Eddie (Byron Mabea), Sammy (Simmy Bow), and Jo Jo (Jo Jo D’Amore) are a gang of bank robbers. Eddie is the brains of the outfit. When their latest heist goes wrong Eddie needs to come up with a plan that can’t be screwed up by the human factor. Low on money, Eddie wanders around trying to figure out what to do. While out walking one night he sees three teenagers sneak into a junkyard to steal car parts. They are cornered by three dogs that hold them there until the police arrive to take them into custody.
This sparks an idea. Eddie finds out that the dogs are Doberman Pinschers. They are big, mean and smart. Letting people think he is looking for a guard dog he asks around and learns that he needs to have a handler train the dogs to do what he wants. The best trainers are in the Army. Eddie hires retired Airman First Class Bernard M. Greer (Hal Reed) AKA Barney to train the dogs. Eddie calls him Trainer.
Eddie rents a piece of ranch property out in the country where Barney can do the training and enlists his girlfriend June (Julie Parrish) to help. Barney is a little worried about the training since Eddie wants to train Dobermans and he’s only worked with German Shepherds. Eddie ends up talking Barney into working with the Dobies. Jo Jo and Sammy go out and come back with six Dobermans, and a bulldog. They name the bulldog J. Edgar Hoover. The Dobermans are named Dillinger, Bonnie (Parker), Clyde (Barrows), Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd and Ma Barker.
After training the dogs for quite some time Barney begins to have reservations. He thinks the dogs are too aggressive and he’s not sure he can handle them. Eventually he finds out that Eddie plans on using the dogs to rob a bank. He wants no part of the scheme. Eddie says that if Barney wants out then he has no choice but to kill the dogs. Taking Eddie at his word Barney decides to stay and continue training the dogs. Eddie promises him an equal share of the profits. Training continues and the dogs’ routine is fine tuned. Eventually they are ready for their entrance.
“The Doberman Gang” was released in 1972 and was directed by Byron Chudnow. It is an American comedy crime movie. The film did quite well and spawned three sequels, “The Daring Dobermans” 1973, “The Amazing Dobermans” 1976, and “Alex and the Doberman Gang” 1980.
This is, for the most part, a fun and engaging movie. It can be a little slow in the beginning until you get to the dogs. Even then they’re in training so there are a lot of short sequences. The best part is the heist, which only covers the last twenty minutes or so. There are a couple scenes that have some dog aggression and blood, but other than that it is mostly “G” rated stuff. It is a different take on the caper film genre.
The movie was the first to receive the “No Animals Were Harmed” credit by the American Humane Society.
The only dogs noted anywhere as being credited for the movie were Dillinger (Caesar) and Clyde (Hans). The trainers were Karl Lewis Miller and Lou Schumacher. They also trained the dogs for the other three Doberman films. It’s not clear if they were the same dogs.