5 user 2 critic

The Trial of Old Drum (2000)

Inspired by a true story set in Missouri, "The Trial of Old Drum" tells the story of a valiant golden retriever, Old Drum, an orphan dog that becomes a boy's best friend and is then forced ... See full summary »


1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Burden Jr. - young
Charles Burden Sr.
Charlie Burden Jr. - old
Alexis O'Keefe ...
Uncle Lon
Mayor Meyers
Judge Henry
Kathy Garver ...
Aunt Katey
Doc Thompson
Donnie Long
Wayne Snelling


Inspired by a true story set in Missouri, "The Trial of Old Drum" tells the story of a valiant golden retriever, Old Drum, an orphan dog that becomes a boy's best friend and is then forced to stand trial for killing a neighbor's sheep. Charlie Burden [Bobby Edner] is a typical eleven-year old boy growing up on a farm in Western Missouri. His summer days are spent helping his dad [Ron Perlman] run the family farm, while also finding time to go fishing at nearby Miller's Lake, always accompanied by his faithful golden retriever, Old Drum. Scheming with his best friend Dee [Alia Shawkat] to build a secret raft, Charlie nearly drowns, only to be rescued by Old Drum. But Charlie's life is turned upside down when his cantankerous Uncle Lon [John Schuck] accuses Old Drum of killing his sheep. The town is divided over Drum's guilt or innocence, and an old family wound begins to fester. Losing sheep in this part of the country is not taken lightly. Looking to rid the town of a sheep killing ... Written by Porchlight Entertainment

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Based on the true story of one boy's fight for his best friend. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violence and brief language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 June 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mon ami Sam  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,025 (USA) (28 May 2000)


$1,025 (USA) (28 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though the actual trial of Old Drum does not use the words "A man's best friend is his dog" it is often given credit for the origins of this phrase. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: God's Not Dead 2 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

Very good movie
22 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Unlike a previous viewer, I liked the narration by the "adult" character narrating himself as a the "child" in the movie, it reminded me of "The Waltons" in a way. The movie is somewhat reminiscent of "Old Yeller" or "Where the Red Fern Grows", both of which I highly recommend.

Though the original trial of Old Drum was in 1870, the setting for the movie is 1955; which more in the viewer audience can personally relate to. There are other differences between the real historical trial and the movie, in 1870 the dog was killed, and there were several trials and appeals. The dog's owner was awarded $50 (about $700 today) in damages.

As the movie is only inspired by the trial and not a historical documentary, you can enjoy the movie for what it is- a good movie with a historical reality behind it and some nice acting situations.

The DVD I have from Goodtimes has very interesting production scenes as well as the director's narration about how the movie was made- both in the special section on the disk. Some revelations about the filming, actors, scenes, sets,locations etc are quite interesting and a welcome bonus on the DVD!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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