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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.

Director:

Norman Tokar

Writers:

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

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Cast

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
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

He Made a Promise And He Kept It! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

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 »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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?
See more »

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 »

Connections

Referenced in BoJack Horseman: It's You (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Gone Away
(uncredited)
Written by The Osmonds
Sung by Andy Williams
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not quite as good as the book, yet a good film...
1 February 2001 | by BSSSee 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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