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Different Drummers (2013)

PG | | Drama, Family | 12 April 2013 (USA)
When David, in a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy, accurately foretells the death of their fourth grade teacher, a doubtful Lyle decides to test the existence of God by attempting to get David to run again.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Dahlke (as Ethan McKay)
Miss O'Donnell
Mr. Merrick (as Dan R. Anderson)
Mrs. Hatcher
Mrs. Stewart
Randy Weatherbee ...
Mr. Dahlke
Dennis Dahlke
Sharon Anne
Mrs. Dahlke
Sandra Olgard ...
Mrs. Maxfield
Damon Mentzer ...
Mr. Hatcher (as Damon Curtis Mentzer)
Ron Ford ...
Ben the Bus Driver


Different Drummers is based on a true story about two unusual boys in Spokane, Washington in the mid 1960s. In this more innocent time, when body builder Jack Lalanne ruled the airwaves, the two heroes, a couple of elementary school students, make a bold attempt to triumph over mortality through friendship. Eleven year old David is slowing down and is now wheelchair-bound by muscular dystrophy, while Lyle can't stop speeding up. Back then, he was referred to as having a condition called MDB (Minimal Brain Dysfunction) but today he would be diagnosed with "Attention Deficit Disorder." Lyle wants more than anything to get David out of his wheelchair and running again, and he concocts a wild scheme involving a science project, some firemen, drummers, the school principal, a cop and a hand-walk across the school gymnasium, among other things. It works like this: Inspired by his TV idol, Lalanne, and his message of "intestinal fortitude and willpower," Lyle manages to convince David that ... Written by Don Caron and Lyle Hatcher

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Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements, some mischief and brief smoking | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

12 April 2013 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


David Dahlke: He just comes into my head and I know the answer.
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User Reviews

such a sad and happy story, all rolled into one
19 July 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

As I write this review I'm crying like a baby. The movie has just finished. Not many movies reduce me to tears like this one. There are few words that could describe the sensitivity of this story. It deals with not only the major illness of muscular dystrophy but also the misunderstood condition of hyperactivity. The innocence of a little boy who always found himself in trouble with the powers that be but he didn't understand why that if anything at all went wrong, he was always to blame. A teacher who used clichés that are readily understood by adults is frustrated when a child doesn't understand what she is saying so he uses his resources to undercover the meaning, only to believe she means the opposite. When the movie began I cringed at the acting abilities of some of the cast but as the story developed, I forgot to cringe and the storyline is strong enough to overcome acting limitations.

I gave Different Drummers a 9/10 because of the sensitive way that two medical conditions were brought together through children... one with no energy and one with too much.

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