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Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)

G | | Drama, Family | 21 June 1974 (USA)
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Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs.



(based on the novel "Where The Red Fern Grows" as written and told by), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »



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Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Grandpa
... Mother
... Father
... Sheriff
... Billy
Jill Clark ... Alice
Jeanna Wilson ... Sara
... Sam Bellington
Bill Dunbar ... Ben Kyle
Rex Corley ... Rubin Pritchard
John Lindsey ... Rainie Pritchard
Garland McKinney ... Mr. Pritchard
Robert S. Telford ... Station Master (as Robert Telford)
Charles Seat ... Carl Brown
Roger Pancake ... Shopkeeper


Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs. Set in the Ozark Mountains during the Great Depression, Billy Coleman works hard and saves his earnings for 2 years to achieve his dream of buying two coonhound pups. He develops a new trust in God as he faces overwhelming challenges in adventure and tragedy roaming the river bottoms of Cherokee country with "Old Dan" and "Little Ann." The movie follows the inseparable trio as they romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to tree the elusive "Ghost" raccoon. Their efforts prove victorious as they win the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, capture wily ghost coons and bravely fight a mountain lion. Through these adventures Billy realizes the meaning of true friendship, loyalty, integrity and heroics, in this timeless and poignant coming of age story. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

boy | fern | dog | hunting | fight | See All (40) »


A True Story of a Boy and His Dogs See more »


Drama | Family


G | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

21 June 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ahol a vörös páfrány az égig ér  »

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Did You Know?


You can visit the waterfall that was in the movie. Natural Falls State Park is located in West Siloam Springs, Oklahoma. See more »


Incorrectly regarded as goofs: instances of the boom mic being visible are a result of the home video transfer. The film was shot "open matte" and cropped to an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, however in subsequent video releases, the entire 1.33:1 frame is shown. See more »


Referenced in Zombies Ate My Neighbors (1993) See more »


Gone Away
Written by The Osmonds
Sung by Andy Williams
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User Reviews

Not quite as good as the book, yet a good film...
1 February 2001 | by See all my reviews

While the movie version of Where the Red Fern Grows is not quite as good as the book by Wilson Rawls, the film is still a quality family film and very much worth watching if you are a fan of the novel.

The changes in the plot for the movie version are minor, and most of the same themes Rawls intended for his readers can be found in the movie. However, one glaring difference is the fact that the characterization in the movie cannot touch the novel. The movie does little to build up Billy's "dog wanting" disease as well as Billy's dogged (pun intended) determination to secure himself some hunting hounds. This takes away from the reader's sympathy for and identification with the protagonist. Grandpa's character also does not come off as well as he does in the novel. In the novel, Grandpa is clearly a wise man despite his one irrational act; in the movie, he seems plain irrational, and there is no sign of his wisdom on the subjects of life and coon hunting. The extent to which the dogs are given characters and personalities in the book is not found in the movie, either. Billy's mother and father do translate fairly well from the book to the big screen, but the fact that the protagonist and his dogs do not is the major weakness of the film.

In closing, if you're a fan of the novel, then you should definitely watch this movie version, but don't expect it to be as good as the classic children's novel.

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