Paul Bettany, Jim Broadbent, directed by Iain Softley.

     This film has a controversy raging online about the uncredited dog that plays Toto. There is a debate on whether this is a Westie or several Westies dyed black or a Cairn. It is a Cairn. On this point I site several reasons for the Cairn definition.
     Some viewers felt the dog’s coat did not look enough like a harsh coated Cairn, that the dog seemed completely black and short in body. It is true Cairns should not have soft coats or solid black fur. However, some years ago there was a well known breeder of Cairns in Southern California who was adept at turning out nearly jet black, soft coated Cairn Terriers that looked exactly like the one in this film, so those are poor arguments against the dog’s breed type.
    As to the dog being a dyed Westie, harsh coated terrier fur is somewhat resistant to dyes. It could be done but it would almost require shoe polish to blacken it enough for this dog’s look. In Hollywood anything is possible, but why waste so much time, money, and effort managing a color change when you could just hire a Cairn from the start?
     Once upon a time Cairns and Westies were one breed, the Highland Terrier. They were divided into separate breeds in the early part of the 20th century by color. White dogs were automatically defined as West Highland White Terriers. All the other colors of Highland Terrier were absolutely defined as Cairn Terriers. Although some Westies with pale wheaten coat colors are considered to be Westies with faults, to this day, Westie rescue groups call in the Cairn rescue groups when the dogs turned over to them have wheaten or other off white markings. There is still some overlap as there are some very pale Cairns and a few rather dark Westies in this world.
      Because of that definition, even if, as some have asserted online, the dog playing Toto in this film is a Westie dyed black, once the color change was achieved it was no longer a Westie, it became a Cairn Terrier. Anyway, even tricks of movie magic could not disguise what appear to be slight bits of gray fur at the nose, lower legs, and paws.
     Inkheart’s Toto is a Cairn. The doggie is cute, well trained, and crucial to the plot. It is about gifted readers who can bring characters from books to life. The film is a fairy tale based on a best selling tween novel by Cornelia Funke.
      It has a famous, talented cast with beautiful sets and scenery. It is filmed all along the stunning Italian Riviera. It also has tons of fancy special effects. The ending is a tad predictable but it is a film for older kids and family viewing so those wishing for blood, gore, and complexity won’t find satisfaction in this picture. This film contains some violence and scenes which very small children may find disturbing, DVD, available on Netflix, Amazon.


· J Edgar - 2011

      Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Watts, Judi Dench. Directed by Clint Eastwood. 

      Two small wheaten Cairns and the housekeeper greet Mr. Hoover at the door when he comes home on the last day of his life in this film. It is a gritty, dark account of the life of J. Edgar Hoover, one of the most powerful figures of American history. It proposes some of the details of the rumored longtime homosexual affair between Hoover and his top assitant Mr. Tolson. It delves into the formation of the FBI, Hoover's dependence on his mother, the details of theLindbergh kidnapping, Hoover's rocky relationship with the Kennedy family, and his secret files on Eleanor Rooselvelt, Martin Luther King, and other famous Americans. This film contains violence, sexual themes, and language which are inappropriate for children.  DVD, available on Netflix, Amazon.


 ·   W.E.-2011,
Abbie Cornish, James D'Arcy, Andrea Riseborough, Directed by Madonna, Written by Madonna and Alek Keshishian

             This movie was released with little fanfare in the United States. It definitely has Cairn Terriers in it; they are featured in the trailers for the film and they are used in the sequences with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor througout the film.This is the story of the former Wallis Simpson, an American divorcee, who married King Edward VIII when he abdicated for love. After his abdication they became the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. The story of the couple is interlaced with a story of a beautiful modern antiques expert who is obssessed with the life of Wallis Windsor and the security guard who works at her auction house. This film is well written, acted, and beautifully filmed. The story is surprising and romantic, although a bit dark. It does deal with adult issues of marital infidelity, infertility treatments, spousal abuse, and it contains some coarse language. This film is not appropriate for small children, DVD available on Netflix and Amazon,.


