Where the Red Fern Grows is a really good book and adventurous tale for all ages about 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 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, and more in this timeless coming of age story.
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 »
Right near the end, when the family is looking at the red fern, a boom microphone is clearly visible at the top of the screen. See more »
Set in the Depression Era Ozark country, the Coleman family has it pretty tough as most did in those years. But they are a wholesome lot without getting too sticky sentimental. The parents are Jack Ging and Beverly Garland and their oldest Stewart Petersen a slightly pre- pubescent adolescent has only one thing in mind. He's a country kid who has his heart set on getting and training a pair of hunting dogs for coon hunting and on the advice of his grandfather James Whitmore works like a dog to get the money to buy a pair of puppies to train.
Coon hunting is both a profession and a labor of love for those who get into it. We see young Petersen train his canines to be the best. But it comes at a tragic price.
Where The Red Fern grows is a fine family film that most likely never played in the cosmopolitan east during its release. Stewart Petersen was a Mormon Kid who did a bunch of these of varying quality during the 70s. He comes across as a real and not a Hollywood kid and he gets good support from the veteran cast. Note the Osmonds as producers. Petersen did films for the LDS church itself as well as other family features in the 70s.
Where The Red Fern Grows holds up well today. Dig the Quo Vadis type ending which explains about the significance of the Red Fern.
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