6.4/10
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23 user 11 critic

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

Three orphan children strike gold in 1878 California.

Director:

Norman Tokar

Writers:

Don Tait (screenplay), Jack M. Bickham (book)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Bixby ... Russel Donavan
Susan Clark ... Magnolia Dusty Clydesdale
Don Knotts ... Theodore Ogelvie
Tim Conway ... Amos Tucker
David Wayne ... Col. T.R. Clydesdale
Slim Pickens ... Frank Stillwell
Harry Morgan ... Homer McCoy
John McGiver ... Leonard Sharpe
Don Knight ... John Wintle
Clay O'Brien ... Bobby Bradley
Brad Savage ... Clovis Bradley
Stacy Manning Stacy Manning ... Celia Bradley
Dennis Fimple ... Rudy Hooks
Pepe Callahan Pepe Callahan ... Clemons
Iris Adrian ... Poker Polly
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Storyline

Three orphaned siblings are forced upon confirmed bachelor Donovan (Bill Bixby) in a nineteenth century boom town of Quake City, California. After an earthquake shakes the area, the children find a large gold nugget worth tens of thousands of dollars. But their newfound wealth is causing more problems than it's solving, so they agree to "give" the gold to two bumbling outlaws (Tim Conway and Don Knott's). But they only way they can get the gold is to steal it from the bank vault where it's being held for safe keeping. Written by Tony B

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Wanted: For chicanery, skulduggery, tomfoolery and habitual bungling! See more »

Genres:

Family | Comedy | Western

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Semmelknödelbande See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$36,853,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Walt Disney Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Photophone Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last cinema film of Bill Bixby. See more »

Goofs

Early on, the Sheriff states that Quake City was built on a fault line. Professor Lawson who first named the San Andreas Fault in 1895, did not identify it as running all the way through Southern California and for this to be the root cause of large-scale land movement causing quakes until 1906. Likewise, it seems stunningly unlikely that a local sheriff would have had leading-edge, technical knowledge of geological plate tectonics that would have been worthy of a PhD in this era. See more »

Quotes

John Wintle: Donovan! I haven't seen you since, ah...
Russell Donovan: Santa Fe.
John Wintle: Right!
Russell Donovan: When you sold me the Marshal's horse.
John Wintle: Right. I was just funnin', Donovan.
Russell Donovan: The Marshal wasn't amused.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Stranded in Space (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Apple Dumpling Gang
By Shane Tatum
Sung by Randy Sparks and The Back Porch Majority
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Consignment, One Set Of Kids
28 December 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Don Knotts and Tim Conway, two very big stars in their own right, teamed to do some very successful films mostly for the Disney Studio. Their comedy style was a lot like Laurel and Hardy, but in terms of individual stars teaming and being successful at both, the only comparison there is Crosby and Hope.

The Apple Dumpling Gang follows the misadventures of these two lunkheads as they try their hand at the outlaw trade. They accidentally shot a really fierce outlaw in Slim Pickens and left him crippled in one leg and he's out for their hides.

Paralleling that plot is that of gambler Bill Bixby who wins what he thinks is a consignment of freight in a poker game, but what he really gets is the delivery of three children. Being a roving bachelor Bixby naturally thinks the kids will cramp his style and they do for awhile. Willing to help is Calamity Jane like character Susan Clark who drives for the freight line that her father David Wayne owns.

One thing I do so like about Disney films is the use of familiar Hollywood faces who were having trouble getting work. For example the brassy Iris Adrian, a little older and heftier, but still full of sass.

But the film really belongs to Conway and Knotts. Conway is the Laurel like figure in the partnership, dumb and he knows it. But he has for a partner Knotts who like Oliver Hardy is full of grand schemes who when they blow up in his face will always blame is hapless partner. But in point of fact Knotts is just a bad planner.

The Apple Dumpling Gang spawned a sequel in The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again where Knotts and Conway have even more hysterical misadventures. This one however and its successor are some of the best films Disney Studios made in the Seventies.


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