Lawn Dogs (1997) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • When Devon, a 10-year-old girl, forges a friendship with Trent, a 21-year-old outsider who mows the neighborhood lawns, things suddenly get very complicated and private.

  • Newly arrived in an up-market housing development, quiet ten-year-old Devon doesn't quite fit in. Ignoring the urgings of her social-climbing father, Devon chooses the company of Trent, who mows the estate's lawns, rather than of the girls her own age. Their friendship grows during her visits to his trailer home, but although it is completely innocent it is obvious that it would be unacceptable to the residents if they found out.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Camelot Gardens is a housing development in Louisville, Kentucky, where the neat lawns of its apparently neat middle class families are in a constant state of manicured grace, behind Camelot Gardens brick wall. Young Trent Burns (Sam Rockwell) is one of the lawn dogs who come to mow the lawns; he puts up with the hostility of the security guard and the local teenagers for the meager wages that support him in his rundown caravan in the woods off a deserted back road away from Camelot. Newly arrived is the Stockard family, whose 10 year old daughter, Devon (Mischa Barton), likes to be alone, so she can fantasise and what tough fantasies she has. Especially about a Russian witch who lives in the woods. Fearfully, scared the witch might cook and eat her, Devon searches the woods only to find Trent. Trent, reluctant to risk misunderstandings by paying attention to Devon, is nonetheless unable to resist Devons persistent calls for friendship. The friendship does indeed lead to trouble, fuelled by ignorance, prejudice and bigotry on the one hand, and cynicism on the other. Devons friendship both endangers and saves Trent literally and spiritually.

    Credit: Urban Cinefile

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