31 user 12 critic

Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)

G | | Drama, Family | 21 June 1974 (USA)
0:24 | Trailer
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.


Norman Tokar


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





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


Where the Red Fern Grows is a great book about the adventurous story a young boy and his dream 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 story 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, and more.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Boy's Greatest Adventure Begins... See more »


Drama | Family


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Grandpa's store in the 1974 movie "Where the Red Fern Grows" is located west of Keys, OK in an area known as Qualls. It is a privately owned reservation only/restaurant serving home cooked meals called Jincy's Kitchen, as of 2017. The building still maintains the old general store theme and the wagon seen in the movie is still there, as well. 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 »


Billy: Grandpa says, in New England, everyone's going crazy over coon skin coats
Father: That right?
Billy: So we should be gettin' a good price.
Father: I'll tell you what. I'll let you have one whole wall of that smokehouse if you think you and them dogs can cover it.
Billy: It's not hardly big enough, is it?
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Alternate Versions

The theatrical version does not feature a fade out before the end credits. All subsequent home media versions have "The End" with a brief fade to black before the end credits. See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Saddest Animal Deaths in Movies (2014) See more »


Where The Red Fern Grows
Written by Mike Curb and Alan Osmond
Sung by Andy Williams
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User Reviews

3 June 2018 | by fivexchampsSee all my reviews

A movie so steeped in virtue it's breathtaking. An absolute American masterpiece that enriched the lives of all that had the honor to view it.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

21 June 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Where the Red Fern Grows See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Doty-Dayton Production See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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