The Trial of Old Drum (2000)

TV Movie  |  PG  |   |  Drama, Adventure, Family  |  9 June 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 279 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

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 »


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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
Aunt Katey
Henry Polic II ...
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) (26 May 2000)


$1,025 (USA) (26 May 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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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 »

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User Reviews

Saving Man's Best Friend.
30 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a family movie set in 1950's rural America about a boy whose Uncle presses sheep killing charges against his dog Drum, starting not only a family legal feud but community discord as their town begins to take sides.

This is formula film that attempts to be very touching and sweet. Its biggest weakness is that the only people who could really act were Scott Bakula (Defense Lawyer), Ron Perlman (father/Drum's owner) and the dog. (John Shuck and Kathy Garver, "Sissy" from the original "Family Affair," as the Uncle and his wife, were okay.) The children were not that good (basically they looked like they were acting) and that's a problem when the film really revolves around them (Aaron Fors, who plays the bully Donny makes me think of what the actor Russell Crowe must have looked liked as a child, only with no talent but a lot of ham).

Favorite line (spoken by the Prosecutor after Scott Bakula's Defense closing trial speech): "We'll be lucky if they don't lynch us."

Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman (after his son punches the bully): "Now making him your friend, that will be the hard part."

Cute enough to rent/buy used.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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