       After the Wizard - 2011

    Jordan Van Vraken, Orien Richman, Jermel Nakia, Director and Writer Hugh Gross

          This picture came out to little fanfare in 2011. It is the story of an Kansas orphan who believes she is Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz story worrying the caretakers that surround her. While she dreams of Oz things have gone awry in Oz and only Dorothy can help. The Tinman and Scarecrow travel to modern American by ballon to find her. They take a cross country journey to Kansas in their search. Yes, there is a Toto, a little wheaten Cairn is featured in this film. DVD, available on Amazon.


·  Project X-2012,

         Thomas Mann, Oliver Cooper, Johnathan Daniel Brown, Directed by Nima Nourizadeh, Written by Michael Bacall, (no relation to the famous actress), and a wheaten Cairn in the uncredited role of "Milo" the family dog. This film was produced by Todd Phillips, known for his series of drinking party films for adults "The Hangover" and "The Hangover2". Fresh off the flop that was Hangover 2, his second drunken party movie, Mr. Phillips was moved onto this piece of work aimed squarely at teen boys, and yes, it's another drunken party movie. What a stretch. The best that can be said for it is, it's boring, not funny, and very predictable. The worst that can be said is it's full of depictions of animal cruelty. In my opinion the dog playing "Milo" was very stressed while filming. You can tell because in scene after scene the little dog is looking confused with it's tail firmly down and in one scene the tail is so deeply tucked between it's legs it appears to have a cropped tail. In Cairn Terriers that's a clear sign of stress and/or fright. It's also apparently a project that had some kind of bet going throughout about how often in any one scene the F-bombs, obcenities, and/or derisions of female anatomy or women can be repeatedly stuffed into sentences. Hip hop gangsta videos are cleaner and more respectful of women and than this picture.
     In the film, the kids throw a blowout, rave style birthday party while the parents are gone. They steal drugs from a dealer, distribute them at the party, and allow the family dog to be abused. Guests repeatedly blow depicted pot smoke into the little dog's face, force it to bounce around the feet of a ton of drunks in a bounce house, try to send it airborne duct taped to helium ballons, (the poor animal is put airborne at heights well above the second story roofline, then finally exposed to nearby shock grenade explosions. I have long wondered about the validity of the "No animal harmed in this production, animal action monitored" note at the end of films. This picture convinced me that the studios buy this tag and then turn their backs to what happens onset. Even if the stress and abuse that appears to be dipicted in this film did no permanent harm to the dog, the fact is that this type of abuse of pets is too common and too many vets have to treat injured pets after wild parties already. A picture with how to sequences on animal abuse that show the "cool" kids doing it is a stupid idea.

         Finally, the film ends with an ultimate teen fantasy, daddy approves of his "cool" son despite loosing their home, car, business office, the respect  of neighbors, and pretty much all they ever owned. The kid still gets the carkeys of what's left of the minivan, and his girl forgives him for his mistreatment of her because now he's cool. Right. It has an "R" rating that it more than deserves. It made Warner Brothers Pictures a big profit of 100 million dollars on a 12 million dollar investment so sadly that means a guaranteed sequel. Hopefully "the committee" of aging party boys that will produce that picture will have better sense, and somewhere in their dirty souls, find the kindness to not include dogs, or any other family pets, in the next picture.

     This film is not appropriate for animal lovers, children, or young people, contains scenes of animal cruelty, misogony, nudity, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual situations, and filthy language. DVD available on Netflix and Amazon.


· Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel-2013,
Documentary. Directed and Produced by Lisa Immordino Vreeland. This is an award winning documentary about the life of Diana Vreeland the former editor at Haper's Bazaar and Vogue Magazine. She reigned over fashion for decades and her eye set much of the view we have today of the 1960's and the changes in the lives of women's lifestyle and fashions over decades. Cairn Terriers are featured in the glimspes of film about her good friends the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Edward and Wallace.